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News and Events Archive: 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011

TILDA's 2015 Newsletter now available online

Articles include key research findings over the past year, including the prevalence of undiagnosed disease and the impact of TILDA research on traffic signal settings. 

Newsletter2015Notable achievements and events are recognised in this new look edition, such as the forthcoming free online course Strategies for Successful Ageing and our involvement with the launch of the Global Brain Health Institute.

In this edition we also shine the spotlight on researcher Dr. Catriona Murphy and her work in the area of cardiovascular health.  

Click here to download the full newsletter




Walking For 150 Minutes Per Week Associated With Improved Wellbeing In Over-50s

New research by Trinity’s Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing

New research using data from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) at Trinity College Dublin shows that being physically active, for example by walking for at least 150 minutes per week, is associated with more social participation and better mental health and wellbeing. However, only three out of five Irish adults aged 50 years and over walk for the recommended target of at least 150 minutes per week. The findings, which come from two separate reports, are summarised in a Research Brief released by TILDA today, 14th January 2016. The findings show that:

  • Two-thirds of the Irish population aged 50 years and older report low or moderate levels of physical activity while only one-third report high levels of activity, based on the International Physical Activity Questionnaire.

  • Middle-aged and older Irish adults with high levels of physical activity report greater participation in social activities, less anxiety, better quality of life, and less loneliness compared to those with low physical activity levels.

  • Middle-aged and older adults with low levels of physical activity are over twice as likely to have clinically relevant depressive symptoms as those with high levels of physical activity (14% versus 6%).

  • Interventions should specifically target women, older adults, those in employment, those who are not engaged in non-church related social activities and those living in built up areas such as apartments.

These findings also provide a profile of those who are less active which can be used to ensure that the appropriate groups are targeted for intervention as part of health promotion campaigns and initiatives. Dr. Orna Donoghue, Project Manager on TILDA said: “Walking is a simple and accessible activity for most people and walking just 150 minutes is sufficient to achieve improved mental health and better quality of life”. Lead author on the Age and Ageing paper, Dr Gabrielle McKee commented: “Many of the factors associated with physical activity such as participation in social activities, sitting behaviours, body mass index and mental health are modifiable and therefore open to intervention at both an individual and a health promotion level.”Co-author and Principal Investigator of TILDA, Professor Rose Anne Kenny, said: “Policies and initiatives aimed at increasing physical activity including walking have the potential to improve physical and mental health, social engagement and overall wellbeing among the over 50s in Ireland.”These findings underscore the vital contribution that current initiatives such as the Get Ireland Active plan, launched today by the Department of Health, and future policies to promote physical activity may make in optimising health and wellbeing amongst the ageing population.



Link: Full Report

Link: Research Brief

Link: TCD Press Release

Link: TILDA Academic Papers

Media Contacts: 

  • Dr Orna Donoghue, Project Manager, The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), Trinity College Dublin. Email: Tel: +353 1 896 4391, +353 87 971 8194
  • Dr Matthew O’Connell, Research Fellow, The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), Trinity College Dublin. Email: Tel: +353 1 896 4392, +353 85 199 7653
  • Dr Gabrielle McKee, Research Fellow, Associate Professor in Biological Sciences, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin. Email: gmckee@tcd.ieTel: +353 1 896 2779, +353 86 344 1881.

Report Details:

  • Donoghue O, O’Connell M. Research Brief: Physical activity in community-dwelling older Irish adults. Dublin: The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing, January 2016.
  • Donoghue O, O'Connell M, Kenny RA. Walking to Wellbeing: Physical Activity, Social Participation and Psychological Health in Irish adults aged 50 years and Older. Dublin: The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), January 2016.
  • McKee G, Kearney PM, Kenny RA. The factors associated with self-reported physical activity in older adults living in the community. Age and Ageing. 2015;44: 586-592.


November 2015

10% of Diabetes Cases among Adults aged 50+ are undiagnosed – New Research by The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing Shows

New research shows that 10% of adults aged 50 and over in Ireland, the equivalent to 120,000 older adults, have type 2 diabetes, rising to 16% in those aged 80 and over. The study from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), led by Trinity College Dublin further reveals that one in ten cases of the disease are undiagnosed in this population. A further 5.5% of the older population have pre-diabetes, placing them at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. The new research has just been published in the prestigious Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice and was discussed at the TILDA Conference for better policies for ageing in Ireland.

Key Findings:

  • 1 in 10 of the population aged over 50 in Ireland had diabetes, the equivalent to 120,000 people aged over 50 in Ireland. The majority had their diabetes diagnosed but a substantial proportion of those with diabetes were undiagnosed (1 in 10).
  • The prevalence of pre-diabetes was 5.5%. These people are at increased risk of developing diabetes.
  • 1 in 10 of the population aged over 50 in Ireland had diabetes, the equivalent to 120,000 people aged over 50 in Ireland. The majority had their diabetes diagnosed but a substantial proportion of those with diabetes were undiagnosed (1 in 10).
  • Type 2 diabetes was more common in men (12%) than women (7%) and increased with age from 5% in 50-59 year olds to 16% in those aged 80+.
  • There is a strong relationship between being male and both diabetes and pre-diabetes. A self-reported history of hypertension and being centrally obese also had strong relationships with both diabetes and pre-diabetes.
  • There was a strong relationship with increasing age, a self-reported history of high cholesterol, having poor or fair self-rated health and reporting low levels of physical activity with having diabetes.
  • Undiagnosed type 2 diabetes was more common outside of Dublin; compared to those living in Dublin city or county, persons living in other urban or rural areas were more likely to have undiagnosed diabetes.
  • Private health insurance holders were less likely to have undiagnosed diabetes compared to those with neither public nor private medical costs cover.
  • This research is unique because it provides the first national prevalence of diagnosed, undiagnosed and pre-diabetes in older Irish adults and shows that our rates of diabetes are similar to those of other European countries.

    Type 2 diabetes is a leading cause of death and disability in Ireland and internationally. Diabetes is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks, heart failure, kidney disease and falls, resulting in disability, loss of independence and early mortality. Consequently, diabetes accounts for approximately 10% of Irish healthcare expenditure.

    The study also shows that diabetes is more common in men than women. People with diabetes, compared to those without the condition, are more likely to be obese, have low levels of physical activity and suffer from other health conditions such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

    Speaking about the findings, lead author, Dr. Siobhan Leahy said “These findings confirm for the first time the total burden of type 2 diabetes in older adults in Ireland. While efforts are underway to improve care and access to services for those with diabetes a significant number of older adults with diabetes remain undiagnosed and therefore untreated. Lifestyle factors are clearly associated with diabetes and pre-diabetes and public health campaigns promoting the benefits of a healthy lifestyle may help reduce the future incidence of diabetes in Ireland and lessen complications in those with diagnosed diabetes”

    Principal Investigator of the TILDA Study and senior author of the study, Professor Rose Anne Kenny added: “Diabetes and its related complications account for up to 10% of healthcare expenditure annually. Timely diagnosis and treatment of the disease are key to reducing this healthcare burden. However our findings emphasise that there is still a significant proportion of Irish adults with diabetes who remain undiagnosed, and targeted screening may help to reduce this.”

    The full paper is available here.

    For further information contact Dr Siobhan Leahy:

    One in three Irish adults aged 65-74 years walk slower than the speed required to cross the road

    Using data from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), researchers from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland have reported that one in three Irish adults aged 65-74 years do not have enough time to cross the road at pedestrian light crossings. The findings are published in a report released by TILDA on 12th November.

    In Ireland, the green man signals an invitation for pedestrians to start to cross the road. The amber man indicates that pedestrians should continue to cross the road if they have already started but that they should not begin to cross. If a pedestrian starts to cross just before the light changes from green to amber, pedestrians must walk at a minimum walking speed of 1.2 metres per second (m/s) to cross the road. Based on their usual walking speed, one in three Irish adults aged 65-74 years and three in five adults aged 75 years and older walk slower than 1.2 m/s and therefore would not have enough time to cross the road in the time provided at the pedestrian crossings. Women walk more slowly than men and therefore, a larger proportion of women are affected compared to men at all ages.

    Walking while carrying out another task typically results in even slower walking speeds. Three out of every four Irish adults aged 65 years and older walk slower than 1.2 m/s when performing a cognitive task while walking. This suggests that an education and awareness campaign highlighting the importance of giving full attention to the task of crossing the road and targeting changes in pedestrian behaviour is required.

    Speaking about the significance of these findings for older people, lead author Dr. Orna Donoghue, who is Project Manager on TILDA said: “Crossing the road is an important part of everyday life for many people but these findings highlight that pedestrian light settings often do not match older adults’ walking abilities. Not being able to cross the road comfortably can impact on older adults’ social engagement, physical activity, functional independence and quality of life.”

    The report illustrates that increasing the duration of the pedestrian light signals would allow a greater proportion of older people to cross the road. However, Dr Donoghue highlighted that “The impact on traffic flow, driver behaviours and the needs of all road users should be considered before introducing a significant change.”

    Over the past months, the authors have been working closely with Dublin City Council to review the pedestrian crossings in the city. As a result of this collaboration, the duration of the amber light has been increased at over 30 crossings in Dublin.

    Co-author and Principal Investigator of TILDA, Professor Rose Anne Kenny said: “Crossing the road is a concern for many older adults. Ideally, changes to the pedestrian light settings should rely on evidence-based data. TILDA can provide this for older Irish adults and therefore it is in a unique position to contribute to this evidence-base.”

    It is important to remember that there are also some steps that pedestrians can take themselves to make crossing the road a more comfortable experience. These include staying physically active to maintain their walking speed, starting to cross the road when the green man appears and avoiding distractions when crossing.

    The report is available by contacting the TILDA Team at the details below.

    Media Contacts: 
    Sarah Bowman, Director of Public Engagement, The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), Trinity College Dublin. Email: Tel: + 353 1 896 2945.

    Orna Donoghue, Project Manager, The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), Trinity College Dublin. Email: Tel: +353 1 896 4391.

    The 2015 TILDA Conference - Evidence for Policymakers, held at the Mansion House

    The 2015 TILDA Conference - Evidence for Policymakers was held on Tuesday 10th November, in partnership with Age Friendly Ireland and Dublin City’s Age Friendly Alliance. The conference was opened by Kathleen Lynch, TD and hosted by The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Críona Ní Dhálaigh at the Manison House, Dublin. The conference saw the presentation of key findings emerging across Health, Transport, Economic and Smart Ageing sectors in Ireland and lively discussion amongst the speakers.

    Copies of conference materials can be found via the links posted below.

