Life course determinants of physical capability and musculoskeletal ageing

Lead Research Organisation: University College London

Abstract

Physical capability refers to an individual’s capacity to undertake the physical tasks of daily living. Maintaining physical capability and musculoskeletal function as we grow older are important aspects of healthy ageing, enabling people to live independently for longer and with a higher quality of life. Simple tests of physical capability, such as hand grip strength, balancing on one leg, and time taken to rise from a chair several times or to walk a specified distance are summary measures of individual biological ageing. We have shown that better performance scores are related not only to factors in adult life such as physical activity, health status and social and economic circumstances but also to early life experiences such as early growth patterns and developmental milestones. Within a research programme called ‘HALCyon’ (Healthy Ageing Across the Life Course), we are investigating whether we find similar patterns of association across other UK cohort studies.
In the next five years, we shall examine the change in physical capability and progression to disability and frailty between midlife and old age, how these changes are related to the health of bones, muscles and joints, and how all these aspects of musculoskeletal ageing are linked to experiences and exposures from across the whole of life.

Technical Summary

Maintaining physical capability (the capacity to undertake the physical activities of daily living) and musculoskeletal function for the maximal period of time as we grow older are important aspects of healthy ageing, enabling people to be active and independent for longer. Low levels or accelerated loss of capability or musculoskeletal function pose threats to independence and quality of life, are major causes of frailty, disability and death, and impact greatly on health care spending. The ultimate purpose of this programme is to provide evidence to inform the likely timing, intensity and type of future interventions to promote healthy ageing or delay functional decline.
This programme takes a life course approach, investigating biological and social factors from early life that influence later life physical capability and musculoskeletal ageing in population cohorts, in particular in the MRC National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD), a birth cohort study with information on health and life circumstances from 0-65 years. Studies in NSHD and other cohorts have provided evidence that childhood socioeconomic conditions, physical growth and maturation, and motor and cognitive development affect objective measures of midlife capability, such as grip strength, standing balance and chair rise performance, in addition to the cumulative effects of adult health behaviours and socioeconomic conditions.
In the next five years, this programme will capture the change in physical capability and progression to disability and frailty during the transition from midlife to old age in NSHD; and will investigate the lifetime factors (from societal to underlying biology) that drive these changes, and their consequences, for everyday life. Of particular interest for improving human health are the factors that promote the maintenance of maximal functioning, or modify the consequences of functional decline for everyday activities and social integration.
Using new data recently collected or planned, this programme also aims to understand better how factors across life affect bone, muscle and joints in later life and their clinical correlates, osteoporosis and fracture risk, sarcopenia and osteoarthritis. With specialist collaborators we also aim to elucidate underlying biological mechanisms, capitalising on new genomic, epigenomic and metabolomic data in NSHD.
This programme addresses the MRC strategic research priority for 2009-14 to improve the chances of living a long and healthy life by driving forward interdisciplinary research addressing health and wellbeing from childhood to older age.

Publications

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Allinson JP (2017) Combined Impact of Smoking and Early-Life Exposures on Adult Lung Function Trajectories. in American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine

 
Description All-Party Parliamentary Group on Medical Research (international mobility for scientists)
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
 
Description CLOSER Workshops
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Increased awareness and understanding of researchers in the following areas Functioning well in later life: What is the evidence from longitudinal studies?* ** Symposium January 15th 2013 Knowledge Exchange Workshop: Challenges for Data Harmony* ** KEW January 16th 2013 Knowledge Exchange Workshop: Integrating the social and biological* KEW April 12th 2013 Training workshop: Life Course Research* ** Training workshop Monday 17 March 2014 Successful cohort leadership and management* ** Training workshop Friday 16 May 2014
 
Description Diana Kuh became Vice-Chair on SAPEA International Working Group 'Transforming the Future of Ageing' in support of European Commission's Scientific Advice Mechanism
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Diana Kuh became a member of the Scientific Advisory Board, German National Cohort (GNC, NAKO)
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description Diana Kuh is a member of the Springboard Review Working Group for the Academy of Medical Sciences
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description Diana Kuh was Principal member of the Scientific Committee. Wellcome Trust Scientific Meeting. Longitudinal studies: Hinxton, Cambridge, May 20th-June 1st 2018
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Diana Kuh was a Review panel member. Leiden University Medical Centre.
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description Pre-conference workshop on 5 November 2014 at the annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, Washington DC, USA
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Increased researcher awareness and understanding of using a life course approach to understanding physical capability.
 
