Author: Diana Kuh
Publisher: OUP Oxford
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.