    Conference Programme: here

    Evidence for Policymakers - Key Findings Document : here

    Copies of Speaker Presentations:
    Dr Graham Love, Chief Executive, Health Research Board
    Professor Rose Anne Kenny, TILDA Principal Investigator, Trinity College Dublin
    Brendan O’Brien, Head of Technical Services (Traffic), Dublin City Council
    Dr Orna Donoghue, TILDA Project Manager
    Martin Diskin, Principal Officer, Sustainable Transport Policy Division Department of Transport
    Professor Alan Barrett, Director, Economic and Social Research Institute
    Jane Williams, Chair, Pensions Authority & Dublin Age Friendly City Alliance
    Dr Diarmuid O’Brien, Director, Trinity Research & Innovation, Trinity College Dublin
    Professor Richard Reilly, Neural Engineering and Ageing, Trinity College Dublin
    Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland

    October 2015

    TILDA marks the 25TH Anniversary of UN International Day of Older Persons by Thanking Participants for Their Contributions

    Researchers with The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) at Trinity College Dublin are marking the 25th Anniversary of the UN International Day of Older Persons by saying thank you to the 8,000+ participants who have participated in the study since it launched.

    “To develop an environment for ageing well in Ireland, we need to explore the factors which determine successful ageing,” said Principal Investigator Rose Anne Kenny, “and the participation of older adults in TILDA has been remarkable.”

    From the very start, older adults in Ireland have embraced TILDA as evidenced by their commitment to the study, which includes an interview, self-completed questionnaire and a health assessment.  Everyday older people travel from across Ireland to visit Trinity College Dublin to take part in this study.

    “More than 8,000 older adults from across the country have participated in three waves of data collection, enabling researchers to determine how we can improve health and well-being,” noted Research Director Dr Christine McGarrigle.   

    TILDA researchers are utilising these data to uncover the health, social, economic, environmental and genetic factors which contribute to ageing and to determine modifiable factors that influence ageing.  

    Those key findings emerging from TILDA are influencing policies at local, national and international levels, in addition to influencing clinical practices.  The impacts of this nationally-representative study are significant.

    “Because of TILDA, we now know how common high blood pressure is in older adults in Ireland (64%) and we also know that almost half of those with this silent killer are unaware of their condition, therefore exposing their heart, brain and kidneys to the damaging consequences,” shared Dr Catriona Murphy.

    The TILDA team also discovered that two-thirds of Irish adults with atrial fibrillation – a leading contributor to stroke, heart disease and dementia – are either undiagnosed or mistreated. These findings led to an awareness campaign by the Irish Heart Foundation, and TILDA research was utilised by the HSE in developing its National Clinical Guidelines and recommendations for the care of people with stroke. 

    This is just one example of many emerging from TILDA in which research is translated into policies and clinical practices. 

    Researchers are learning more about happiness and wellbeing, along with how retirement affects individuals.  The study highlighted the contributions older people make daily to their families and communities through childcare, financial assistance and a number of other intergenerational transfers. 

    TILDA is being harmonised against other longitudinal studies around the world, teaching researchers here and abroad.  The beauty of a longitudinal study is that it gets richer as it ages – providing wave after wave of data – and allowing researchers to assess policy impacts on the general population, for example.   

    “As we celebrate this International Day of Older Persons, we want to recognise the tremendous contributions of older adults to world-leading research in Ageing,” remarked Professor Kenny. “Thank you for your time, your commitment, and for improving health and well-being today – and for generations to come.”


    September 2015

    Professor Finbarr Martin becomes President-elect of EUGMS

    Congratulations to Professor Finbarr Martin, former President of the British Geriatrics Society, on his election as President-Elect of EUGMS (the European Union Geriatric Medicine Society) with effect from January 2016. A long time supporter of TILDA, Prof Martin is a sitting member of the TILDA Scientific Advisory Board.
    Prof Martin will automatically succeed to the post of President in 2 years' time, after the incoming President, Professor Stefania Maggi of Padova, completes her two-year term. 

    Speaking after the announcement, Professor Martin said:

    "EUGMS has now grown into a serious force for good in the clinical science and policy about effective healthcare of older people. I am honoured to be able to play a leading role in continuing this journey.

    European countries have much to learn from each other and the EUGMS and its journal, European Geriatric Medicine, will be a key player in spreading the wisdom and determination needed if we are to rise to the challenges and grasp the opportunities of our ageing societies" 

    The BGS sends its warmest congratulations to Professor Maggi and Professor Martin and wishes them well in these crucial roles. 
    Professor Martin will be the third former BGS President to subsequently become EUGMS President.

    Notes to editors:
    For further information about the British Geriatrics Society, contact Ed Gillett on / 0207 608 8572 

    The British Geriatrics Society (BGS) is the professional association of doctors practising geriatric medicine, nurses, GPs, therapists and others with a particular interest in the healthcare of older people and in promoting better health in old age. It has over 3,000 members and is the only society in the UK offering specialist expertise in the wide range of healthcare needs of older people.

    Follow the BGS on Twitter @GeriSoc


    Topic Report: Demographic and health profile of older adults utilising public health nursing services in Ireland: Findings from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA)

    A new report by The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing on older people’s use of public health nursing services in Ireland was launched today by Dr. Catriona Murphy of TILDA at the annual general meeting of the Institute of Community Health Nursing. The report examines the demographic and health profile of those utilising Public Health Nursing services and their satisfaction with the service. The study was commissioned by the Institute of Community Health Nursing (ICHN).

    Key findings include:

    • 6.6% of adults aged 50 years and older utilised public health nursing (PHN) services in 2009, the equivalent to 79,173 in the population
    • Utilisation was highest in those aged 85 years and older where over a third (33.7%) utilised PHN services
    • Almost a quarter (24.3%) of those who self-rate their health as poor utilised PHN services
    • Over a third (38.5%) of those with both an activity of daily living (ADL) difficulty and instrumental activity of daily living (IADL) difficulty utilised PHN services
    • Satisfaction with the PHN service was high (90%), with dissatisfaction mostly related to insufficient service provision

    Commenting on the study, author, Dr Catriona Murphy said “These findings have implications for policymakers and practitioners in the context of an ageing population. The high utilisation of PHN services by those aged 85 years and older is a key finding given the absolute increase in the numbers of older adults in this age category in the last Census of Ireland and the expected increase in this age category in the future. The PHN service appears to be responding to the needs of those with an activity of daily living difficulty and instrumental activity of daily living difficulty - and satisfaction with this service is high”.

    Principal Investigator of TILDA, Professor Rose Anne Kenny commented “The picture painted here of the changes in service utilisation across a two year period is one of a dynamic PHN service which responds to changing levels of need in the older population. The high mortality rate in PHN service users points to a service with an important role in end of life care for individuals and their families in the community”.

    The full report is available here

    August 2015

    Statin use in adults at high risk of cardiovascular disease mortality: cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from TILDA

    Dr. Catriona Murphy (HRB ICE Research Fellow) of TILDA and published in BMJopen examines the extent to which statins are used by adults at high risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared to European clinical guidelines. The high risk groups examined were those with (1) known CVD (2) known diabetes and (3) a high or very high risk of CVD mortality based on Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE).
    This is a cross-sectional study based on the first wave of TILDA. The sample is representative of community living adults aged 50-64 years in Ireland.
    Key findings include

    • 68.8% of those with known CVD, 57.4% of those with known diabetes and 19.7% of adults with a high or very high SCORE risk were taking statins
    • Targets for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) specified in European guidelines were not reached by over a third of those with known CVD, 46.8% of those with known diabetes and 85.2% of those with a high or very high SCORE risk

    Commenting on the study, lead author, Dr Catriona Murphy said “Despite strong evidence and clinical guidelines recommending the use of statins in individuals with existing cardiovascular disease, a gap exists between guidelines and practice in community living adults in Ireland. The policy implications of these findings are that secondary prevention needs to be strengthened at primary care level to reduce the risk of future CVD events in this population. For the remainder of the population without evidence of CVD, population strategies for primary prevention are required as well as opportunistic risk assessment to identify those at high risk of future CVD in order to establish best practice in primary prevention”.

    Co-Authors include Dr. K. Bennett TCD, Prof T. Fahey RCSI, Prof E. Shelley HSE, Prof I Graham Tallaght Hospital and Prof RA. Kenny TCD

    This study was funded by a HRB Interdisciplinary Capacity Enhancement Award (grant number : ICE/2012/7)

    The full paper is available here

    July 2015

    Scientists Discover link Between Common Medications and Serious Falls in Older Men

    Analysis of data from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) revealed that falls causing injury were more than twice as likely in older men taking a particular group of commonly used medicines.

    Using data from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), scientists from Trinity College Dublin, St James’s Hospital, Dublin, Ireland and three UK Universities have discovered a significant link between serious falls causing injury in older men and a particular group of commonly used medicines. The findings are published today by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

    Many medicines which are commonly prescribed for older people for bladder problems, depression, psychosis, insomnia, and respiratory problems, have anti-cholinergic effects. The medications affect the brain by blocking a key chemical called acetylcholine which is involved in passing messages between nerve cells. This can lead to side effects including blurred vision, increased heart rate, sedation and confusion.

    Previous studies have shown an impact on cognitive function and mortality from taking multiple anti-cholinergic medicines. In this important new study, the researchers led by Dr Kathryn Richardson who carried out the research at the Department of Gerontology in Trinity and at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of East Anglia, examined whether the use of such medicines increased the risk of subsequent serious falls (which caused injury) in people aged over 65 years in Ireland.

    Using the TILDA data which recorded the medications the participants were taking and the number and type of falls they had experienced, the team found that falls resulting in injury were more than twice as likely in men taking medicines with potent anti-cholinergic activity. The effect remained even after accounting for differences in health and other risk factors for falls. A greater use of such medicines increased the risk for these men further. There was no such association for women, however.

    Speaking about the significance of these findings for prescribing practices in older people, lead author Dr Kathryn Richardson, a former PhD student at Trinity, who is now a Research Fellow at the University of East Anglia said: “Our findings indicate the importance for doctors, pharmacists and healthcare professionals to regularly review the appropriateness of medications taken by their older patients. It is however, important that people don’t stop taking any medications before speaking with their GP. It is not fully clear why the same link was not found in women and further research is needed to explore this and the reasons behind the findings in men”.

    Dr Richardson continued: “Experiencing a fall can have a devastating impact on older people’s lives and is a major contributor to care home admission and hospitalisation, so it is vitally important for us to find ways to reduce the risk of falls or their severity.”

    Senior author and Principal Investigator of TILDA Professor Rose Anne Kenny said: “Falls are one of the leading causes of loss of independence as people get older and the principal reason given for admission into nursing home care in Europe. If early risk factors are identified and modified, falls can be prevented. This paper highlights important new risk factors for falls.”

    Dr Chris Fox, Clinical Reader/Honorary Consultant Psychogeriatrician at the University of East Anglia said: “With the rising levels of frailty in older people we must develop strategies to maintain health and avoid prescribing medicines which could cause a deterioration- such an approach could be simply implemented using tools available”

    Dr Ian Maidment, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy at Aston University said: “After a fall, an older person may never regain the same quality of life. This research helps us to understand how medication is linked to falls. It is vital that doctors, nurses and pharmacists review medication if someone has suffered a recent fall.”