Description Research visit to University of Solo City
Geographic Reach Asia 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Research visit to University of Solo City to share best practice on the topic of life course/ healthy ageing research
 
Description Sucessful cohort leadership and management course
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Our director co-organised a training event about successful cohort leadership and management. We hope this event will lead to more researchers taking an interest in leading a cohort and understanding what it means to manage a cohort on a day to day basis. We hope it will lead to the cohort leaders of the future.
 
Description Written submission to the House of Commons Health Committee inquiry on the impact of physical activity and diet on health.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
 
Description Biomedical follow-up of 1958 Birth Cohort Study members at age 60
Amount £1,630,449 (GBP)
Funding ID MR/P023444/1 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2017 
End 12/2021
 
Description CLOSER innovation funding Socioeconomic differentials in physical activity
Amount £156,961 (GBP)
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Grand Challenges Doctoral Students Small Grant
Amount £1,600 (GBP)
Organisation University College London 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) 2017 World Congress Travel Stipend
Amount $1,000 (USD)
Organisation International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics 
Start 07/2017 
End 07/2017
 
Description MRC Career Development Award How will the obesity epidemic influence healthly ageing
Amount £811,514 (GBP)
Funding ID MR/P020372/1 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2017 
End 09/2022
 
Description MRCF Equipment Grant
Amount £18,000 (GBP)
Funding ID CO456 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Department Medical Research Foundation
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2013 
End 05/2013
 
Description 1958 biomedical collaboration 
Organisation University College London
Department Institute of Education (IOE)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution provide expertise on physical capability measures
Collaborator Contribution submission of grant application and data collection and analysis
Impact Grant application submitted
Start Year 2016
 
Description AK visiting researcher from VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam 
Organisation VU University Medical Center
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution provide data and supervision for visiting researcher. Assist with data analysis and manuscript preparation
Collaborator Contribution Data analysis and preparation of manuscripts
Impact Visiting researcher visit completed
Start Year 2017
 
Description Aberdeen Pain collaboration 
Organisation University of Aberdeen
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaboration on chronic pain using NSHD data Providing data on pain, analysis, contributing to papers
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration on chronic pain using NSHD data Analysis of pain data, contributing to papers
Impact Muthuri PMID:27547897 Chronic widespread and regional pain Abstracts submitted
Start Year 2015
 
Description Biomedical follow-up of 1958 Birth Cohort Study members at age 60 
Organisation University College London
Department Centre for Longitudinal Studies
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Participation in successful funding bid 1/7/2017-31/12/2021 Biomedical follow-up of 1958 Birth Cohort Study members at age 60 MRC, £1,630,449
Collaborator Contribution Participation in successful funding bid 1/7/2017-31/12/2021 Biomedical follow-up of 1958 Birth Cohort Study members at age 60 MRC, £1,630,449
Impact Successful finding bid
Start Year 2017
 
Description Bone and Muscle Ageing Project Management Group 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC)
Department MRC Human Nutrition Research Unit
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Data provision, data analysis, wirting up of scientific results
Collaborator Contribution Established for the purpose of maximising the scientific potential of the new NSHD data on bone and muscle structure and function
Impact Numerous research publications
Start Year 2008
 
Description Bone and Muscle Ageing Project Management Group 
Organisation University of Manchester
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Data provision, data analysis, wirting up of scientific results
Collaborator Contribution Established for the purpose of maximising the scientific potential of the new NSHD data on bone and muscle structure and function
Impact Numerous research publications
Start Year 2008
 
Description Bone and Muscle Ageing Project Management Group 
Organisation University of Southampton
Department MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Data provision, data analysis, wirting up of scientific results
Collaborator Contribution Established for the purpose of maximising the scientific potential of the new NSHD data on bone and muscle structure and function
Impact Numerous research publications
Start Year 2008
 
Description Collaboration with HS Norwegian Institute of Public Health 
Organisation Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Country Norway 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Life course expertise and advice on data analysis and manuscript preparation
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration on data analysis and manuscript preparation
Impact Strand PMID 27229009
Start Year 2017
 
Description Collaboration with the University of Copenhagen 
Organisation University of Copenhagen
Country Denmark 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The Unit shared NSHD data with a visiting worker from University of Copenhagen. Contributions include data analysis, publication writing and editing manuscripts.
Collaborator Contribution Contributions include data analysis, publication writing and editing manuscripts.
Impact PMID 26176776
Start Year 2013
 
