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Healthy and active ageing from a life course perspective – Helsinki Birth Cohort Study / Mikaela von Bonsdorff, Johan Eriksson

The healthy ageing –sub study of the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study focuses on early life factors such as growth and development as determinants of later life health and functioning. The cohort member were born between 1934 and 1944. The register study part of the dataset includes rich information on 13 345 cohort members. The cohort members were born at the Helsinki University Hospital or at the Helsinki Midwife Clinic and they were all alive in 1971 when Finnish citizens were given a personal identification number, which was used to link the register data. Detailed data on growth have been extracted from the birth, child welfare and school healthcare records. These unique data have been linked with various national registers on hospital care, medical reimbursements and medicine purchases, pension data among others.

Of the cohort members who were born at the Helsinki University Hospital (n=8760), a random sample of 2902 were invited to take part in a clinical examination in the year 2000. During 2001-04 2003 cohort members participated in clinical measurements and interviews were data were gathered on e.g. physical, mental and cognitive functioning, physiology, lifestyle factors, social factors, diseases. The clinical cohort has been followed up in 2011-13 and in 2017-18. The later data collection waves include rich data on factors related to healthy ageing.

Academy of Finland, EU H2020

Research group
Cohort PI Professor Johan Eriksson, University of Helsinki
Healthy ageing sub-study leader Senior Researcher, Docent Mikaela von Bonsdorff

Docent, PhD Tuija Mikkola, Folkhälsan Research Center, Helsinki
PhD Minna Salonen, National Institute for Health and Welfare
Academy Research Fellow, PhD Monika von Bonsdorff, JY
PhD Mia Perälä, University of Helsinki
Doctoral student, MA Taina Poranen-Clark, JY
Doctoral student, Med Cand student, Markus Haapala, HY
Doctoral student, Med Cand student, Anna Westberg, HY
Doctoral student, MD, Max Åström, HY

MRC Unit of Lifelong Health and Ageing at UCL, Senior Researcher Rachel Cooper
MRC Southampton, Professor Clive Osmond
Duke University, Professors Miriam Morey & Harvey Cohen
University of Helsinki, Professor Timo Strandberg
University of Turku, Academy Research Fellow Sari Stenholm

Selected publications

von Bonsdorff MB, von Bonsdorff ME, Haanpää M, Salonen M, Mikkola TM, Kautiainen H, Eriksson JG. Work-loss years among people diagnosed with diabetes – a reappraisal from a life course perspective. Acta Diabetol, 2018;55:485-91.

Mikkola TM, von Bonsdorff MB, Kajantie E, Salonen MK, Osmond C, Eriksson JG. Association of body size at birth and childhood growth with osteoporosis and hip fractures in older age: a follow-up of the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 2017;32:1194-200.

Perälä MM, von Bonsdorff MB, Männistö S, Salonen MK, Simonen M, Kanerva N, Pohjolainen P, Kajantie E, Rantanen T, Eriksson JG. The healthy Nordic diet predicts muscle strength 10 years later in old women, but not old men. Age and Ageing, 2017;46:588-94.

von Bonsdorff ME, von Bonsdorff MB, Martikainen J, Salonen MK, Kajantie E, Kautiainen H, Eriksson JG. Body size at birth and coronary heart disease-related hospital care in adult men – Findings from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study. Annals of Medicine, 2017;49:126-33.

Poranen-Clark T, von Bonsdorff MB, Törmäkangas T, Lahti J, Wasenius N, Räikkönen K, Osmond C, Salonen MK, Rantanen T, Kajantie E, Eriksson JG. Intellectual ability in young adulthood as an antecedent of physical functioning in older age. Age & Ageing 2016;45:727-31.

Westberg A, Salonen MK, von Bonsdorff MB, Kajantie E, Eriksson JG. Maternal body mass index in pregnancy and offspring physical and psychosocial functioning in older age: findings from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study (HBCS). Annals of Medicine 2016;48:268-74.

Eriksson JG, Osmond C, Perälä MM; Salonen MK, Simonen M, Pohjolainen P, Kajantie E, Rantanen T, von Bonsdorff MB. Prenatal and childhood growth and physical performance in old age – findings from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study 1934-44. AGE 2015;37:108.

von Bonsdorff MB, Törmäkangas T, Salonen MK, von Bonsdorff ME, Osmond C, Kajantie E, Eriksson JG. Early life origins of all-cause and cause-specific disability pension: findings from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study. PLoS ONE 2015;10:e122134.

von Bonsdorff MB, Rantanen T, Sipilä S, Salonen MK, Kajantie E, Osmond C, Barker DJP, Eriksson JG. Birth Size and Childhood Growth as Determinants of Physical Functioning in Older Age: the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study. American Journal of Epidemiology 2011;174:1336-44.

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