    The paper is available by contacting Yolanda Kennedy at the details below.

    Media Contacts:
    Yolanda Kennedy, Press Officer for the Faculty of Health Sciences, Trinity College Dublin | | + 353 1 8963551

    Kathryn Richardson former PhD student at Trinity, who is now a Research Fellow at the University of East Anglia, (+44 1603 591070), or contact Yolanda Kennedy at the above details.

    June 2015

    Congratulations to Dr. Matthew O'Connell: Beeson-CARDI Fellow

    A huge congratulations to TILDA's own Dr. Matthew O'Connell, on the announcement of his Beeson-CARDI Fellowship.

    The Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI) announced it's four new Fellows from its third leadership funding call on Thursday (25th June).

    Dr. O'Connell's Fellowship is one of two prestigious Beeson-funded CARDI Fellowships. This is a joint venture with the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) and the funding is from the Beeson Career Development Awards in Aging Research.

    For more information about Dr. O'Connell's research, click here

    €2 million boost for leadership in ageing research

    The Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI) announced four new CARDI Fellows from its third leadership funding call.  The call is a joint venture with the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) and two of the research fellows are being funded under its Beeson Career Development Awards in Aging Research. The leadership programme is aimed at supporting and building capacity in ageing research across the island of Ireland and promoting the development of future leaders.

    The new CARDI fellows are Dr Sheena McHugh, University College Cork and Dr Céline De Looze, Trinity College Dublin (TCD). The Beeson-sponsored CARDI Fellows are Dr Claire McEvoy, Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) and Dr Matthew O’Connell, TCD.

    The four research Fellows will receive funding to carry out vital research into ageing issues, including communication strategies and cognitive impairment; the links between diet and cognitive decline; frailty, mobility and disability; and falls prevention for older people with diabetes.

    “CARDI is delighted to announce four new Fellows under its Leadership Programme and we look forward to working with them to develop their skills as high quality researchers in ageing,” said Professor Davis Coakley, CARDI co-chair. “The collaboration with AFAR marks an important development for ageing research. The research funded under this programme promises to provide key evidence to policy makers and benefit older people, as well as creating a new generation of leaders within the academic community in Ireland, North and South.”

    Dr Thomas Gill, Chair of the Advisory Committee for the Beeson Career Development Award commented, “The quality of applicants for the CARDI Fellowship was outstanding, making the review highly competitive, and we were pleased with the selection of the new CARDI fellows who are well positioned to make important contributions to the field of ageing research.”

    “We are delighted to support two CARDI fellows through our Beeson Program in Ireland”, said AFAR Director of Grant Programs, Odette van der Willik. “The Atlantic Philanthropies’ investment in ageing research through the Beeson Scholars and the CARDI Leadership programmes is greatly impacting the health and quality of life of older adults throughout Ireland.”

    The announcement of the four Fellows brings to nine the total number of Fellowships awarded under CARDI’s Leadership Programme and an investment of some €2 million in ageing research. The other Fellows are Dr Joanne Feeney, Dr Joanna McHugh, Dr Charlotte Neville and Dr Mark O’Doherty based in QUB, and Dr Aisling O’Halloran based in TCD.

    For more information go to

    Notes for editors
    The CARDI Leadership Programme in Ageing Research was launched in 2013 and two calls for applicants were made in October 2013 and January 2014. Five fellowships were awarded in 2014 and a further four announced today (25 June 2015).
    The programme is overseen by the CARDI Steering Group and advised by an International Scientific Advisory Panel consisting of: Professor Anne Martin-Matthews, University of British Columbia, Canada; Professor William R Hazzard, J. Paul Sticht Center on Aging, USA; Professor Carol Jagger, Institute for Ageing and Health, Newcastle University, UK; and Dr Giovanni Lamura, National Institute of Health and Science on Ageing, Italy.
    The CARDI Leadership Programme in Ageing Research is funded by the Health and Social Care Research and Development Division Northern Ireland, The Atlantic Philanthropies and the American Federation for Aging Research’s Paul Beeson Career Development Awards in Aging Research.

    What is CARDI?
    CARDI is a not for profit organisation developed by leaders from the ageing field across Ireland (North and South) including researchers, academics, statutory, voluntary and community sector representatives with support from The Atlantic Philanthropies. CARDI funds, publishes and disseminates research on topics relating to ageing and older people.

    What is AFAR?
    For 30 years, the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) has supported the science of healthier aging. AFAR has played a major role in advancing knowledge of aging and mechanisms of age-related disease by providing grants to more than 2,800 talented scientists.

    For media queries contact:  
    Paul McGill, Strategic Research Officer, CARDI, telephone 00 44 (0) 28 9069 0066, email

    May 2015

    TILDA findings on formal home-care utilisation by older adults presented at major nursing conference in Dublin today

    Research led by Dr. Catriona Murphy (HRB Research Fellow) of TILDA and published in Health and Social Care in the Community reveals that 8.2% of those aged 65 years and older in Ireland are utilising publicly financed formal home-care in the form of domestic help and/or personal care. This is equivalent to more than 41,000 older adults utilising these services in the Irish population.

    • Utilisation of formal home-care increased by age from 1.6% of those aged 65-69 years to 30.3% of those aged 85 years and older
    • Self-reported difficulty with carrying out household activity, older age and living alone were strong independent drivers of home-care utilisation
    • Self-reported difficulty with carrying out personal care activity was not found to be a driver of home-care utilisation
    • Almost half of those utilising formal home-care reported no difficulty carrying out household activity or personal care activity. This finding requires further investigation.
    Commenting on the study, lead author, Dr Catriona Murphy said “The findings reveal a formal home-care system which is focused on providing assistance to those who experience difficulty with household activity as opposed to difficulty with personal care activity. No evidence was found to suggest that the home-care system is shifting to a greater emphasis on personal care which is a key requirement in order to reduce the need for long-term residential care in the future. The absence of a uniform system to assess older people’s need for home-care is a major barrier to shifting the focus from domestic help to personal care. As the number of older adults increases in our population the current system of assessing need and allocating home-care is not sustainable into the future and requires a focused policy response.”

    The study was funded by the Irish Health Research Board (HRB) under grant [Scholars PhD/2007/16]

    Co-Authors include BJ Whelan TCD and Prof C. Normand TCD

    The abstract of the paper is available here:

    For further information please contact

    April 2015

    TILDA Study on High Blood Pressure Finds High Prevalence, Low Awareness and Treatment Disparities

    Research led by Dr. Catriona Murphy (HRB ICE Research Fellow) of TILDA and newly published in the Journal of Public Health, estimates that 64% of the over 50s in Ireland have high blood pressure; equivalent to 797,000 people in this age group. High blood pressure is a leading cause of stroke, heart disease, kidney disease and premature death and disability.

    Other key findings from this study include:

    • 45% of those with high blood pressure were unaware of their condition. Lack of awareness was highest in men and in the younger age groups.
    • In those with high blood pressure, 59% were taking medication to reduce it. Older adults with no medical card were significantly less likely to be on medication to control their blood pressure, compared to those who did have a medical card.
    • Almost half of those who were on medication to control hypertension did not have their blood pressure controlled to normal levels.

    Commenting on the study, lead author, Dr Catriona Murphy said, “The findings of this study are of concern as high blood pressure is usually a silent condition with no symptoms until it has caused damage to organs such as the heart or kidneys. The study results are consistent with this silent profile. The level of awareness we found in this Irish study is a combination of individual lack of awareness of the condition and the absence of a comprehensive system to detect this important risk factor in the community.”

    Principal Investigator of TILDA, Professor Rose Anne Kenny commented “The high prevalence of high blood pressure is a major public health challenge for Irish society and requires a population wide focus on healthier lifestyles including weight management, regular physical activity, smoking cessation and restriction of salt and alcohol intake. This study calls for action to implement a structured programme in primary care to improve prevention, detection and management of high blood pressure in Ireland.”

    Dr Angie Brown Medical Director of the Irish Heart Foundation and study collaborator said “This important research highlights what we (the Irish Heart Foundation) see on our Blood pressure road show and during our health assessments. High blood pressure is often unrecognised and even if diagnosed sometimes not adequately treated. It is crucial that we raise awareness of this silent killer so individuals know their own blood pressure, the importance of lifestyle modification and adherence to medical therapy if appropriate. The good news is this is an entirely treatable risk factor.”

    Co-Authors include Prof PM. Kearney UCC, Prof E. Shelley HSE, Prof T. Fahey RCSI, C. Dooley TCD and Prof RA. Kenny TCD

    Link: Full Paper

    Link: TCD Press Release

    Link: TILDA Academic Papers

    Dr. Cathal McCrory, In the Psychologists' Chair - 23rd April, NCI

    TILDA Research Fellow, Dr. Cathal McCrory, will be In the Psychologists' Chair presenting his paper Loneliness and the Heart: Social Disadvantage, Social Isolation and Cardiovascular Health,’ using TILDA data, at the lunchtime series In the Psychologists' Chair. The event is sponsored by The Irish Times and will take place at the National College of Ireland, on Thursday 23rd April from 1-2PM. Registration for this event is free.

    As part of his current work, Cathal examines socio-economic variation in mental health and well-being among the 50+ population in Ireland, and explores the pathways, processes and mechanisms through which socially mediated risk factors come to influence health over the life-course, with a particular emphasis on stress. Psychosocial frameworks postulate that those growing in more disadvantaged environments are subjected to a greater number of stressors during development resulting in greater ‘wear and tear’ on physiological systems (i.e. allostatic load) which may precipitate earlier biological ageing.

    Understanding how differences in the social environment ‘get under the skin’ may help us understand why a person growing up in a more disadvantaged community in Ireland has a life expectancy at time of birth that is 4.3 years shorter on average compared with those who grow up in more affluent environments (CSO, 2010). Cathal’s research utilizes population-level data (TILDA, ELSA, HRS) to explore the extent to which differences in exposure to stressors can account for disease and mortality differentials between different social groups, leading to the identification of modifiable risk and resilience factors.

    In this talk, Cathal will address some of these questions and look at the impact of social isolation and disadvantage on cardiovascular health.

    For more information on the In the Psychologists' Chair series, click here

    For a summary of Cathal's talk, click here

    March 2015

    New TILDA Research Brief - Water Flouridation, Oral Status and Bone Health of Older People in Ireland

    Research led by Dr Vincent O'Sullivan, (formerly of TILDA, now based in the University of Lancaster) and Professor Brian O'Connell, of the School of Dental Science in Trinity College Dublin has found a positive relationship between higher levels of water fluoridation and oral health, among older people in Ireland.

    The purpose of this study was examine the relationship between bone health, maintenance of natural teeth and exposure to fluoridated water in Irish adults over 50 years of age.

    The main outcome assessment was bone density measurements from 4977 adults participating in TILDA:

    • Bone density was compared to the level of fluoridation in the participants’ local district. No significant difference was found in the bone health of people living in areas with a low or high prevalence of water fluoridation.
    • Participants were also asked to report how many natural teeth they had. Adults living in areas with greater water fluoridation were more likely to have maintained their natural teeth.

