The EU-funded ATHLOS (Ageing Trajectories of Health: Longitudinal Opportunities and Synergies) Project aims to achieve a better understanding of ageing by identifying patterns of healthy ageing trajectories, the determinants of those patterns, the critical points in time when changes in trajectories are produced, and to propose timely clinical and public health interventions to optimise healthy ageing.

Moreover, a new definition of ‘old age’ based on many characteristics rather than just the classical chronological definition of age will be used for calculating projections in each specific population and guide policy recommendations. The new definition will be used for calculating projections in each specific population and to guide policy recommendations.

Experts from the areas of demography, sociology, clinical medicine, epidemiology and public health, health statistics, economics, data management, and policy are involved in this research. ATHLOS will merge large sets of variables from longitudinal databases (at least 20 longitudinal studies) derived from several European and international studies. The Consortium will create and analyse a harmonised data set that includes the longitudinal studies identified, comprising more than 341,000 subjects. ATHLOS is a research and innovation action aimed at identifying the trajectories and determinants of healthy and active ageing, from early stages of development onwards. ATHLOS will ascertain risk and protective factors, their interactions, the stages in the lifespan in which they most greatly impact health, and how the modification of these factors—through promotion, prevention and treatment interventions—can change individual and population health. This deeper understanding of ageing will also result in a more realistic definition of ‘old age’ than the standard chronological approach.

ATHLOS is a five-year project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement number 635316. The Consortium is coordinated by Dr Josep Maria Haro (Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu –PSSJD) and consists of 14 partners from 11 European countries. It officially began on the 1st of May 2015

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