Description Collaborations on bone and muscle ageing 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department MRC Epidemiology Unit
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Multiple 
PI Contribution Ongoing collaboration on LHA/NSHD physical capability programme, scientific lead on study design and drafting manuscripts vary, involves data sharing, analysis, interpretation and revision of manuscripts
Collaborator Contribution Clinical and biological expertise in muscle and bone ageing
Impact 16870632 Kuh et al 2006 23761289 Kuh et al 2013 Cole 27466311 SITAR and bone health Kuh 27472291 menopause Kuh 27401728 Pubertal timing Ward 26817442 Dietary patterns and bone health Bendayan R. Associations of Childhood and Adulthood Cognition with Bone Mineral Density in Later Adulthood: A Population-Based PMID: 28790912 PMCID: PMC5525002
Start Year 2006
 
Description Describing habitual levels of physical activity LLHW Bristol Collaboration 
Organisation University of Bristol
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Contribtion to grant application ' Describing habitual levels of physical activity in older people in terms of impact loads and how this relates to bone and other systems' that was funded by LLHW
Collaborator Contribution Contribtion to grant application ' Describing habitual levels of physical activity in older people in terms of impact loads and how this relates to bone and other systems' that was funded by LLHW
Impact Grant application awarded in 2013 Protocols have been drafted (2014) Data collection will be incorporated in to 2015 NSHD home visit Around 800 NSHD study members have worn an accelerometer and 1900 have completed an activity questionnaire; these data are comparable to those collected in 3 other studies participating in VIBE. Hannan PMID:27798733 Gaysin T. Physical activity producing low, but not medium or higher, vertical impacts is inversely related to BMI in older adults: findings from a multi cohort study. PMID:29028919 Elhakeem A. Associations of lifetime walking and weight bearing exercise with high impact physical activity in later life. PMID: 29134173 PMC5671612 Elhakeem A. Correlates of high impact physical activity measured objectively in older British adults. PMID: 29237047
Start Year 2012
 
Description Ethnicity and disability Collaboration UCL 
Organisation Imperial College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaboration working on ethnicity and disability
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration working on ethnicity and disability
Impact Research grant applications submitted The Imperial part of this group has relocated to UCL and our researchers are still exploring possible opportunities for collaboration
Start Year 2013
 
Description Ethnicity and disability Collaboration UCL 
Organisation University College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaboration working on ethnicity and disability
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration working on ethnicity and disability
Impact Research grant applications submitted The Imperial part of this group has relocated to UCL and our researchers are still exploring possible opportunities for collaboration
Start Year 2013
 
Description G Peeters Trinity College Consortium on falls 
Organisation Trinity College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Life course and physical capability expertise and advice on data analysis and manuscript preparation
Collaborator Contribution Coordination of the consortium. Data analysis and manuscript preparation
Impact Consortium formed Peeters G, van Schoor NM, Cooper R, Tooth L and Kenny RA 'Prevalence of falls in middle-aged adults: co-ordinated analyses of harmonised data from four population-based cohort studies' PLoS One. 2018 Aug 7;13(8):e0201989. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0201989. eCollection 2018
Start Year 2017
 
Description Hip and spine morphologies - Aberdeen Collaboration 
Organisation Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Collboration to look at hip and spine morphologies in the NSHD. The unit will provide the study members for the project, help with coordination of the project, data analysis, creation and editing of manuscripts and writing grant applications.
Collaborator Contribution Coordination of the project, data analysis, creation and editing of manuscripts and writing grant applications.
Impact A grant application has been awarded by the MRC - November 2013 Aberdeen have finished deriving a complete dataset of hip shape mode scores and one on spine shape is due to be delivered soon. Conference abstracts have been submitted by the Aberdeen group LHA is now planning analyses that will be led by them Muthuri and Pavlova submitted papers abstracts submitted Muthuri SG.Associations between body mass index across adult life and hip shapes at age 60 to 64: Evidence from the 1946 British birth cohort.PMID:28842363 PMC5658512 Pavlova AV. Statistical shape modelling of hip and lumbar spine morphology and their relationship in the MRC National Survey of Health and Development.PMID:28561274 PMC5522893 Ireland A, Saunders FR, Muthuri SG, Pavlova AV, Hardy RJ, Martin KR, Barr RJ, Adams JE, Kuh D, Aspden RM, Gregory JS, Cooper R. Age at Onset of Walking in Infancy Is Associated With Hip Shape in Early Old Age. J Bone Miner Res. 2018 Nov 29. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.3627. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 30496618. Muthuri SG, Pavlova AV, Saunders FR, Hardy RJ, Gregory JS, Barr RJ, Martin KR, Adams JE, Kuh D, Aspden RM, Cooper R. Associations between back pain across adulthood and spine shape in early old age in a British birth cohort. Sci Rep. 2018 Nov 5;8(1):16309. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-34628-9. PMID: 30397263. Muthuri SG, Saunders FR, Hardy RJ, Pavlova AV, Martin KR, Gregory JS, Barr RJ, Adams JE, Kuh D, Aspden RM, Cooper R. Associations between body mass index across adult life and hip shapes at age 60 to 64: Evidence from the 1946 British birth cohort Bone. 2017 Aug 22. pii: S8756-3282(17)30312-5. PMID:28842363 PMC5658512 Pavlova AV, Saunders FR, Muthuri SG, Gregory JS, Barr RJ, Martin KR, Hardy RJ, Cooper R, Adams JE, Kuh D, Aspden RM. Statistical shape modelling of hip and lumbar spine morphology and their relationship in the MRC National Survey of Health and Development. J Anat. 2017 Aug;231(2):248-259. PMID: 28561274 PMC5522893
Start Year 2013
 
