News and Events
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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
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
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 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.
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.
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: 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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chapter by chapter
- 1. Introduction (PDF)
Rose Anne Kenny and Ann Nolan
- 2. The Economic Well-Being of Over 50s and their Children (PDF)
Eibhlin Hudson, Irene Mosca and Vincent O'Sullivan
- 3. Changes in Physical and Behavioural Health in Older Irish Adults (PDF)
Ciaran Finucane, Joanne Feeney, Hugh Nolan and Claire O'Regan
- 4. Obesity and Health Outcomes in Older Irish Adults (PDF)
Siobhan Leahy, Orna Donoghue, Matthew O'Connell, Celia O'Hare and Hugh Nolan
- 5. Health and Social Care Utilisation (PDF)
Catriona Murphy, Patrick Moore, Sheena McHugh and Hugh Nolan
- 6. What Factors are Associated with Change in Older People's Quality of Life? (PDF)
Cathal McCrory, Siobhan Leahy and Christine McGarrigle
- 7. Methodology (PDF)
The report was officially launched on Wednesday 29th January 2014.