    Link: Press Release

    Link: Full Research Brief

    Link: other Academic Papers

    January 2015

    New CARDI funded research using TILDA Data: Vulnerable older people at greater risk from inequalities in health behaviours

    New CARDI funded research, using TILDA data and data from Northern Ireland, has shown that older people on lower incomes and living in deprived areas across the island of Ireland have considerably worse health than better off people of the same age, according to a study by researchers from Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin.

    This may be linked to differences in health behaviours, especially smoking and physical inactivity. The research, led by Dr Eibhlin Hudson and funded by the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI), explores these differences by analysing existing datasets in Ireland, North and South. The findings show that older people on low incomes are more likely to smoke and have insufficient exercise. In contrast regular alcohol consumption is more common among those on high incomes.

    When comparing Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland the research found that smoking rates among people aged 50+ are similar (18% and 17% respectively). Many older people north and south do not have enough exercise but low physical activity is much more common in Northern Ireland (54%) than in the Republic of Ireland (30%).

    The research also highlighted the particular vulnerability of older people who are single or widowed and disabled or in poor health. People aged 50+ who are single, widowed or separated/divorced are more likely to smoke and have low levels of exercise.

    The research team consisted of Dr Eibhlin Hudson, Trinity College Dublin (now with Novartis); Professor David Madden, University College Dublin and Dr Irene Mosca, TILDA, Trinity College Dublin.

    The full report is entitled ‘Examining inequalities in health and health behaviours’ (Hudson et al., 2014). CARDI has prepared a research brief ‘Inequalities in health behaviours’ which summarises the main report and spells out some of the implications for policy and practice.

    For more, visit

    TILDA Receives Major Funding for Innovative Global Healthy Ageing Project

    The project which received funding from the Horizon 2020 Programme will examine the social disparities in health ageing and the effect of the economic recession on health and biology of ageing, using data from TILDA and the Growing up in Ireland longitudinal studies.

    A European team including Trinity College Dublin researchers Professor Richard Layte from the Department of Sociology and Professor Rose Anne Kenny, Principal Investigator of TILDA have just been awarded 6 million euros in funding under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation for a new project called LIFEPATH.

    In developed countries people of different socioeconomic groups experience dramatic differences in healthy ageing, quality of life and life expectancy. The LIFEPATH project will focus on the idea of healthy ageing for all and will work to provide relevant and innovative evidence to underpin future policies and strategies for the promotion of healthy ageing, targeted disease prevention and clinical interventions that address the issue of social disparities in ageing and the social determinants of health.

    The project team hope to show that healthy ageing is an achievable goal for society, as it is already experienced by individuals of high socio-economic status. They also aim to improve the understanding of the mechanisms through which healthy ageing pathways diverge by socio-economic status, examine the consequences of the current economic recession on health and the biology of ageing and the consequences of this for social inequalities in health.

    LIFEPATH will use an innovative study design that will bring together three areas of research that have been developed separately for a long time: population-based health sciences; omics-biomarker technologies; and social sciences. The project will make use of existing population studies across Europe including the Growing Up in Ireland (GUI) and TILDA studies. They will integrate longitudinal social science research with biology such as molecular epidemiology, which looks at how genetic and environmental risk factors, identified at the molecular level, may contribute to the cause, distribution and prevention of disease across populations.

    Speaking about LIFEPATH Professor of Sociology in Trinity, Richard Layte said: “This project brings together biological and social science researchers to shed light on the complex pathways through which low income and social deprivation influence the risk of chronic illness and disease in later life. Our results will be crucial for the development of more effective policy interventions both in Ireland and the European Union.”

    Professor Rose Anne Kenny, Principal Investigator of TILDA added: “Because of the comprehensive way the TILDA  and GUI data is collected, we now have an opportunity through this collaboration to better understand how adverse childhood events can influence physical and mental health via inflammatory and other biological pathways. New insights into these processes will help to inform policy, technology innovation coupled with creative interventions and targets set in Europe to increase healthy life years by two years by 2020.”

    The research work at Trinity will be conducted in TILDA at the Department of Medical Gerontology in the School of Medicine in conjunction with the Department of Sociology in the School of Social Sciences and Philosophy.

    The project includes partners from leading research universities throughout Europe and the US including Imperial College London, University College London, INSERM Toulouse/Paris, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Columbia University, New York. 

    News and Events Archive: 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011

    December 2014

    New TILDA Research Brief - GP Utilisation in the Over 50s

    Research led by Dr Anne Nolan of TILDA shows that public healthcare entitlements are an important determinant of GP visiting patterns among the over 50s.
    A new Research Brief released by TILDA today (23rd December 2014) summarises the findings from a paper recently published in the Journal of the Economics of Ageing. The research examined the impact of having a medical or GP visit card, as well as private health insurance, on GP visiting rates among the over 50s. The results show that, in comparison with those with ‘no cover’ for GP expenses (i.e., without a medical card or private health insurance):

    • medical/GP cardholders had an extra 1.5 GP visits per annum;

    • those with ‘dual cover’ (i.e., with both a medical/GP card and private health insurance) had approximately 1.6 extra GP visits per annum;

    • those with private health insurance were found to have 0.5 extra GP visits per annum.

    Importantly, these effects take into account other differences in characteristics between the various entitlement groups that might explain their greater need for healthcare (e.g., age, health status, etc.).

    These results clearly demonstrate that the current structure of healthcare entitlements in the Irish system impacts on use of GP services, even after controlling for health need. This analysis is particularly timely given the commitments in relation to free GP care that are contained in the current Programme for Government. In this context, analyses such as this one of the response to differential prices of care can inform policymakers in making decisions around adjusting healthcare entitlements in the Irish healthcare system.

    Link: Research Brief

    Link: Academic Papers

    New TILDA Research Brief - The Links between Fear of Falling, Visual Impairment and Mobility

    Research lead by Dr. Orna Donoghue of TILDA shows that older adults with poor self-rated vision were more likely to report fear of falling and fear-related activity restriction.

    A new Research Brief released by TILDA today (10th Dec. 2014) details the findings from two TILDA papers previously published; examining whether fear of falling affects walking patterns ansd if visual impairment is associated with fear of falling, and if so, how does this affect mobility in people with fear of falling. Data from the first wave of TILDA was used, providing a unique opportunity to examine fear of falling and mobility in a nationally representative sample of community-dwelling older Irish adults. These papers focus on those aged 65 and over - the group most at risk for falls and disability.

    The findings in this Research Brief have important implications for policymakers and practitioners:

    • Clinicians need to recognise fear of falling and manage it before it leads to activity restriction.

    • Clinicians should assess walking ability in older adults with fear of falling and provide guidance on appropriate exercise interventions that improve physical function including walking.

    • A comprehensive vision assessment should be included for older adults, especially those who have reported fear of falling. Appropriate prescription of visual aids is encouraged along with advice on environmental adaptations to improve visual function especially in low light and poor contrast conditions.

    Link: Research Brief

    Link: Academic Papers


    November 2014

    TILDA's Deirdre Robertson receives the Deirdre McMackin Memorial MedalDeirdre Robertson

    Congratulations to our very own Deirdre Robertson on receiving the Deirdre McMackin Memorial Medal at the recent Psychological Society of Ireland meeting.

    Deirdrew was awarded the medal for presenting of her paper on "The impact of poor perceptions of ageing on longitudinal cognitive decline".

    The Deirdre McMackin Memorial Medal is awarded to an individual who has been judged, by the selection committee for the PSI's Division of Neuropsychology, to have made a significant contribution to the field of neuropsychology as evidenced by the submission of a research paper and delivery of a presentation at the PSI Annual Conference.

    This Award is in memory of the late Dr Deirdre McMackin and her contribution to the development of neuropsychology in Ireland.

    For more information on the Deirdre McMackin Award please click here.


    Annual Lecture

    The 2014 Mercer's Insititute for Successful Ageing Annual Lecture will take place on Thursday November 27th in the Durkan Lecture Theatre. The lecture is titled "The five horsemen of Cognitive Reserve - How environments delay dementia" and will be presented by Professor Ian Robertson.

    For more details about the event, please download the event poster here.

    New TILDA Report on the Emigration of Adult Children and the Mental Health of their Parents Published

    A new report by The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), led by Trinity College Dublin, has shown that the mental health of mothers suffered as a consequence of the emigration of their children during the recession. The study showed that mothers experienced increased depressive symptoms and greater loneliness than mothers whose children did not emigrate. The researchers found, however, that with the exception of fathers aged over 65, fathers did not suffer an equivalent decline in mental health following the emigration of one or more of their children.

    Migration Report



    Full Report

    Press Release


    In the year ending April 2006, 36,000 people emigrated from Ireland. By 2009, when data collection for TILDA began, this number had doubled to 72,000 with numbers peaking at 89,000 in 2013. These high rates of outflow meant that a large number of TILDA respondents saw their children emigrate.

    The study’s authors Dr Irene Mosca, TILDA Research Fellow in Economics at Trinity and Professor Alan Barrett, Research Professor at the ESRI and TILDA, used three kinds of mental health measurements including a measurement of depressive symptoms, self-rated emotional/mental health and loneliness feelings and compared the results for mothers and fathers whose children had emigrated during this period with parents whose children had not emigrated. They also controlled for other events which may have impacted on the mental health of the study’s participants such as widowhood, loss of close friends and relatives, retirement, unemployment, illness and disability.

    In addition to clear findings on the negative impact of emigration on the mental health of mothers whose children emigrated during the recession, the authors also found that the parents of those children who emigrated were on average younger, more highly educated and had better mental and physical health at Wave 1 of the TILDA study than the parents of children who remained in Ireland.

    October 2014

    Insights from TILDA Presented to World Health Summit Leaders in Berlin

    Trinity College Professor Rose Anne Kenny has been invited to present insights from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) at the World Health Summit 2014 in Berlin this week.  The World Health Summit is the annual conference of the M8 Alliance of Academic Health Centers, Universities, and Academies of Sciences, which brings together decision-makers from 80 countries to discuss pressing issues facing healthcare systems.

    TILDA provides a comprehensive analysis of the experience of ageing by studying a nationally representative sample of 8,500 people aged 50 and over in Ireland, offering an accurate picture of the characteristics, needs and contributions of older people. TILDA is being recognised internationally for catalysing research findings to inform social, economic and healthcare policies, in addition to transforming clinical practices in Ireland.  TILDA data has enabled innovations in technologies in addition to fundamental research into the ageing processes and diseases.

    Launched in 2006, TILDA provides the evidence base from which to make appropriate healthcare and policy decisions to ensure successful ageing. TILDA findings have improved clinical practices and assessments in Irish medical facilities, including the Mercer’s Institute of Successful Ageing at St. James’s Hospital, which utilises its data to transform patient assessments and healthcare approaches in heart health, bone health, falls and syncope, stroke, incontinence, brain health, and mental health. 