Description Hip and spine morphologies - Aberdeen Collaboration 
Organisation University of Aberdeen
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collboration to look at hip and spine morphologies in the NSHD. The unit will provide the study members for the project, help with coordination of the project, data analysis, creation and editing of manuscripts and writing grant applications.
Collaborator Contribution Coordination of the project, data analysis, creation and editing of manuscripts and writing grant applications.
Impact A grant application has been awarded by the MRC - November 2013 Aberdeen have finished deriving a complete dataset of hip shape mode scores and one on spine shape is due to be delivered soon. Conference abstracts have been submitted by the Aberdeen group LHA is now planning analyses that will be led by them Muthuri and Pavlova submitted papers abstracts submitted Muthuri SG.Associations between body mass index across adult life and hip shapes at age 60 to 64: Evidence from the 1946 British birth cohort.PMID:28842363 PMC5658512 Pavlova AV. Statistical shape modelling of hip and lumbar spine morphology and their relationship in the MRC National Survey of Health and Development.PMID:28561274 PMC5522893 Ireland A, Saunders FR, Muthuri SG, Pavlova AV, Hardy RJ, Martin KR, Barr RJ, Adams JE, Kuh D, Aspden RM, Gregory JS, Cooper R. Age at Onset of Walking in Infancy Is Associated With Hip Shape in Early Old Age. J Bone Miner Res. 2018 Nov 29. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.3627. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 30496618. Muthuri SG, Pavlova AV, Saunders FR, Hardy RJ, Gregory JS, Barr RJ, Martin KR, Adams JE, Kuh D, Aspden RM, Cooper R. Associations between back pain across adulthood and spine shape in early old age in a British birth cohort. Sci Rep. 2018 Nov 5;8(1):16309. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-34628-9. PMID: 30397263. Muthuri SG, Saunders FR, Hardy RJ, Pavlova AV, Martin KR, Gregory JS, Barr RJ, Adams JE, Kuh D, Aspden RM, Cooper R. Associations between body mass index across adult life and hip shapes at age 60 to 64: Evidence from the 1946 British birth cohort Bone. 2017 Aug 22. pii: S8756-3282(17)30312-5. PMID:28842363 PMC5658512 Pavlova AV, Saunders FR, Muthuri SG, Gregory JS, Barr RJ, Martin KR, Hardy RJ, Cooper R, Adams JE, Kuh D, Aspden RM. Statistical shape modelling of hip and lumbar spine morphology and their relationship in the MRC National Survey of Health and Development. J Anat. 2017 Aug;231(2):248-259. PMID: 28561274 PMC5522893
Start Year 2013
 
Description MRC guidelines on biomarkers of healthy ageing 
Organisation Newcastle University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Three LHA scientists contributed to the creation of the new MRC guidelines on biomarkers of healthy ageing and also helped to organise a workshop on the subject.
Collaborator Contribution The external collaborators also contributed to the creation of the new MRC guidelines on biomarkers of healthy ageing and helped to organise a workshop on the subject.
Impact Creation of the new MRC guidelines is still in progress - drafts are being circulated Kuh et al PMID: 24456831 PMID: 26373927
Start Year 2011
 
