CHANCES aims at combining and integrating on-going cohort studies in order to produce evidence on ageing-related health characteristics and determinants in Europe, and their socio-economic implications. 15 cohorts participate, covering populations from 18 EU Member States, 4 associate countries, and 3 additional countries. The combination of these different studies would lead to an integrated approach to the study of health in the elderly. CHANCES will address 5 main types of health related characteristics: (i) incidence of chronic conditions, disabilities and mortality; (ii) prevalence of chronic conditions and disabilities; (iii) health-related determinants of chronic conditions and disabilities; (iv) ageing-related characteristics as determinants of chronic condition, disabilities and mortality; and (v) social and economic implications of chronic conditions, disabilities and mortality in the elderly. Analyses will be conducted in subjects aged 50-59, 60-69 and 70+ years. Health-related determinants comprise (i) socio-economic factors (e.g. education, income), (ii) environmental factors (e.g. occupational exposures), (iii) lifestyle factors (e.g. tobacco smoking, alcohol drinking), and (iv) nutritional factors (e.g. BMI, dietary patterns), in addition to biomakers and genetic factors. 4 major groups of chronic conditions and disabilities will be studied: (i) cancer; (ii) diabetes and cardiovascular diseases; (iii) fractures and osteoporosis; (iv) cognitive function and Alzheimer disease. Information on other conditions and disabilities (e.g. eye diseases, chronic respiratory conditions) will be also collected if available. Mortality will be assessed in terms of age-specific rates a well as DALYs. A health module will be developed, to be applied to other population surveys. Additionally, the study will generate a unique resource for additional studies on health and its determinants in the elderly. Provisions will be made to allow for this work to be extended.
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