(Please navigate in the column to the left to find the information you are looking for. Our research is presented below.)
The aim of our research is to study health and mental well-being in the elderly.*
We are interested in how the elderly in our population feel, and collect a wide range of data to answer our research questions (see below for examples of the topics that we study). The data we collect reflect intellectual functions (e.g. memory, language, learning), physical factors (e.g. height, weight, blood pressure, brain anatomy, neurochemistry), mental conditions (e.g. dementia, depression, phobias) and genetics.
One important part of our research is the study of change over time. For example, we study how health and well-being look today, compared to 30 years ago. We also follow the population over a long period (up to 40 years), and in this way, can see how their health has changed over time.
* In our research, we use the word "older" or "elderly" to refer to people above 65 years old. We also study the "oldest-old", that is, people who are 90 years or older.
The research topics and questions that we work with extend across a broad spectrum, and include:
An overview of some of the results of our research shows the range of the topics that we study:
We work with large epidemiological studies which mean that we study health factors and the incidence and prevalence of illnesses and risk factors in the population. In epidemiological population studies people from the general population are recruited and followed continuously as long as the study goes on.
The intent is to obtain a representative sample of the population and to follow the participants over a long period of time. This provides unique opportunities to study the frequency of diseases in the population, as well as to investigate relationships between the diseases and other health factors.
Our research is entirely dependent on the willingness of the population to participate in the examinations.
Our research is entirely dependent on the willingness of the population to participate in the examinations. The people who have participated in the studies over the course of many years have greatly helped us increase our understanding of health and well-being among the elderly, which we could not have obtained without the population studies.
The population studies that we participate in are the following:
* Health 70 (H70)
Started in1971 with the recruitment of 392 70-year-olds born in 1901-02. The participants were followed for 30 years. A new study of 70-year-olds born in 1930 started in 2000. These participants were followed-up when they reached 75 years, and will be examined again when they are 79 years old.
* The H85 study
Started in 1985 with the recruitment of 494 85-year-olds born in 1901-02. The participants were followed for 20 years. A new study of 85-year-olds born in 1923-24 started in 2009.
Started in 1996, and by 2008, a total of 900 participants had been recruited. To the best of our knowledge this study is the largest epidemiological study in the world of elderly above the age of 95 years.
* Women's study in Gothenburg
Started in 1968 with the recruitment of 1,462 women between the ages of 38 and 60 years. The most recent follow-up was done in 2005-06; 37 years after the study was initiated. A new follow-up will begin in 2009.
* Sahlgrenska suicide studies
Started in 2000. Study of the risk factors for suicide and attempted suicide.
Time magazine talk to Prof Ingmar Skoog on the latest results from EPINEP's Women's Study.
EPINEP is now a part of the multidisciplinary Centre for Ageing and Health that consists of 100 researchers and staff (visit the AgeCap website).
Ingmar Skoog tells the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research about today's smarter, happier and healthier 70-year-olds.