Caring for an ageing population

  • 2 billion aged 60+ by 2050 in the world’s population. 
  • 24% of people in the UK will be aged 65+ by 2041.
  • 850,000 people in the UK are estimated to have dementia.

It’s not just about adding years to life, but also life to years 

As we get older, chronic conditions can impact quality of life and limit independence. Our researchers are working to give everyone the best possible chance of a healthy and long life. We want you to be part of the next step in our journey. By joining forces, we can open specialist centres, recruit worldwide experts and change lives. 

From osteoarthritis and diabetes, to heart disease and dementia, hundreds of millions are affected by the impact of so-called diseases of old age. Here at Imperial, we’re taking action to understand ageing. We have vast expertise in age-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, and in measuring the impact of socio-economic factors on health.

Together, we carry out leading research that unlocks new insights into how genetics, lifestyle and diet interact throughout our lives to protect against, or increase the risk of, illness in old age. 

Shaping care for older people

Whether it’s diagnostic tests for Alzheimer’s or evidence of the protective effect of lifestyle changes in middle age, our research has clinical and policy impact. 

We respond to what’s happening in the world too. During the COVID-19 pandemic, government guidelines recommended only the over-70s shield themselves. Imperial researchers showed how this advice put more than 7 million people aged over 60 at risk.

With your support, we will:

Create a new Centre for Women’s Health
Women’s health is a pressing area of importance that has been under-researched – until now. Our experts will unravel the differences in women’s physiology and explore how life experiences affect health throughout all stages of life.

Establish a Centre for Healthy Ageing 
How can we keep our bodies healthy as we age? What can we do to prevent cognitive decline in later life? Researchers at our new Centre for Healthy Ageing will answer these big questions and bring fresh insights into this vital field. To lead the way, we’ll appoint a new chair in geriatric epidemiology.  

Harnessing the power of health data 

We're carrying out large-scale population studies, including CHARIOT (Cognitive Health in Ageing Register Investigational, Observational and Trial Studies). This is a register made up of over 30,000 volunteers who are helping us understand and prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other late onset neurodegenerative diseases.

By tracking health of thousands of individuals over a period of their life, we’ll help more people stay active and independent into old age.

A new focus on women’s health

International programmes designed to improve maternal health have been a success. But now non-communicable diseases are the leading causes of death and illness among women. 

Imperial researchers and colleagues at the George Institute, an independent global medical research hub, are developing new approaches to women’s health. Combining our expertise, we want to identify different risk factors, barriers to care, and responses to treatment that exist between women and men.