Trinity College Dublin

Skip to main content.

Top Level TCD Links

News and Events

News and Events Archive: 2013 2012 2011



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 | yokenned@tcd.ie | + 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 www.cardi.ie.

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 paul@cardi.ie.


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: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/hsc.12157/abstract

For further information please contact catriona.murphy@tcd.ie


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 www.cardi.ie


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. 


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.

 


MISA 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: http://www.worldhealthsummit.org/livestream.html.


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 www.cardi.ie

Media queries should be directed to:
Nicola Donnelly, CARDI
t: 00353 (0) 1 478 6308/ 086 7927 684
e: nicola@cardi.ie

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. To download a poster to advertise your event please click here. You can also complete the online reply slip at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FD9QQMD. A calendar of events will be compiled which will be uploaded to their website www.ageaction.ie 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.

CMurphy_poster

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

Link: further information on EuroPRevent 2014 conference


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.

W2-launch-1

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

W2-launch-2

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: 2013 2012 2011


Last updated 29 July 2015 by TILDA - Web Administration (Email).