    “My vision,” says Principal Investigator Rose Anne Kenny, “is to advance the mobile technologies and healthcare surveys refined by TILDA so that we can improve access to healthcare for all.  Whether a person is in rural Ireland, China, Africa, Brazil, or elsewhere, we are creating rapid assessments through mobile technologies to improve health.  Because of TILDA, Ireland is now recognised as a leader in this area and the Summit allows us to share our lessons learned.”

    TILDA's findings are foundational to a number of national policies including the Healthy Ireland Framework, the National Positive Ageing Strategy, and the Dublin Age Friendly City Strategy.  TILDA data has also influenced recent high-profile studies including the Long-Term Economic Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse on Survivors by the Economic and Social Research Institute.  TILDA’s Obesity in an Ageing Society report garnered significant national attention when it noted that 79 percent of Irish adults over the age of 50 are either overweight or obese. 

    The World Health Summit 2014 enjoys the high patronage of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the President of the French Republic François Hollande, and the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso.  Other notable speakers include Germany’s Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the 2005 Nobel Prize Laureate in Medicine Barry J. Marshall, Hon. President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Jacques Rogge, and Assistant Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny.

    Rose Anne will join an international team which includes Professor Elio Riboli (Imperial College London), Ambassador Michael Gerber (Special Envoy for Global Sustainable Development, Switzerland), Professor Lefkos Middleton (Imperial College London) and Professor John-Arne Rottingen (Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government) for the keynote address on Universal Health Coverage, October 21st from 14.00-15.30pm (GMT +2). The Summit features a live-stream feature for all keynote lectures and symposium:

    September 2014

    CARDI Announces Five Future Leaders in Ageing Research

    RIA New Members

    CARDI Fellows with CARDI Co-Chairs, (left to right): Joanne Feeney, Charlotte Neville, Prof Bob Stout- co-Chair CARDI, Mark O'Doherty, Prof Davis Coakley Chair CARDI, Joanna McHugh, Aisling O'Halloran

    The Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland has announced the appointment of five post-doctoral Fellows in a £1million investment to develop future leaders in research on ageing and older people. The CARDI Fellows, four at Queen’s University Belfast and one at Trinity College Dublin, will carry out research over the next three years into ageing issues with the aim of improving the lives of older people across the island of Ireland.

    The new CARDI Fellows, announced at the inaugural meeting of the CARDI Leadership Programme in Ageing Research in Belfast today are: Joanne Feeney, Joanna McHugh, Charlotte Neville and Mark O’Doherty, who will be based in Queen’s University Belfast, and Aisling O’Halloran based in Trinity College Dublin.

    Joanne Feeney and Aisling O’Halloran were formerly researchers with TILDA. Joanne, Aisling and Charlotte will use TILDA data in their research.

    The Fellows will carry out research on topics including physical frailty and ageing; diet and cognitive decline; the impact of stress on cognitive and cardiovascular health and the social determinants of cognitive decline and healthy ageing.

    The five Fellows were chosen based on the quality of their proposals, potential to become future leaders in ageing research and the commitment and support of their host universities.

    The appointment of the Fellows marks a substantial investment in the area of ageing research in Ireland, North and South. The direct investment aims to support the development of a strong community of researchers in ageing focussed on policy-relevant research which can support effective policy-making for the ageing populations.

    "We are delighted to announce a substantial injection of funding which will see the appointment of five research Fellows under CARDI’s Leadership Programme. It provides vital support to encourage and develop a new generation of researchers into ageing in Ireland, North and South, who can work to improve the health and well-being of our populations as they age," said CARDI Co-Chair, Professor Bob Stout.

    The CARDI Leadership Programme in Ageing Research is funded by the Health and Social Care Research and Development Division, Public Health Agency, Northern Ireland and The Atlantic Philanthropies.

    The Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland has announced the appointment of five post-doctoral Fellows in a £1million investment to develop future leaders in research on ageing and older people. The CARDI Fellows, four at Queen’s University Belfast and one at Trinity College Dublin, will carry out research over the next three years into ageing issues with the aim of improving the lives of older people across the island of Ireland.

    RIA New Members

    CARDI Fellows (left to right):Joanne Feeney, Charlotte Neville, Mark O'Doherty, Joanna McHugh, Aisling O'Halloran with back row left to right Professor Rose Anne Kenny – TILDA, TCD; Professor Davis Coakley – Co-Chair of CARDI; Dr Graham Love – CEO, Health Research Board

    For more information go to

    Media queries should be directed to:
    Nicola Donnelly, CARDI
    t: 00353 (0) 1 478 6308/ 086 7927 684

    The CARDI Leadership Programme in Ageing Research was launched in 2013 and two calls for applicants were made in September 2013 and January 2014.

    CARDI Leadership Programme in Ageing Research Fellows:

    Dr Aisling O’Halloran, Trinity College Dublin

    Dr O’Halloran’s research as a CARDI Fellow is on the theme of frailty and older people in Ireland, North and South. Frailty is a driver of functional and cognitive decline, predicting multi-morbidity, disability, increased health care utilisation and mortality in older people. However, frailty can be ameliorated through early detection and intervention. This will help to identify risk factors for frailty in older people with the aim of developing new evidence-based targets for the early detection of frailty and suitable interventions. It will also seek to develop estimates of future healthcare needs related to frailty.

    Dr Joanne Feeney, Queen’s University Belfast

    For the CARDI Leadership Programme, she will explore the impact of stress on the neurocognitive and cardiovascular health of older adults in the North and South of Ireland. The experience of severe or persistent psychological stress can alter immune mediators, trigger inflammatory processes and increase oxidative stress, damaging brain and cardiovascular health. Determining the impact of stress on neurocognitive and cardiovascular health is important in order to help uncover potential pathways to, and early indicators of, disease and disability.

    Dr Charlotte Neville, Queen’s University Belfast

    In her research, as a CARDI Fellow, Dr Neville will explore the association between fruit and vegetable intake, retinal microvascular health and cognitive decline and dementia risk. Accurate assessment of dietary intake in older populations is vital to unravel the potential role of diet in healthy ageing. The research will examine assessment methods currently used and test other potential dietary assessment methods that may be particularly suited to older people.

    Dr Mark O’Doherty, Queen’s University Belfast

    His research as a CARDI Fellow will explore differences in trends in work related disability and in the way people report disability between nations and across different national health and welfare contexts. At a time when working lives are being extended, this research aims to develop expertise in the evaluation and assessment of work related disability among older adults through the use of disability vignettes which will supplement self-reported disability.

    Dr Joanna McHugh, Queen’s University Belfast

    The focus of her research as part of the CARDI Leadership Programme is the social determinants of cognitive decline among older adults in Ireland, North and South. It will examine the causal links between loneliness and social isolation and cognitive decline. The project will investigate several factors, such as social support, stress and neuro-inflammation to clarify their contributions to the relationship between social isolation and cognitive outcomes in later life. Understanding these factors can help combat the growing problem of cognitive decline and dementia in Ireland.

    RIA New Members

    CARDI Fellows with Mentors (left to right): Joanne Feeney, Charlotte Neville, Mark O'Doherty, Joanna McHugh, Aisling O'Halloran, Professor Ian Young – Director Centre for Public Health QUB; Professor Jayne Woodside – Professor of Human Nutrition, QUB; Professor Rose-Anne Kenny – TILDA TCD; Professor Frank Kee – Director, UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Public Health (NI), QUB.

    The Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland has announced the appointment of five post-doctoral Fellows in a £1million investment to develop future leaders in research on ageing and older people. The CARDI Fellows, four at Queen’s University Belfast and one at Trinity College Dublin, will carry out research over the next three years into ageing issues with the aim of improving the lives of older people across the island of Ireland.

    Positive Ageing Week 2014

    Age Action are delighted to launch Positive Ageing Week 2014 which this year runs from 1st October to mark UN International Day of Older Persons to 9th October to mark World Sight Day.

    This year hundreds of events will take place across the country celebrating the contribution older people make and continue to make in their communities.

    They would be delighted if you would get involved this year by organising an event in your area. . You can complete the online reply slip at A calendar of events will be compiled which will be uploaded to their website on Friday 26th September 2014.

    August 2014

    New ESRI/TCD Research Shows the Long-Term Economic Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA) on Survivors

    Using data from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), researchers at the ESRI and TCD find that male survivors of CSA are three times more likely to be out of the labour force due to sickness/disability compared to other men.

    A new Research Bulletin published by the ESRI and TCD today (Friday 15 August 2014) reports on a study which examined whether people who experienced CSA suffered long-term economic consequences in terms of lower attachment to the labour market and/or lower incomes.

    The study uses data from the first wave of Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA). Between 2009 and 2011, 8,500 people aged 50 and over and living in Ireland were interviewed about a wide range of issues such as income, wealth, labour force status and health. Through a self-completed questionnaire, participants were also asked questions about sexual abuse suffered before the age of 18.

    Link: Press Release

    Link: Research Bulletin

    Link: Academic Paper

    July 2014

    Extensive Press Coverage of Obesity in an Ageing Society Report

    The new TILDA report 'Obesity in an Ageing Society' has received widespread coverage in the press. Numerous articles have appeared in both print and online media and the report has also been covered extensively by national and local broadcast media, including RTE News, Newstalk's The Right Hook and The Breakfast Show, and TV3's The Midday Show.

    Link: full list of coverage

    New TILDA Report on Obesity in an Ageing Society Published

    A new TILDA report published on 18th July shows that nearly four out of five adults over the age of 50 are overweight or obese and a similar proportion has an ‘increased’ or ‘substantially increased’ waist circumference. This means that just one fifth of the over 50s have a normal BMI or waist circumference. The report, titled 'Obesity in an Ageing Society', highlights the increased health risks and health services burden in older adults due to high rates of obesity.

    Obesity Report cover



    Full Report

    Press Release


    Speaking about the findings, Dr Siobhan Leahy, TILDA Research Fellow and lead author of the report said: “TILDA is the first study to look specifically at obesity in the over 50s in Ireland. Our findings show not only worryingly high levels of obesity but also the impact of these levels on health and everyday activity among the over 50s in Ireland.”

    Dr Anne Nolan, TILDA Research Director and co-author of the report said: “At a time when the Irish health service is faced with the challenge of delivering services with fewer resources, the finding that obesity is associated with a significantly higher use of health services is a cause for concern. A greater focus on health promotion and prevention is required to not only improve population health and well-being, but also to ensure the future sustainability of our health system.”

    The report has already received substantial coverage in the national press, including the front page of The Irish Times:

    Link: Irish Times coverage

    Link: Irish Examiner coverage

    TILDA Data Used in Study of Alcohol Consumption in Older Irish Adults on Prescribed Medication

    A new study from RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland)'s School of Pharmacy, led by Dr Gráinne Cousins and using TILDA data, has found that 60% of older Irish adults taking prescribed medications which have the potential to interact with alcohol, still regularly consume alcohol during the course of their prescription. Alcohol can interact harmfully with certain prescription medications, which are known as alcohol interactive (AI) medicines. The findings of the study have received coverage in the national press.