Description MRC guidelines on biomarkers of healthy ageing 
Organisation University of Birmingham
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Three LHA scientists contributed to the creation of the new MRC guidelines on biomarkers of healthy ageing and also helped to organise a workshop on the subject.
Collaborator Contribution The external collaborators also contributed to the creation of the new MRC guidelines on biomarkers of healthy ageing and helped to organise a workshop on the subject.
Impact Creation of the new MRC guidelines is still in progress - drafts are being circulated Kuh et al PMID: 24456831 PMID: 26373927
Start Year 2011
 
Description MRC guidelines on biomarkers of healthy ageing 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Three LHA scientists contributed to the creation of the new MRC guidelines on biomarkers of healthy ageing and also helped to organise a workshop on the subject.
Collaborator Contribution The external collaborators also contributed to the creation of the new MRC guidelines on biomarkers of healthy ageing and helped to organise a workshop on the subject.
Impact Creation of the new MRC guidelines is still in progress - drafts are being circulated Kuh et al PMID: 24456831 PMID: 26373927
Start Year 2011
 
Description MRC guidelines on biomarkers of healthy ageing 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Three LHA scientists contributed to the creation of the new MRC guidelines on biomarkers of healthy ageing and also helped to organise a workshop on the subject.
Collaborator Contribution The external collaborators also contributed to the creation of the new MRC guidelines on biomarkers of healthy ageing and helped to organise a workshop on the subject.
Impact Creation of the new MRC guidelines is still in progress - drafts are being circulated Kuh et al PMID: 24456831 PMID: 26373927
Start Year 2011
 
Description NIA Life course collaboration 
Organisation National Institute on Aging
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We have supervised NIA lifecourse fellows working on physical functioning and life course epidemiology in NSHD in collaboration with Prof Guralnik, Chief of NIA Dept. of Epidemiology and Demography Collaboration with Luigi Ferrucci on Ageing research
Collaborator Contribution NIA funded a 3 year post (2005 -8) in the MRC team worth £227890. since 2007 have funded 3 fellowships and contribute £32695 for supervision costs. Maximising the research potential of NSHD. Scientific input to numerous papers. Capacity building Collaboration with Luigi Ferrucci on Ageing research
Impact Numerous publications, capacity building through NIA lifecourse fellowships. 19124616 18450766 19608560 16870631 PLT participated in a Gerontology Society of America pre-conference workshop PMID: 26975983 Age-related change in mobility: perspectives from life course epidemiology and geroscience' J Gerontology: Medical Sciences 22858531 22209408 21860018 21737047
Start Year 2006
 
Description Nutrition through the life course Kate Ward 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC)
Department MRC Human Nutrition Research Unit
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution NSHD data sharing, epidemiological expertise input, revision of papers
Collaborator Contribution NSHD data analysis and interpretation to identify empirical dietary patterns that are characterised by specific dietary nutrients of interest. We will use these dietary patterns to examine the influence of life course dietary intake on musculoskeletal phenotype in males and females separately, at age 60-64 years.
Impact Funding from National Osteoporosis Society PMID 22190135 PMID 22777542 PMID 26817442
Start Year 2011
 
Description Pittsburgh University Fatigability 
Organisation University of Pittsburgh
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaboration on fatigability using NSHD data Providing data on fatigability, analysis, contributing to papers
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration on fatigability using NSHD data Analysis of fatigability data, contributing to papers
Impact Ongoing - derive total score in presence of missing items and this will be published as supplementary text in our first paper (accepted) Cooper R, Popham M, Santanasto AJ, Hardy R, Glynn NW and Kuh D 'Are BMI and inflammatory markers independently associated with physical fatigability in old age?' Int J Obesity doi: 10.1038/s41366-018-0087-0. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 29795469 Muthuri SG, Ward KA, Kuh D, Elhakeem A, Adams JE, Cooper R. Physical Activity Across Adulthood and Bone Health in Later Life: The 1946 British Birth Cohort. J Bone Miner Res. 2019 Feb;34(2):252-261. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.3607. Epub 2018 Dec 10. PMID: 30347128
Start Year 2015
 
Description Population health sciences measurements toolkit 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC)
Department MRC Human Nutrition Research Unit
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Provide expert advice on life course epidemiology, particularly in relation to lifetime influences on physical capability (the capacity to undertake the physical tasks of daily living) and musculoskeletal ageing.
Collaborator Contribution Administration of the grant and development of the toolkit
Impact Grant awarded to develop the toolkit
Start Year 2013
 
Description Population health sciences measurements toolkit 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department MRC Epidemiology Unit
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Multiple 
PI Contribution Provide expert advice on life course epidemiology, particularly in relation to lifetime influences on physical capability (the capacity to undertake the physical tasks of daily living) and musculoskeletal ageing.
Collaborator Contribution Administration of the grant and development of the toolkit
Impact Grant awarded to develop the toolkit
Start Year 2013
 
