Healthy ageing has become the leading, EC-endorsed, theme of the UMCG, the University of Groningen and the northern region of the Netherlands. Research programs have been defined within the UMCG that connect to this theme from diverse angles. Generally, we might note that SHARE has been reorganized to optimally fit in this overall theme. A further focus is developed on observational cohorts such as Life Lines and GIANTT. Previously rated excellent programs have continued their focus, which was in line with healthy ageing, potentially having changed namegiving to further stress this focus. New groups have embarked the healthy ageing theme to define their research programmes, considering SHARE as the optimal podium to further develop the program.
Examples of topics optimally aligned with healthy ageing are: development of health problems as constant interplay between genetics, characteristics and environment (ICPE, ELSI), lifelong vaccination (M2O), quality of life in chronic disease (HPR, PHR, M2O), generational cohorts (LCE), quality of life in adulthood/occupation and elderly (PHR, EXPAND, SMART), studies into the origin of health/disease around birth (ROAHD, ELSI) and in adolescence (ICPE, PHR). Studies enhancing continued high levels of quality of life through ageing are core within SHARE, both in the somatic as well as in the psychiatric area or when they come together. Observational data on life course health (care) are central to many research topics in SHARE and databases such as Life Lines provide the opportunity to analyse ageing and health interdependently.
Research and teaching efforts within the nine programmes are related to the healthy ageing theme. Within the UMCG, healthy ageing research efforts are coordinated by Prof Buskens (SHARE-member). In various programmes the development and application of interventions for elderly patients is targeted, who experience an increased somatic and psychiatric burden of potential diseases and disabilities such as cancer, diabetes, trauma and arthritis. They need therapies that increase their quality of life and their mobility. So, SHARE aims to contribute to maintaining a high quality of life while becoming older, when disease and disability start to have an impact on daily life.