    Link: RCSI Press release

    Link: Irish Examiner article

    May 2014

    Professor Rose Anne Kenny is Honoured with Election to the Prestigious Royal Irish Academy

    In recognition of her outstanding contribution to ageing research in Ireland and internationally, Professor Rose Anne Kenny, founder of TILDA, has been honoured with membership to the Royal Irish Academy. Membership of the Royal Irish Academy is the highest academic honour in Ireland and a public recognition of academic achievement. 

    RIA New Members

    From left: Prof Anita Maguire, Rose Anne Kenny, Dr Nuala C Johnson and Dr Iseult Honohan, newly elected members of the Royal Irish Academy (John Ohle Photography)

    At the ceremony admitting the 15 new members, Professor Mary E. Daly, President of the Royal Irish Academy said: ‘When the Royal Irish Academy elects members, it does so on the basis of a candidate’s publications and research record—the sole criterion is quality. This research may help in the treatment of disease, or it may enhance our understanding of a past civilisation. Members of the Academy should not shirk from their responsibility to let people know that basic research is important and that government support for fundamental research is a hallmark of a civilised society’. New members included other leading Trinity College Dublin academics Professor Andrew Bowie, Professor Padraic Fallon, Professor Mani Ramaswami and Professor Ciaran Brady 

    RIA Admittance Garden

    Royal Irish Academy admits 15 new members

    Among the 482 members of the Academy are many of Ireland’s leading scholars, the best known of whom include: Joe Lee, historian; Patrick Honohan, economist; Dermot Gleeson, barrister and Attorney General 1994-7; Anngret Simms, geographer; Dermot Moran, philosopher; Peter Sutherland, lawyer and banker; Noel Dorr, former diplomat; Geraldine Kennedy, journalist; Susan Denham, Chief Justice; Paul Bew, political scientist; Luke O'Neill, Immunologist; Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland.

    Read more about the Admittance Ceremony here

    RIA twitter page

    TILDA Scientific Advisory Board Meeting

    The TILDA research team and affiliated researchers presented to members of the TILDA Scientific Advisory Board and other guests during a two-day event held at Trinity College, Dublin, on 15th-16th May. Pictured above at the meeting (from back, left to right) are Prof. Carol Brayne, Prof. Finbarr Martin, Prof. Annette Fitzpatrick, Prof. John C. Henretta, Prof. Robert Wright, Dr. Robert Clarke, Prof. David Weir, Prof. James Banks, Prof. Ian Young, Prof. Stacy Tessler Lindau, Prof. Rose Anne Kenny, Prof. James Nazroo, Prof. Jim Smith.

    TILDA Research Awarded Best Poster Prize at EuroPRevent 2014 Conference

    TILDA researcher Dr. Catriona Murphy was awarded a prize for best poster at the EuroPRevent 2014 conference in Amsterdam. The conference theme was Global Cardiovascular Health and the research presented used TILDA interview and health assessment data to examine the gap between evidence-based guidelines and clinical practice in lipid modification in adults at high risk of cardiovascular disease mortality.


    Dr. Catriona Murphy's Award-Winning Poster (click for larger PDF version)

    The research concluded that despite strong evidence and clinical guidelines supporting the use of statins in those with clinical evidence of cardiovascular disease, a large gap exists between guidelines and clinical practice in Ireland in the cohort examined. Previous research has demonstrated poor control of risk factors in those with established coronary heart disease. Failure to adhere to prescribed medications may explain some of the difference identified between guidelines and practice. It is also of concern that a low proportion of those who were asymptomatic but at high risk using SCORE were taking statins. This suggests that routine global risk assessment is being underused in clinical practice. Barriers to full implementation of the guidelines need to be examined in light of these findings and proactive policies pursued to achieve higher levels of guideline implementation.

    Link: full abstract

    April 2014

    TILDA Data Used to Examine Impact of Economic Crisis on Older People's Health and Well-being

    A new ESRI Research Bulletin uses TILDA and SHARE (Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe) data to explore the impact of the economic crisis on the health and well-being of Ireland's Over-50s. The bulletin, authored by TILDA Economics Principal Investigator Professor Alan Barrett (also head of the Economic Analysis Division at the ESRI) and TILDA Research Fellow Dr Vincent O'Sullivan, finds that despite a large fall in wealth for the over-50s in Ireland between 2006/7 and 2012/13, no significant deterioration in the group's average health or well-being is evident.

    The findings have been discussed in the Irish print media and Professor Barrett has been interviewed on RTÉ Radio 1's Drivetime and Newstalk's Breakfast show. The results have also been published in Applied Economics Letters under the title The wealth, health and well-being of Ireland’s older people before and during the economic crisis.

    Link: full report (PDF)

    Link: Irish Examiner article

    Link: Professor Alan Barrett on RTÉ Radio 1's Drivetime (interview begins 01:50:30)

    Link: Professor Alan Barrett on Newstalk's Breakfast show (interview begins 49:45)

    TILDA Researcher Presents at Trinity Week Symposium on 'Happy Healthy Ageing'

    The Faculty of Health Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, hosted this year’s programme of events for Trinity Week on the theme of The Science of Happiness, which was open to public participation. TILDA Research Fellow Dr. Cathal McCrory presented on Thursday 10th April at the 'Happy Healthy Ageing' Symposium. Dr McCrory spoke on ‘Life Satisfaction and Quality of Life among Older People in Ireland: Findings from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA)’ and discussed how evidence emerging from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) has contributed to our understanding of the way in which quality of life changes over the age span, and how quality of life in mid-life and older ages is shaped by health, wealth, and the social environment.

    'Happy Healthy Ageing' Symposium Programme

    Full Programme for Trinity Week: 'The Science of Happiness'

    Job Opportunities at TILDA

    TILDA is currently recruiting research nurses for our Wave 3 Health Assessments. An opportunity also exists for a labour economist to join the research team. Please see our vacancies page for more details.

    February 2014

    Extensive Press Coverage of TILDA Wave 2 Key Findings Report

    Since the official media launch on January 29th 2014, the publication of the new TILDA Key Findings Report, 'The Over 50s in a Changing Ireland: Economic Circumstances, Health and Well-Being', has received extensive coverage across print, broadcast and online media. TILDA Principal Investigator, Professor Rose Anne Kenny has been interviewed about the report's findings on numerous programmes, including Newstalk radio, RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ One's Six One News.

    Link: full details of press coverage (PDF)

    January 2014

    Second TILDA Key Findings Report Published

    On January 29th 2014, TILDA published its second key findings report, titled 'The Over 50s in a Changing Ireland: Economic Circumstances, Health and Well-Being'. The report uses data from the second wave of TILDA data collection, which lasted from April 2012 to January 2013, to examine how the lives of the over 50s in Ireland have changed since the first wave of data collection in 2010. This was a period of considerable social and economic change in Ireland, dominated by the severe financial and economic crisis. Key findings demonstrate serious health challenges faced by older adults in Ireland such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and problematic drinking.  The over 50s however report a high quality of life, smoking prevalence has declined and incomes have remained stable. These findings will inform health and social policy and practice in Ireland with long-term benefit for our ageing society.

    intergeneration_transfers cover




    Key Findings

    Full Report

    Press Release






    Chapter by chapter

    The report was officially launched on Wednesday 29th January 2014.


    Launching the TILDA report: Professor Rose Anne Kenny, Mr. Paddy Clancy TILDA participant, Professor Charles Normand, Dr. Anne Nolan and Professor Alan Barrett


    Authors of the TILDA Report (L-R): Dr. Celia O’Hare, Dr. Ciaran Finucane, Dr. Cara Dooley, Dr. Matthew O’Connell, Dr. Patrick Moore, Dr. Anne Nolan, Dr. Hugh Nolan, Dr. Claire O’Regan, Dr. Catriona Murphy, Dr. Christine McGarrigle, Dr. Vincent O’Sullivan, Dr. Siobhan Leahy, Dr. Joanne Feeney, Professor Rose Anne Kenny, Dr. Orna Donoghue, Dr. Cathal McCrory, Dr. Irene Mosca

    News and Events Archive: 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011

    December 2013

    TILDA research wins prize at International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) Conference  

    Frank Moriarty, a HRB PhD Scholar based at the HRB Centre for Primary Care Research at the Royal College of Surgeons, won a student prize for his research using TILDA data at the recent International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) conference in Dublin.

    FMoriarty Poster

    Frank Moriarty's award-winning poster: click for larger version

    Working with Professor Tom Fahy at the Centre for Primary Care Research and colleagues at the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics in Trinity College, Frank’s research investigated inappropriate prescribing of medicines in the TILDA cohort using data from Wave 1 of the study. The research showed that potentially inappropriate prescribing in people over 65 years of age was associated with increased odds of having a functional impairment (i.e. needing assistance with an activity such as doing household chores). These finding suggests the importance of addressing sub-optimal prescribing to improve patient outcomes.

    Further information on the ISPOR conference can be found here.

    November 2013

    TILDA Welcomes Delegation from the Korean Longitudinal Study on Ageing (KLoSA)

    TILDA was delighted to welcome a delegation from the Korean Longitudinal Study on Ageing (KLoSA) to Dublin on 29th November. KLoSA is administered by the Korean Employment Information Service. It collects information on a sample of over 10,000 Koreans aged 45+ years and has just completed its fourth wave of data collection. TILDA Principal Investigator, Professor Rose Anne Kenny, presented an overview of the TILDA study design, progress to date and key findings.

    KLoSA group

    Members of the TILDA Management team with the KLoSA delegation

    The visiting researchers and managers were then taken on a tour of the on-site Health Assessment Centre, where they were shown some of the measures used in the TILDA Health Assessment. The delegation and the TILDA team also discussed the issues associated with the administration of a detailed health assessment, its feasibility in KLoSA and areas of common research interest between KLoSA and TILDA.

    KLoSA HA

    Professor Kenny and TILDA research nurse Lorna Greene demonstrate the vision station in the Health Assessment Centre

    TILDA finds Sandwich Generation Women are Supporting Elderly Parents, Children and Grandchildren

    One third of women aged 50-69 in Ireland today are in the ‘sandwich generation’ with the majority providing care to both elderly parents and dependent children, according to a new report from TILDA. The report provides insight into the important contribution of this group of women to supporting two generations – their living parents and younger dependent children – and finds that this has an impact on their physical and mental health.

    The sandwich generation are providing a range of financial and non-financial support to elderly parents, dependent and non-dependent children and grandchildren. In fact, 58% of sandwich generation women give help to their parents and 83% give help to their children. One third look after grandchildren. Almost half of this group are providing this range of care and support while also in employment.

    The research suggests that the impact of providing intergenerational support on women’s health varies by the type of support given. Providing financial support to children is associated with improved self-rated health among the sandwich generation women, but providing financial support to parents is associated with increased depression among this group. Providing practical household support for children is also associated with increased depression.

