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Lifestyles and socioeconomic predictors of successful ageing.

Research project The overall objective of this project is to investigate risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia diseases with a specific focus on the impact of education, occupational complexity, and leisure activities.

A better understanding of which factors can be related to cognitive decline and dementia diseases may help slow down or even prevent the disablement process. Research that illuminates factors underlying the preserved functions into old age could in extension result in effective interventions that can be interpreted earlier in life to promote healthy cognitive ageing.

Head of project

Anna Sundström
Associate professor, associate professor (absent), other position
E-mail
Email

Project overview

Project period:

2012-01-01 2015-12-31

Funding

The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences, 2012-2015: SEK 2,040,000

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences

Research subject

Psychology

Project description

The population in most industrialised countries is ageing rapidly, and understanding what factors enhance successful ageing is a major challenge. Although considerable research has been devoted to factors associated with cognitive ageing, rather less focus has been placed on the interaction among these factors. Furthermore, much information has been received from cross-sectional research, and examining risk factors over the life course is particularly valuable since cognitive decline and dementia diseases usually develop over a long period and several years before symptoms appear. In this project we can extend such an approach with longitudinal analyses. Examining the characteristics of successful cognitive ageing will benefit from an interdisciplinary approach that involves scientists from several fields. This project will be conducted within the interdisciplinary research programme, Ageing and Living Conditions (ALC), Umeå University. The ALC centre holds the newly developed Linnaeus database, which combines data from several different longitudinal Swedish databases. The unique Linnaeus database opens opportunities for new research into the relation among cognitive ageing, dementia, health, lifestyle behaviours, and socioeconomic conditions. The aim of this interdisciplinary project is to investigate risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia diseases with a specific focus on the impact of education, occupational complexity, and leisure activities.