Initiative / HALCyon

Healthy Ageing across the Life Course

Healthy Ageing across the Life Course

HALCyon logo
Studies 9
This interdisciplinary collaborative programme aims to identify how healthy ageing is affected by factors operating across life using data from nine UK cohort studies.
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Investigators Contacts

General Information

Year created
Types of cohorts
  • Population cohort
  • United Kingdom
This project received funding from the New Dynamics of Ageing, coordinated by the UKRI Economic and Social Research Council - ESRC (2008-2014) (RES-353-25-0001)
Criteria of cohort's to be included
The project focus on studies based in the UK with life course data and specific ageing outcomes measured in midlife or old age and/or repeat measures of capability in later life
Health topic
  • Ageing
Socio-environmental context
  • NA


Number of participants


Age range of the samples

Minimum age
Maximum age

Methodology for harmonization and integration

Strategy of harmonization
Data processing methods
  • NA
  • Type of infrastructure
    Some centrally, other locally
    Integrative data analysis
    • Meta-analyses
    • Pooled analyses
  • Stata
  • Supplementary information
    Examples of outputs from this collaborative project: Alfred T, Ben-Shlomo Y, Cooper R, Hardy R, Cooper C, Deary IJ, Elliott J, Gunnell D, Harris SE, Kivimaki M, Kumari M, Martin RM, Power C, Sayer AA, Starr JM, Kuh D, Day IN; HALCyon Study Team. Associations between APOE and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol genotypes and cognitive and physical capability: the HALCyon programme. Age (Dordr). 2014;36(4):9673. doi: 10.1007/s11357-014-9673-9. Epub 2014 Jul 30. Birnie K, Cooper R, Martin RM, Kuh D, Aihie Sayer A, Alvarado BE, Bayer A, Christensen K, Cho S, Cooper C, Corley J, Craig L, Deary IJ, Demakakos P, Ebrahim S, Gallacher J, Gow AJ, Gunnell D, Haas S, Hemmingsson T, Inskip H, Jang S, Noronha K, Osler M, Palloni A, Rasmussen F, Santos-Eggimann B, Spagnoli J, Starr J, Steptoe A, Syddall H, Tynelius P, Weir D, Whalley LJ, Zunzunegui MV, Ben-Shlomo Y, Hardy R on behalf of the HALCyon study team. Childhood socioeconomic position and objectively measured physical capability levels in adulthood: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS ONE 2011; 6(1):e15564. Cooper R et al. Age and Gender Differences in Physical Capability Levels from Mid-Life Onwards: The Harmonisation and Meta-Analysis of Data from Eight UK Cohort Studies. PlosOne, 2011, Volume 6, Issue 11, e27899 Cooper R, Stafford M, Hardy R, Aihie Sayer A, Ben-Shlomo Y, Cooper C, Craig L, Deary IJ, Gallacher J, McNeill G, Starr JM, Kuh D and Gale CR on behalf of the HALCyon study team Physical capability and subsequent positive mental wellbeing in older people: findings from five HALCyon cohorts. AGE 2014;36:445-456 Gardner MP, Martin-Ruiz C, Cooper R, Hardy R, Sayer AA, Cooper C, Deary IJ, Gallacher J, Harris SE, Shiels PG, Starr JM, Kuh D, von Zglinicki T, Ben-Shlomo Y and the HALCyon study team. Telomere length and physical performance at older ages:an individual participant meta-analysis. PLoS One 2013 8(7): e69526 Hardy R, Cooper R, Aihie Sayer A, Ben-Shlomo Y, Cooper C, Deary IJ, Demakakos P, Gallacher J, Martin RM, McNeill G, Starr JM, Steptoe A, Syddall H, Kuh D on behalf of the HALCyon study team. Body mass index, muscle strength and physical performance in older adults from eight cohort studies: the HALCyon programme. PLoS One 2013;8(2):e56483

    Number of cohorts

    With harmonized data
    Will more cohorts be harmonized?


    Availability of metadata
    Availability of individual data

    Individual Studies

    Acronym Name Study design Participants Countries
    ABC1936 Aberdeen birth cohort 1936 (ABC1936) Population cohort 498
    BOYD Boyd Orr cohort Population cohort 4,999
    CaPS Caerphilly Prospective Study Population cohort 2,959
    ELSA English Longitudinal Study of Ageing Population cohort 12,099 United Kingdom
    HAS Hertfordshire Ageing Study (HAS) Population cohort 6,803
    HCS The Hertfordshire Cohort Study Population cohort 3,000
    LBC The Lothian Birth Cohort 1921 / 1936 Population cohort 1,091
    NCDS National Child Development Study Population cohort 17,634
    NSHD MRC National Survey of Health and Development Population cohort 5,362