    Link to News Release

    Link to Full Report

    October 2013

    TILDA presents to European Union Parliament

    TILDA representatives were invited by Emer Costello MEP to present the study and its findings to the EU Parliament on 2nd October 2013. The seminar, entitled “Living happier and healthier in the age of longevity: how longitudinal studies on ageing inform policy for Healthy Life Years. Insights from TILDA”, focussed on how TILDA is characterising the older citizen and exploring the ageing process and the determinants of successful ageing in order to plan appropriate health, social and economic policies. Such policies are essential for development of an environment for ageing well.

    Rose Anne Kenny TILDA EU

    Professor Rose Anne Kenny, TILDA Principal Investigator, presents on TILDA at the EU Parliament

    TILDA’s founder and Principal Investigator, Professor Rose Anne Kenny presented the seminar with Trinity collaborators Professors Ian Robertson, Fiona Newell, Richard Reilly, Charles Normand and Alan Barrett and AbbVie General Manager Mr Ryan Quigley.

    Emer Costello TILDA EU

    Emer Costello MEP at the TILDA presentation to the EU Parliament

    Link: Press Release

    Link: Health First Europe Report

    TILDA Hosts First Meeing of British and Irish Longitudinal Studies on Ageing

    The first annual British and Irish Longitudinal Studies on Ageing Meeting took place at Trinity College Dublin on 31 October and 1 November. Representatives of TILDA, ELSA (the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing), NICOLA (the Northern Irish Cohort for Longitudinal Study of Ageing) and the Scottish Longitudinal Study of Ageing discussed methodological aspects of longitudinal studies. The second day focused on frailty. Guest speakers included: Professor Finbarr Martin, Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, UK: Professor James Nazroo, University of Manchester and Professor Jayne Woodside, Queen’s University Belfast.

    An agenda is available here.

    For further details, please email Bellinda King-Kallimanis

    TILDA Collaborates on International Training Programme on Ageing

    The Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI), in conjunction with The Institute of Aging of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), hosted an international training programme on ageing from 17-19th September 2013 at Trinity College Dublin.

    Attended by 29 participants from a wide range of disciplines related to ageing, including pharmacy, nursing, economics and gerontology, the 3-day programme featured sessions presented by some of the leading names in ageing research, including Dr. Susan Kirkland, Professor Thomas Scharf, Yves Joanette, Professor Virpi Timonen and TILDA Principal Investigator, Professor Rose Anne Kenny. TILDA Project Manager Dr. Claire O'Regan and TILDA researchers Dr. Bellinda King-Kallimanis and Dr. Cathal McCrory presented on the second day of the programme.

    Presentations are available to download from the CARDI website:

    Presentations Day 1

    Presentations Day 2

    Presentations Day 3

    September 2013

    One Million Boost for Ageing Research

    The Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland have announced the launch of a new programme to promote ageing research over the next three years. The programme will fund five top quality post-doctoral researchers to create the next generation of leaders in research on older people and ageing issues.

    Link: Press Release

    Trinity Rises to 61st Place in World University Rankings 2013

    Trinity College Dublin

    Trinity College Dublin has climbed six places this year to 61st position in the QS World University Rankings 2013 announced on 10th September. The rise consolidates Trinity’s position as Ireland’s highest ranked university and among the world’s leading higher education institutions.


    Link: Press Release

    August 2013

    Trinity College is World Leader in Alzheimer’s Disease Research

    The impact of Trinity College’s research into Alzheimer’s disease has put Ireland in first place in the world in this field of research. Trinity ranks in the top 1% of research institutions in 18 fields of Science and Technology.

    Trinity Research 2013


    Read more about Trinity’s research themes and world rankings in the Trinity Research 2013 booklet.




    July 2013

    COLLAGE is Ireland’s 3 Star Reference Site for the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing

    TILDA and Trinity EngAGE Centre for Research in Ageing, are one of the six main research groups in COLLAGE, Ireland’s Reference Site for the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing.

    COLLAGE (Collaboration on Ageing) has been awarded a three star rating in Brussels for its bid to become a reference site for others to base best practice on through the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP AHA). The six research groups are UCC, the Louth Age Friendly County Initiative, Trinity EngAGE, Netwell Centre, CASALA and Cork: a WHO Healthy City.

    COLLAGE Reference site awards

    Further information

    COLLAGE website

    Reference site awards on Youtube

    Irish Times coverage

    Trinity EngAGE and TILDA are members of three EIP AHA Action Groups

    Irish Times highlights TILDA Research on the Impact of Childhood Adversity in Later Life

    Two recent Irish Times articles show that TILDA research has significance well beyond influencing policy and planning for an ageing population. Studying the health, economic status and quality of life of Ireland's over-50s has also demonstrated the long-lasting effects of childhood abuse and poverty on later life physical and mental health. The article cites Dr. Cathal McCrory of TILDA, who, speaking at a recent ESRI conference, emphasised the links between wellbeing in childhood and in later life and reported that higher risk childhood environments were associated with the earlier onset of disease in adults.

    Link: Adverse events in childhood cast long shadow, conference hears (The Irish Times)

    Link: Research shows the powerful impact of children’s early years on the rest of their lives (The Irish Times)

    June 2013

    Irish Medical Times Discusses TILDA Comparative Research on Ageing in England, the United States, and Ireland

    The Irish Medical Times has published an article highlighting recent TILDA research on the comparability of TILDA findings on physical and cognitive health in older Irish adults with those of similar longitudinal studies in the United States and England. The research was published in a special edition of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society focusing on the design, development and findings of TILDA. Similar health inequalities were observed in all three countries, but Irish over-50s were found to have more in common with their English counterparts than those in the United States in terms of physical and cognitive health.

    Link: Study shows older US patients report more chronic diseases than the Irish (Irish Medical Times)

    Review of TILDA Scientific Advisory Board Meeting Published in ISC

    Brussels-based communication agency, ISC (Intelligence in Science), which reports on the development of science and innovation policy in Europe, has published an article reviewing the recent TILDA Scientific Advisory Board Meeting, at which a group of international experts in ageing advised TILDA researchers on the development of the study. The article highlights the unique challenges facing Ireland as its population ages and the contribution of TILDA research in providing a much-needed evidence base for policy makers planning how to meet the future needs of older people.

    Link: Leading figures from Ireland's science community review a "unique" study on ageing (ISC)

    ESRI Publishes TILDA Research Findings on Return Migrants in the Older Population

    TILDA researchers Professor Alan Barrett and Dr. Irene Mosca authored a recently published ESRI research bulletin, drawing on TILDA data to examine the causes and consequences of migration in the Irish population aged 50 and over. A high proportion of TILDA respondents are return migrants, many of whom would have emigrated in the 1950s and 1980s, and the bulletin explores such questions as why people left, whether emigrants experienced higher levels of psychological stress over their lives and whether return migrants are now more socially isolated than those who never left Ireland.

    ESRI Bulletin

    Professor Barrett has published an article summarising some of the findings in The Irish Independent (available here) and the bulletin has also been discussed in The Irish Times (article available here) and (article available here).

    TILDA & Trinity EngAGE Showcase Technologies for Active and Healthy Ageing for EU Partners

    Showcasing equipment

    TILDA and Trinity EngAGE - Centre for Research in Ageing, recently hosted a meeting of the European Research Area Committee, at the request of Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. The meeting was held as part of Ireland’s EU presidency and representatives of AbbVie, a global biopharmaceutical company, also took part in the event. Pictured above, TILDA researchers Dr. Celia O'Hare and Dr. Matthew O'Connell demonstrate a technology for cardiovascular health, the Finometer, to ERAC guests. Find out more.

    TILDA at the EU Summit on Active and Healthy Ageing

    Commissioner Maire Geoghegan-Quinn 1 Commissioner Maire Geoghegan-Quinn 2

    In recognition of the strategic importance of population ageing across the European Union, Ireland's EU Presidency hosted a Summit on Active and Healthy Ageing for EU Cities and Communities, jointly organised by the Ageing Well Network and the Global Coalition on Aging, in collaboration with the European Innovation Partnership. Pictured above at the summit, TILDA research nurses Lorna Greene (left) and Laura Dunne (right) show EU Commisioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, some of the equipment used in the TILDA health assessment.

    May 2013

    New Ageing Research from Ireland Featured in Special Edition of The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

    TILDA is pleased to announce the release of a special supplement featuring TILDA research in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.


    The purpose of the supplement is to introduce TILDA to health researchers across the world. In partnership with the world’s largest ageing studies such as the Health and Retirement Survey in the United States and the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, TILDA aims to reinforce previous research findings while exploring novel areas in health and sociological conditions particular to Ireland. Examples include objective health measures that utilise new health technologies and financial circumstances collected at the time of the economic crisis.

    TILDA is the first longitudinal aging study ever undertaken in Ireland and is investigating the health, economic and sociological aspects of over 8,000 participants aged 50 and over. Unique measures introduced in TILDA’s health assessment include eye retina exams, walking mat technology (gait), and a comprehensive memory evaluation.

    TILDA in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, May 2013, features an introduction to TILDA highlighting the importance of TILDA for future government policy in Ireland and ageing research across the world and a series of articles showcasing our research.

    Special Edition Contents

    TILDA Scientific Advisory Board Meeting at Trinity College, Dublin

    Scientific Advisory Board Meeting 2013

    The TILDA research team and affiliated researchers presented their work to members of the Scientific Advisory Board and other guests during a two-day event held at Trinity College, Dublin, on 16th-17th May. Pictured above at the meeting (from back, left to right) are Prof. David Weir, Prof. John C. Henretta, Prof. Robert Wright, Dr. John Phillips, Dr. Robert Clarke, Prof. Ian Young, Prof. Andrew Steptoe, Prof. James Nazroo, Prof. Anne Newman, Prof. Jim Smith, Prof. Rose Anne Kenny, Dr. Lisa Berkman, Prof. Axel Boersch-Supan.

    April 2013

    TILDA Researcher Wins Scientific Award at Recent British Geriatrics Society Conference

    Mr. Eoin Duggan, a medical student based at TILDA, recently won the prestigious Fergus Anderson Prize at the Spring British Geriatrics Society conference in Belfast. His research investigated the relationship between vision and gait in older adults as part of a wider program of TILDA research examining the biopsychosocial risk factors associated with falls in the elderly.

    This work was funded by a recent HRB Summer Student Scholarship and conducted under the supervision of TILDA researchers Dr. Ciarán Finucane (Medical Physics and Bioengineering), Dr. Hilary Cronin (Geriatric Medicine), Dr. Orna Donoghue (Biomechanics) and TILDA Principal Investigator, Professor Rose Anne Kenny.

