The Aging Research Center was established in 2000 by Karolinska Institutet (KI) and Stockholm University (SU). It is a multidisciplinary center internationally renowned for its research on the health status of older adults, trends and inequalities among older people, brain ageing, and prevention of dementia and disability.
The long-term collaboration between SU and KI has enabled researchers at ARC to conduct high-quality interdisciplinary research in areas such as ageing and health, equal living conditions, geriatric epidemiology, and the psychology of ageing. Within these areas, we also contribute to teaching and shared responsibility for undergraduate courses and courses at an advanced level at both universities.
Although ARC is physically and administratively located at KI, the support from SU is significant for all our activities and forms a valuable basis for achieving stability and continuity in our work. It contributes to our interdisciplinary research, facilitates collaborations with researchers at different departments at SU, and favours the use of core facilities at the Stockholm University Brain Imaging Centre to collect data.
Increasing longevity and the requirement to be able to work even later in life, places growing demands on both research and education in various aspects of ageing and older individual’s living conditions.
Those who reach retirement age today, often have a long remaining life to look forward to. Simultaneously, the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, have clearly shown that older people are a vulnerable group. There are still knowledge gaps and shortcomings in how existing knowledge is applied.
ARC’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of older individuals by contributing to the understanding of the aging process from a biomedical, and psychological and sociological perspective in relation to life-long social and physical contexts.
ARC conducts research and education and spreads research findings within and outside the scientific community.
Our main areas of research include:
- Morbidity and function
- Health trends and inequalities
- Treatment and care of older people
- Living conditions and social inequalities
- Brain ageing
- Dementia and the body-mind connection
- Environment and health
Our research activities are characterised by:
- A focus on health in ageing with the goal of preventing, delaying, or decreasing morbidity and disability in old age
- An acknowledgement of the importance of life course processes on health and functioning in old age
- A focus on both individual and social group differences in late life health and disability
- A multidisciplinary approach that includes medical epidemiology, psychology, and social gerontology
- Creation of large databases from population-based studies on ageing and health
- Access to other large databases on ageing via national infrastructure and international collaborations
- Integration of epidemiological and social science studies with clinical and molecular research
- Contributions to improve treatment, social and healthcare of older people
- Neuroscience with a focus on neural correlates of cognitive functions and healthy brain ageing
NEAR – The National E-infrastructure for Aging Research
An important part of ARC's successful activities is the collection of high-quality data. For some years now, we house the national infrastructure NEAR – The National E-infrastructure for Aging Research, which coordinates the existing databases from major population-based longitudinal studies on aging and health in Sweden.
NEAR consists of a variety of longitudinal population studies from several universities in Sweden. NEAR is also a multidisciplinary infrastructure that includes nearly 200,000 individuals aged over 50. The infrastructure includes both nationally representative studies and regional studies with information on people's living conditions, such as health, activities and social interaction, economy, health and social care, as well as a variety of clinical investigations.
SUBIC – Stockholm University Brain Imaging Center
ARC has high competence and extensive experience in the field of brain imaging where data is collected at SUBIC (Stockholm University Brain Imaging Center) and at KI.
ARC actively pursues issues of importance to older people, in collaboration with actors outside academia.
In addition to international academic publications, the researchers at ARC regularly publish their results at conferences and seminars as well as in popular scientific journals, and other media. In addition, the results are used in various government investigations and reports.
ARC is internationally renowned for its research on the health status of older adults, trends and inequality among older people, brain aging, and prevention of dementia