The CHANCES project uses existing data from 15 cohorts from Europe and United States, in a consortium of 16 partners, whose efforts are channeled through 11 specific Work Packages (WPs) with the ultimate goal of providing new evidence on the health of ageing populations. The project has developed an efficient and flexible infrastructure for conducting pooled or parallel analyses of chronic diseases and disabilities among the elderly, their determinants, and their economic implications, with focus on four groups of determinants and four groups of chronic diseases, as well as overall mortality and disability.
The main deliverables of the project will be a series of reports and publications on the relation between socio-economic, environmental, lifestyle, and nutritional determinants, as well as, genetic profiles and biomarkers and major chronic diseases, disability and mortality, which will provide the evidence needed for preventive and regulatory action. The project will also create a reliable and standardized instrument to assess health and ageing-related outcomes (Health Module) in a comparable fashion in European ageing populations.
Data on health of ageing populations are essential for health, social and economic research and management. Such data should both be valid (based on unbiased measurements) and precise (based on large populations) and should be based on repeated measurements over time. No single database in Europe fulfils all these characteristics and establishing such as cohort would represent a very expensive endeavour.
To combine and integrate on-going studies, through harmonization of relevant information, in order to produce evidence on ageing-related health characteristics and determinants in Europe.
Four major groups of chronic conditions and disabilities are studied: (i) cancer; (ii) diabetes and cardiovascular diseases; (iii) fractures and osteoporosis; (iv) cognitive function and Alzheimer disease. Mortality will be assessed in terms of age-specific rates as well as disability-adjusted life years (DALY). Health-related determinants comprise (i) socio-economic factors (e.g., education, income), (ii) environmental factors (e.g., occupational exposures), (iii) lifestyle factors (e.g., tobacco smoking, alcohol drinking), (iv) nutritional factors (e.g., BMI, dietary patterns), (v) biomarkers, and (v) genetic information.
The CHANCES project is expected to advance the scientific knowledge regarding the impact of various determinants on major health and disease outcomes in the elderly e.g. overall and disease-specific mortality, morbidity, disability and quality of life. In addition to provide a reliable and standardized instrument to assess health and ageing-related outcomes (Health Module) in a comparable fashion among European ageing populations.
In the longer term, it is expected that the CHANCES project will form a base for a well established network of ageing cohorts which will provide a platform for further collaborative projects investigating the role of various health determinants and outcomes in the elderly.