Work programme 2

Generating neighbourhood profiles of cognitive ageing and service use

Work programme 2 focused on generating neighbourhood profiles of cognitive ageing and service use using nationally representative population data.

Our aims were to:

  • Derive the full range of healthy and poor cognitive trajectories from a nationally representative sample of older adults in England.
  • Develop risk prediction models for categories of cognitive ageing including impairment that incorporates information on geographical/individual characteristics and their interaction, available at the neighbourhood level in England.


We have used the population representative sample of older adults within the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) with its rich interdisciplinary data.

Using six waves of data, which includes a measure of episodic memory over 10-year period (2002-2015) and wave seven assessment of cognitive impairment using telephone interview of cognitive status (TICS), we have been able to model trajectories of cognitive ageing in 5,900 volunteers consistently present throughout.

The key findings from this work show that:

  • Disadvantaged trajectories of cognitive ageing over a decade we have constructed are likeliest to lead to dementia.
  • The area level national geographic pattern of dementia prevalence shows wide range; variation in area-level prevalence of dementia is largely predicted by individual-level risk factors rather than geographically determined ones.

What next?

Following on from the work programme, we have continued to use ELSA to study cognitive ageing and have expanded the work to include international partner studies such as Health and Retirement Survey, Survey of Health and Retirement Europe, and the Irish Longitudinal Study of Ageing.

We aim to use similar geospatial approaches to understand frailty in later life in England within the newly Funded National Institute for Health Research Policy Research Unit for older adults and frailty.


The University of Manchester


  • Neil Pendleton – Principal Investigator
  • Gindo Tampubolon – Co-Investigator, Global Development Institute
  • James Nazroo – Co-Investigator, Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research