Description Population health sciences measurements toolkit 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provide expert advice on life course epidemiology, particularly in relation to lifetime influences on physical capability (the capacity to undertake the physical tasks of daily living) and musculoskeletal ageing.
Collaborator Contribution Administration of the grant and development of the toolkit
Impact Grant awarded to develop the toolkit
Start Year 2013
 
Description Population health sciences measurements toolkit 
Organisation University of Nottingham
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provide expert advice on life course epidemiology, particularly in relation to lifetime influences on physical capability (the capacity to undertake the physical tasks of daily living) and musculoskeletal ageing.
Collaborator Contribution Administration of the grant and development of the toolkit
Impact Grant awarded to develop the toolkit
Start Year 2013
 
Description Population health sciences measurements toolkit 
Organisation University of Southampton
Department MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Provide expert advice on life course epidemiology, particularly in relation to lifetime influences on physical capability (the capacity to undertake the physical tasks of daily living) and musculoskeletal ageing.
Collaborator Contribution Administration of the grant and development of the toolkit
Impact Grant awarded to develop the toolkit
Start Year 2013
 
Description Southampton Clinical Collaboration 
Organisation University of Southampton
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution A PL and PLT at LHA are co-supervisors to a Wellcome Trust Clinical Fellow based at Southampton University. Provide NSHD data, expertise, comment on research papers and analysis. This Fellowship has now been completed and the collaboration is continuing under a NIHR clinical lectureship.
Collaborator Contribution The Fellow analyses NSHD data, drafts research papers and grant applications NIHR fellowship Systematic review paper PMID: 26790455 Ireland A, Muthuri S, Rittweger J, Adams JE, Ward KA, Kuh D, Cooper R. Later Age at Onset of Independent Walking Is Associated with Lower Bone Strength at Fracture-Prone Sites in Older Men. J Bone Miner Res. 2017 Jun;32(6):1209-1217. PMID: 28181695 PMC5466883
Impact Dodds et al PMID: 23981980 PMID:25474696 PMID:26790455 NIHR fellowship awarded Paper in progress
Start Year 2013
 
Description Southampton and Manchester Bone Collaboration (Ireland, Ward) 
Organisation University of Southampton
Department MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Ongoing collaboration, drafting manuscripts, involves data sharing, analysis, interpretation and revision of manuscripts
Collaborator Contribution Ongoing collaboration, drafting manuscripts, involves data sharing, analysis, interpretation and revision of manuscripts provide bone expertise
Impact Ward - Bone and dietary health PMID 26817442 Cognition and bone paper submitted Ireland A Later Age at Onset of Independent Walking Is Associated with Lower Bone Strength at Fracture-Prone Sites in Older Men. PMID: 28181695 PMC5466883
Start Year 2016
 
Description The menopausal transition 
Organisation University of Bristol
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution One of our programme leaders is providing epidemiological expertise. Revision of papers
Collaborator Contribution Intepretation and analysis of data. Drafting and revision of papers
Impact Funding for a research grant from LLHW
Start Year 2010
 
Description University of Jvaskyla 
Organisation University of Jyvaskyla
Country Finland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provide life course expertise and NSHD data. Advise on data analysis and manuscript preparation
Collaborator Contribution Data analysis and manuscript creation
Impact von Bonsdorff PMID: 27037331, co-led 2 conference symposia
Start Year 2015
 
Description University of Jyväskylä Collaboration 
Organisation University of Jyvaskyla
Department Department of Health Sciences
Country Finland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution LHA shared NSHD data with a visting working from Finland. Contributions include data analysis, publication writing and editing manuscripts.
Collaborator Contribution Contributions include data analysis, publication writing and editing manuscripts
Impact PMID 25319998 Von Bonsdorff et al paper revised and resubmitted 'Mid-career work patterns and physical and mental functioning at age 60-64 years: Evidence from the 1946 British birth cohort'
Start Year 2013
 
