A Life Course Approach to Healthy Ageing

A Life Course Approach to Healthy Ageing

Paperback Life Course Approach to Adult Health

Edited by Yoav Ben-Shlomo, Edited by Diana Kuh, Edited by Rachel Cooper, Edited by Rebecca Hardy, Edited by Marcus Richards


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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 176mm x 250mm x 22mm | 600g
  • Publication date: 19 February 2014
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199656517
  • ISBN 13: 9780199656516
  • Edition: 1
  • Sales rank: 745,479

Product description

Healthy ageing has long been a neglected area of epidemiological research as the traditional focus has been on specific chronic diseases of older life. There is a growing consensus from scientists, research funders and policy makers that ageing itself needs to be studied from an interdisciplinary and life course perspective, to inform strategies for reducing the societal and individual costs of an ageing population. A Life Course Approach to Healthy Ageing is a synthesis of life course perspectives in epidemiology and interdisciplinary perspectives in ageing research. It brings together expert investigators of maturing birth cohort and ageing studies, cross-cutting methodologists, and authorities in ageing research and knowledge transfer from across the world in one wide-ranging volume. Contributors discuss how aspects of healthy ageing are conceptualised, defined and measured; relate to each other; change across life; and are influenced by biological, psychological and social factors operating from early life onwards. They identify research gaps, and suggest how evidence from observational studies can be strengthened through improved study design and longitudinal analysis, thereby increasing the research contribution to practice or policy change. The book considers how we might delay or slow down the progressive, generalised impairment of function that occurs at the individual, body system and cellular levels, as people grow older. It also considers the determinants of wellbeing in older people, including personal fulfilment, positive emotions and social relationships. Broad in scope, discussing topics from genetics to psychological and social wellbeing, A Life Course Approach to Healthy Ageing is a key resource for epidemiologists, social scientists, clinicians, public health physicians, policy makers and practitioners with a research interest in healthy ageing.

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Author information

Yoav Ben-Shlomo is a Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and has been at the forefront of a life course approach to epidemiology both at a theoretical and empirical level. He is involved with several cohort studies and has interests in ageing, neurodegenerative disorders, endocrine influences on health and equity of access to health care.

Table of contents

PART I. THE LIFE COURSE PERSPECTIVE ON HEALTHY AGEING ; 1. Life course epidemiology, ageing research and maturing cohort studies: a dynamic combination for understanding healthy ageing ; 2. A life course approach to physical capability ; 3. A life course approach to cognitive capability ; 4. A life course approach to psychological and social wellbeing ; PART II. METHODS FOR STUDYING AGEING FROM A LIFE COURSE AND INTERDISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVE ; 5. Design of life course studies of healthy ageing ; 6. Longitudinal data analysis in studies of healthy ageing ; 7. Modelling repeat exposures: some examples from life course epidemiology Supplementary web material ; 8. Propensity score matching and longitudinal research designs: counterfactual analysis using life course data in a longitudinal context ; 9. Understanding healthy ageing using a qualitative approach: the value of narratives and individual biographies ; PART III. HEALTHY AGEING IN BODY SYSTEMS, ORGANS AND CELLS ; 10. A life course approach to neuroendocrine systems: the example of the HPA axis ; 11. A life course approach to metabolic and vascular function Supplementary web material ; 12. A life course approach to healthy musculoskeletal ageing ; 13. A life course approach to biomarkers of ageing ; 14. Genetic aspects of ageing ; 15. Life course epigenetics and healthy ageing ; PART IV. THE WAY WE LIVE ; 16. Lifetime lifestyles I: diet, the life course and ageing ; 17. Lifetime lifestyles II: physical activity, the life course and ageing ; 18. Lifetime lifestyles III: where we live, the life course and ageing ; 19. Conclusions