English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA)

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Overview

Aims
The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) is a longitudinal study that collects multidisciplinary data from a representative sample of the English population aged 50 and older. The survey data are designed to be used for the investigation of a broad set of topics relevant to understanding the ageing process including economic position, physical and mental health, labour market activity, retirement and social networks.

Institution
UCL Research Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, Institute for Fiscal Studies, NatCen Social Research & University of Manchester School of Social Sciences

Geographic coverage
England

Start date
2002

Sample

Sample type
Cohort survey (replenished)

Sample details
Sample members are drawn from respondents to the Health Survey for England (HSE). Around 12,000 respondents from three separate years of the HSE survey were recruited to provide a representative sample of the English population aged 50 and over and their partners. At waves 3, 4, 6 and 7 the study was replenished with new study participants (refreshments) from HSE to maintain the size and representativeness of the panel.

Sample size at recruitment
12,100 individuals

Sample size at most recent sweep
7222

Sex
All

Age at recruitment
50+

Cohort year of birth
Various

Data

Data access
UK Data Service
https://www.elsa-project.ac.uk/accessing-elsa-data

Genetic data collected

Linkage to administrative data

Additional information

Website
elsa-project.ac.uk

Related Themes
Ageing, biomarkers, cognitive measures, diet and nutrition, genetic data, income and socioeconomic status, loneliness, physical health, work and employment, COVID

Reference paper

Steptoe A, Breeze E, Banks J & Nazroo J (2013). Cohort profile: the English longitudinal study of ageing. International Journal of Epidemiology, 42, 1640–1648.
doi.org/10.1093/ije/dys168

Funders
National Institute on Aging
Department for Transport
Department of Health and Social Care
Department for Work and Pensions
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