Title New data sharing platform - Skylark 
Description Skylark is our new data sharing platform. Skylark is aimed at providing researchers with all the information they need to apply for survey data from the NSHD. Skylark is composed of two companion systems: A wiki (https://skylark.ucl.ac.uk) provides users with a detailed description of the study including all data collections across its 70+ years. The wiki includes: 1. background information about the NSHD; 2. all annotated questionnaires and other paper instruments; 3. a description of the major topics, including information on repeated measures and standard variables; 4. information about the variable search facility and guides on how to locate variables; 5. NSHD information governance; 6. a complete description of the NSHD data sharing process, including all the forms necessary to set up a data sharing agreement and submit a data access request. A variable search facility (https://skylark/ucl.ac.uk/Skylark) provides a platform to locate metadata covering more than 25,000 NSHD variables. Users will need to register, before they can log in to search for variables of interest, which can then be added to personal shopping baskets and saved. Following a successful data sharing application and satisfactory information security assessment, these baskets will then be processed by NSHD staff and the data sent out. This is different from our current data sharing platform, SWIFT, is that it is more secure, transparent and the process of data sharing will be more automated. 
Type Of Technology New/Improved Technique/Technology 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact We are in the testing phase, with a full launch scheduled for end of September / beginning of October. 
URL https://skylark.ucl.ac.uk
 
Description 72nd birthday card workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Two workshops were held with ~20 school students (year 9 and year 13) to discuss the history of cohort studies and why they are important. Students were then asked to design a birthday card for our study members using collage. They used old memorabilia from the study. This was a collaboration between a collage artist and two historians from LSHTM. A number of birthday cards were created and two were chosen to send to our study members. As a result of this collaboration a research paper about the history of the NSHD is in progress as well as another public engagement event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Article in The Conversation - Grip Strength 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Increased awareness of NSHD research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Article in new scientist and bbc 10 things we didn't know. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Article in new scientist and bbc 10 things we didn't know about NSHD research. https://www.newscientist.com/article/2104251-people-born-underweight-do-less-exercise-throughout-their-lives/ (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-37255890 https://wolterskluwer.altmetric.com/details/11008605).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Green Man 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Green Man 2018 - As part of this, with funding from MRC, researchers from UCL partnered with fanSHEN theatre company to create an activity to engage the public with findings from longitudinal life course research.
The successful collaboration led to the development of "Life Course golf course"; part crazy golf, part insight into research from longitudinal cohort studies. In this activity, festival goers were recruited into the life course-themed six-hole golf course. Their caddy (research scientists) navigated them through the 'life course golf course' by discussing and describing how studying birth cohorts have helped us to understand how early life factors can affect later health outcomes.
Over 1,500 adults and children successfully progressed through the course. With an audience made up of families, teenagers and adults who wouldn't normally attend a scientific event, it presented a fantastic opportunity to share about our research in a fun and creative way.
We have had lots of positive feedback and have been approached by other universities and even the Science Museum to explore re-running the activity at future events
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/cardiovascular/research/population-science-and-experimental-medicine/mrc-unit-...
 
Description Green Man Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Green Man Festival. Scientists from the Medical Research Council Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at UCL wanted to tell people all about their work- a UK birth cohort study of 5000 people who have been studied by the unit ever since they were born in 1946.

Funded by the Wellcome Trust, artists helped to transform the study into 'Tangle', an activity designed to represent how scientists gather up the threads of many people's lives and weave them together to answer research questions. Festival goers were asked to contribute their data on eight variables the scientists examine, for example stress, memory, and health behaviours. Instead of filling out questionnaires, the participants got a piece of coloured fabric for each of their answers, which they wound onto a rope to create their "life course". Anything else that they thought was important in their lives they wrote onto a fabric luggage tag to share with everyone.

More than 600 people came to talk to the scientists and make their own life course, which they then used to help answer a research question: "What is most important to your quality of life." Against the backdrop of Welsh mountains a tapestry frame stood displaying various answers such as, "health", "wealth" and "music" (well, it was a music festival). The new study members threaded their own life course into the section that represented them. It soon became obvious what was most important to their quality of life.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description HALCYon Project Summary Brochure 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A plain english brochure was created which summarised the main findings from the HALCyon research programme. It has been disseminated to study members, on our website and the New Dynamics of Ageing website and at conferences.