    Eoin Duggan with his award-winning poster

    Mr. Eoin Duggan, Medical Student Researcher at TILDA, with his award-winning poster

    The research was conducted using data from the first wave of TILDA and the findings indicate that poor contrast sensitivity but not visual acuity is related to poor gait performance in older adults. These findings are significant clinically and may contribute to a new awareness about the importance of vision, particularly contrast sensitivity, in the field of geriatric medicine. This is particularly relevant in conditions like falls, which are related to gait disturbances. International falls risk guidelines already include an assessment of vision as part of a comprehensive clinical assessment. These findings suggest that contrast sensitivity is a more important marker than visual acuity, which is normally used in clinical assessments of older adults. Ongoing research in TILDA aims to determine the importance of this and other parameters as part of a global falls risk assessment program, with a view to reducing the prevalence of falls, which occur annually in one in three adults aged over 65.

    Commenting on the results, Professor Rose Anne Kenny said: “This research highlights the importance of comprehensive assessments when assessing complex health issues common in older adults, such as falls. Poor contrast sensitivity potentially puts the ageing population at risk of serious falls as it limits their gait patterns. Comprehensive testing and treatment strategies targeting vision may in the future help us better enable the independence of older adults”.

    TILDA researchers awarded CARDI funding

    TILDA researchers Dr. Eibhlin Hudson and Dr. Irene Mosca with Professor David Madden (UCD) were awarded funding by the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI) to examine health inequalities in health behaviours. Dr. Matthew O' Connell and Dr. Bellinda King-Kallimanis were also awarded funding by CARDI to carry out research focussing on frailty disability.

    National Positive Ageing Strategy launched by Minister Lynch

    The Minister of State for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People, Kathleen Lynch, launched the National Positive Ageing Strategy on the 24th of April. Analysis of data from the TILDA study features throughout the document and further use of the data by government departments in making policy decisions is listed as an area of action in the plan.

    Link to press release

    Link to full report

    March 2013

    Launch of TILDA Healthcare Utilisation Report at TILDA Annual Conference

    Launch of Healthcare Utilisation Report

    A new TILDA report entitled Patterns and Determinants of Health Care Utilisation in Ireland was launched at the TILDA annual conference on 13th March 2013. Pictured above at the launch of the report (left to right) are Dr. Ambrose McLoughlin, Secretary General of the Department of Health, TILDA Principal Investigator Prof. Rose Anne Kenny and Prof. Charles Normand, co-author of the report. The conference focused on how researchers and policy makers could work together to translate TILDA research evidence into policy action, addressing such topics as health screening in older adults, long-term care, the importance of early-life interventions and pension plans.

    Publication of TILDA Report on Patterns and Determinants of Health Care Utilisation in Ireland

    Link to Full Report

    News and Events Archive: 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011

    TILDA in the News 2012

    TILDA research featured regularly in news reports on ageing in Ireland during 2012.

    December 2012

    Publication of TILDA Report on Multiple Medication Use in Ireland's Over-50s

    Researchers at The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) at Trinity College Dublin have published a new report on multiple medication use in adults aged over 50 in Ireland, examining rates of polypharmacy and opportunities for cost savings and improved healthcare.

    Link to News Release

    Link to Full Report

    November 2012

    Publication of TILDA Report on Supplementary Pensions and the Income of Ireland’s Retirees

    Link to News Release

    Link to Full Report

    October 2012

    Irish Times Highlights TILDA Research on Health Factors in Ageing

    A report on issues discussed at a public meeting on reversing ageing organised by the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland, at which TILDA Principal Investigator, Professor Rose Anne Kenny, gave a talk. A copy of the article is available here.

    Rose Anne Kenny Interviewed on Newstalk's The Right Hook

    TILDA Principal Investigator, Professor Rose Anne Kenny, was interviewed by George Hook on Newstalk's The Right Hook. The interview took place at Google's EU Headquarters in Dublin at a special event to celebrate the Google Silver Surfer 2012 Award with Age Action. To listen to the interview click here.

    September 2012

    Forbes Profiles Chuck Feeney

    An article discussing the philanthropic actvities of Chuck Feeney, founder of The Atlantic Philanthropies, featured on Forbes recently. The Atlantic Philanthropies are one of TILDA's main funders. A copy of the article can be found here.

    Rose Anne Kenny Speaks at Dublin City of Science 2012 Festival

    TILDA Principal Investigator, Rose Anne Kenny, gave a talk at "6 speakers, 6 minutes, 6 big ideas" as part of the Dublin City of Science 2012 Festival. A link to her talk can be found here.

    July 2012

    Guest Lecture by Walter Bortz

    Professor Walter Bortz and Professor Rose Anne Kenny

    Professor Walter Bortz (pictured above with TILDA Principal Investigator Professor Rose Anne Kenny) gave a public lecture at Trinity College Dublin entitled "The Plasticity of Human Aging". The lecture took place in the historic Schroedinger Lecture Theatre in front of a capacity audience. A video of the lecture can be found here.

    Walter M. Bortz II, M.D., is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine and a graduate of Williams College and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Recognized as one of America’s most distinguished scientific experts on aging and longevity Dr. Walter Bortz's research has focused on the importance of physical exercise in the promotion of robust aging. Dr. Bortz has published over 130 medical articles and authored numerous books, including We Live Too Short and Die Too Long, Dare to Be 100, and Living Longer for Dummies, and Diabetes Danger. Dr. Bortz is past co-chairman of the American Medical Association’s Task Force on Aging, former President of The American Geriatric Society and is currently Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board for the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation, as well as a Senior Advisor to Healthy Silicon Valley, a community collaborative effort which addresses the soaring incidence of obesity and diabetes.

    June 2012

    Launch of Carer's Report

    Carer's Report launch

    A new report by The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) entitled Profile of Community-Dwelling Older People with Disability and their Caregivers in Ireland was launched on June 5th 2012. The report highlighted that unpaid care work by older people underpins the Irish care system. Commenting on the findings, Associate Professor in Social Policy and Ageing, Virpi Timonen stated: “Care policy in Ireland is woefully neglectful of the fact that older people provide the bulk of care to other older people”. Pictured above at the launch of the report (left to right): Prof. Virpi Timonen, Harriet Conlon, Tom Curran and Prof. Rose Anne Kenny.

    New €1 Million HRB Grant Awards for TILDA

    Description: health-052312-004-617x416.jpg

    Researchers at TILDA will study the role of autonomic function in the development of cardiovascular disease in adults thereby creating new biomarkers and opportunities for intervention. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality in western cultures and a significant cause of major disabilities such as stroke and dementia. The new HRB Interdisciplinary Capacity Enhancement (ICE) award for €590K over 3 years will enable applied health research and implementation science to rapidly translate policy relevant findings from the cardiovascular domain into policy and practice. Insights gained from the study may open new avenues of cardiovascular risk assessment and treatment. The research will be lead by Prof. Rose Anne Kenny (TCD/TILDA) with collaboration from Dr. Emer Shelley (HSE), Prof. Tom Fahey (RCSI), Prof. Charles Normand (TCD), Prof. Ciarán O’Neill (NUIG) and Prof. Alan Barrett (TCD/TILDA).

    A further population health sciences award for €300K over 3 years was made to study type 2 diabetes and its relation to cardiovascular function, cognitive function, mental health and socioeconomic factors. The burden of type 2 diabetes mellitus and its complications are immense and disproportionately affect the older population and socioeconomically disadvantaged communities. Depression and anxiety often occur together and are more common in people with diabetes.  By 2030 diabetes will have increased by 135% in the over 65 years and older worldwide. The Principal Investigator, Prof. Rose Anne Kenny said that “The study will advance the science of population health by using biological and demographic data from TILDA to address several limitations in the current knowledge of diabetes and cardiovascular brain health in Ireland.” Co-applicants are Dr. George Savva (TCD/TILDA), Prof. Brian Lawlor (TCD/SJH), Prof. Joe Barry (TCD), Dr. Jean O’Connell (SVUH) and Dr. Siobhan Maty (TCD/TILDA).

    May 2012

    TILDA Presentation to Seanad Eireann

    TILDA's Principal Investigator, Rose Anne Kenny, recently gave a presentation to a Seanad Consultation Committee. Rose Anne and Alan Barrett, Project Director of TILDA, then took questions from the Senators. The report of the committee on the Rights of Older People can be found here (PDF).

    TILDA Highlights the Contribution of Older Volunteers

    TILDA featured in a recent article in The Irish Times which discussed volunteering by older people in Ireland. A link to the article can be found here.

    Meeting of the Scientific Advisory Board of TILDA in Trinity College Dublin

    TILDA's Research Team presented their work to the Scientific Advisory Board and other esteemed visitors over a two day period. Our vistors gave invaluable advice regarding the future of TILDA and ageing research more generally. Pictured above in the front row left to right: Stacey Landau (University of Chicago), Carol Brayne (University of Cambridge), Rose Anne Kenny (Trinity College Dublin), Carol Ryff (University of Wisconsin) , James Smith (RAND). In the back row left to right are: Ian Young (QUB), Finbarr Martin (British Geriatric Society), Robert Clarke (University of Oxford), Richard Suzman (National Institute on Aging), Charles Normand (Trinity College Dublin), David Weir (University of Michigan), John Henretta (University of Florida), John Phillips (National Institute on Aging).

    April 2012

    Launch of the Centre for Longitudinal Studies in Ireland

    The Centre for Longitudinal Studies in Ireland, a joint initiative between the ESRI and Trinity College Dublin, was launched by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins on April 4th 2012.

    The launch was followed by the Centre’s inaugural lecture given by Prof. James Banks of the University of Manchester on the theme of: “Improving Knowledge and Policy: The Importance of Longitudinal Analysis”

    News and Events Archive: 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011

    December 2011

    Professor Rose Anne Kenny Discusses Longevity in the Irish Times

    Professor Rose Anne Kenny discusses the lifestyle factors which affect longevity. A copy of the article can be found here.

    November 2011

    Centre for Ageing Research & Development in Ireland, International Conference, “Ageing Globally, Ageing Locally”, Croke Park, Dublin

    Prof. Rose Anne Kenny gave the keynote address entitled “Healthy ageing: silver lining and storm clouds”

    October 2011

    Irish Research Nurses Network Conference

    IRNN Conference

    TILDA Research Nurses Laura Dunne (left) and Lorna Greene (right) at the Irish Research Nurses Network's 4th Annual National Conference on the 14th of October 2011.

    May 2011

    Irish Times Editorial on TILDA

    The Irish Times ran an editorial highlighting the importance of TILDA. A copy can be found here.

    Dr. James Reilly, T.D., Minister for Health, Launches TILDA First Results

    James Reilly and Rose Anne Kenny

    On Monday, 9th of May 2011, Dr James Reilly, Minister for Health, officially launched the first results from TILDA.

    Pictured above with Professor Rose Anne Kenny, Principal Investigator of TILDA at the Science Gallery in Trinity College Dublin where a series of presentations were given by TILDA researchers outlining the main findings of the first results. A copy of the first results report can be found here.

    News and Events Archive: 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011

    Last updated 28 September 2016 by TILDA - Web Administration (Email).