Epidemiology of Ageing

Co√∂rdinator: Prof. M. Huisman

"In 1991, at the initiative of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (WVS), VU University Medical Center launched LASA. This is a large-scale study into the daily functioning of elderly people aged 55 and above. We focus on physical, cognitive, emotional and social aspects, identify at-risk groups, and try to identify impendence's at an early stage. If the results warrant it, we then carry out intervention studies in another population. Our ultimate goal is for older people to enjoy a good quality of life. Ours is an aging population, so this line of research will inevitably become more important as time goes by." 
 
Multidisciplinary research
"We visit the same group of respondents every three years, which helps us to identify long-term trends. We report our findings to the ministry annually. However, there is also a great deal of interest in this study from other funding bodies and groups working in this field. This is partly due to the broad approach that we have taken. This is truly a multidisciplinary study, as it includes the Department of Sociology at the Faculty of Social Sciences, as well as the departments of Internal Medicine of VUmc, and Psychiatry and Health Sciences. Our study focuses on depression and anxiety, as well as on the relationship between depression and mortality from heart disease, cognitive impairment, social networks, and the supervision experienced by the elderly."

Respondents are keen to cooperate 
"We have accumulated a wealth of experience, and we impose exacting demands on the way in which the study is performed. Data quality is a high priority for us. Accordingly, we ensure that our interviewers receive intensive supervision in all areas, including their contacts with respondents. Older people also enjoy helping us, which is partly why we have such a high response rate."

For more information please visit our site: www.lasa-vu.nl