Increased awareness of the findings from the HALCyon programme and the cohorts that were used within this research programme
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description HALCYon book launch 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact A book launch was arranged to promote the findings from the HALCyon research programme

Shared knowledge of the HALCyon findings which were published in a book 'A life course approach to healthy ageing'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description International Innovation Article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact Programme Leader and Programme Leader track were interviewed about the NSHD, the need for life course data to be used in healthy ageing research and physical capability

Increased awareness of the NSHD, the MRC Unit for Life course Health and Ageing and the need to use life course research in healthy ageing research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Liverpool Policy Provocations 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Director took part in a debate about Ageing: more life or just more years? How can we make an ageing society a good thing? organised by Liverpool University Policy Provocations

Raising awareness of ageing and life course studies with the general public
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.liv.ac.uk/events/policy-provocations/ageing.php
 
Description MRC Festival of Medical Research 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Science Fair in South Cloisters with MRC LMCB and MRC Prion Unit. Our stall used a modified Green Man 2017 "Tangled"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.nshd.mrc.ac.uk/news-events/recent-news/mrc-festival-2018-blog/
 
Description MRC Festival of Medical Research Exhibition 70 years of... 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The activty showcased the history of the cohorts birthday cards as well as old letters from the study and how data used to be presented. The work was presented in a gallery space in collaboration with an art student from the Univerisyt of the arts as well as the president of the UCL medical and arts society. The idea was to create an art exhibition using historical items from the study
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description NDA findings brochure 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The New Dynamics of Ageing programme which funded the HALCyon programme created a findings document summerising the results of the HALCyon programme which was distributed to their local networks

Increased awareness of the HALCyon findings and a life course approach to healthy ageing. Increased awareness of longitudinal studies and the cohorts that were involved in HALCyon
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description NSHD 70th birthday events and media interest 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact The department organised two birthday events for our study members in London and Manchester. The parties gained significant media attention (print and feature on BBC news). The study member feedback was also very positive and the events were seen as a success.

Health Study - why we owe so much to the class of '46, The Observer
BBC News at 10, Tuesday 1st March
BBC Breakfast short version, Wednesday 2nd March
BBC Inside Science, Thursday 3rd March
The Naked Scientists, Monday 7th March
A video of the London event was created by Dreaming Fish on behalf of the MRC.
The NSHD also featured on a number of local BBC radio stations on Wednesday 1st March.
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
MRC Network Magazine
MRC Life Magazine
MRC Sound Cloud https://soundcloud.com/the_mrc/mrc-talks-episode-7
Sunday People http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/douglas-babies-who-helped-shape-7634768
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2016-03/05/c_135159132.htm
Study member interviewed on Radio Stoke 4 March 2016 14:26
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description NSHD paper cited in Men's Health article about maintaining muscle as you age 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Increased awareness of NSHD research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description New story on MRC website about Einstein's garden at Green Man Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact News story on the MRC public engagement section of their website detailing the activity we took part in for the Green Man Festival
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description News article on low birth weight babies 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact To share knowledge - News story written about findings that highlight that those people born with a low birth weight might require more support than others in order to achieve sustained physical activity throughout their lives for lesmills website
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.lesmills.com/knowledge/newsfeed/low-birth-weight-babies/
 
Description Presentation at American Heart Association conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact Director invited to give a presentation

A life course approach to cardiovascular health

Professors Diana Kuh and Rebecca Hardy
MRC Unit for Life Course Health and Ageing at UCL

American Heart Association
17th November 2013
Dallas Texas


Promoting life course approach to cardiovascular ageing to cardiac health professionals
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Press interest in RC physical capability in midlife 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Press interest in a paper published on physical capability in midlife and survival - numerous news articles and internet articles
PLT did an interview for The Telegraph

Increased awareness of the NSHD and life course approach used in research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Press release - Adult lifetime diet quality and physical performance in older age: findings from a British birth cohort 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Press release for scientific paper - picked up by some internet news websites focussed on nutrition
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Press story on biomarkers and physical capability 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Press story on biomarkers and physical capability: https://www.heart.org/en/news/2019/01/22/too-much-of-this-in-the-blood-could-predict-certain-signs-of-premature-aging. American Heart Association News
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description RC member of the International Longevity Centre UK Early and Mid Career Researcher Panel. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact A programme leader is a member of the International Longevity Centre UK Early and Mid Career Researcher Panel. ILC-UK is the leading think tank on longevity and demographic change. Providing opportunities for collaborative working and academic support to ILC-UK researchers, the panel brings together academics from a range of disciplines, with the aim of integrating academia and policy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Talk at Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Director gave a talk on healthy ageing at the Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution to increase awareness of the life course approach to healthy ageing

Increased awareness of healthy ageing, the life course approach used in research and the NSHD
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Ted Talk by Helen Pearson about The Life Project 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Scientists at the Unit contributed to Helen Pearson's book 'The Life Project'. Helen gave a talk featureing the NSHD for TED. It has had 1,649,889 views and has increased the awareness of the NSHD and longitudinal research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.ted.com/talks/helen_pearson_lessons_from_the_longest_study_on_human_development