The Newcastle 85+ Study aims to systematically study the clinical, biological, and psychosocial attributes of an unselected cohort of 85-year-olds and to examine subsequent health trajectories as the cohort ages; health at baseline is reported. The study aims to 1) Assess in great detail the spectrum of health in the oldest old, 2) Examine the associations of health trajectories and outcomes with biological, clinical and social factors as the cohort ages, 3) Identify factors which contribute to the maintenance of health and independence, and 4) Advance understanding of the biological nature of human ageing. The study began in 2006 targeting participants who turned 85 and were living in Newcastle upon Tyne and North Tyneside primary care trusts, United Kingdom. The study sample includes 1,042 people born in 1921 and registered with the participating general practices, with a response rate of 71.7% (Collerton et al., 2009).

Collerton Joanna, Cavies Karen, Jagger Carol, Kingston Andrew, Bond John, Eccles Martin P et al. Health and disease in 85 year olds: baseline findings from the Newcastle 85+ cohort study. BMJ 2009;339:b4904.

Data Collection
At baseline, participants underwent a detailed multidimensional health assessment by trained research nurses in their usual residence (own home or institution), comprising questionnaires, measurements, function tests, a fasting blood sample, and a review of medical records held by the general practice. Assessments are conducted at baseline, 18 months, 36 months, and 60 months. General practice medical records are reviewed at baseline and 36 months for data on disease, medication, and use of general practice services. Participants could decline elements of the protocol. Participants will be tracked until death, and the date and cause of death will be included. Of those eligible, 1,042 participated in the study, 854 participated in both the health assessment and record review, 188 participated in the record review only, and 3 participated in the health assessment only. [Include the Figure as shown below]

Measurements and function tests included weight, bio-impedance (body composition-fat and water), demi-span, waist and hip circumference, tooth count, blood pressure, hand-grip strength, walking test (timed ‘up and go’ test), cognitive function (mini-mental state examination and computerized assessment of memory and attention (CDR battery), electrocardiogram, spirometry and oximetry.

Aliquots of serum, EDTA plasma, LiHep plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were obtained and analyzed. Measures include haematology and biochemistry, nutritional markers, inflammatory response and immune system markers, telomere length and telomerase activity, DNA damage and repair, plasma isoprotanes, and mitochondria-related biomarkers. Of the 852 participants who underwent multidimensional health assessment, blood-based data are available for 719 – 778 (depending on assay).

Anthropometrics & Function Tests
Bio-impedance (body composition)
Waist and hip circumference
Tooth count
Blood pressure
Hand-grip strength
Walking test
Cognitive function (MMSE and CDR battery)
Haematology & Biochemistry
Full blood count
Electrolytes, urea, creatinine and urate
Liver panel (total protein, bilirubin, alanine transaminase (ALT))
Bone panel (albumin, calcium, albumin-adjusted calcium, phosphate, alkaline phosphatase (ALP))
Glucose and glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c)
Lipid profile (cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, LDL, ApoA1, ApoB)
Serum cortisol
Thyroid function (T3, T4, TSH, thyroid peroxidase antibody (ATPO))
High-sensitivity CRP
Rheumatoid factor
Nutritional Markers
Serum ferritin
Plasma total homocysteine
plasma vitamin B12 and B6
Pyridoxal phosphate and pyridoxic acid
Red cell folate and vitamin B12
Serum vitamin D
Inflammatory Response & Immune System
Cytokine production (IL-6 and TNF-alpha)
B cells (CD19+), memory (CD27+), naïve B (CD27-)
CD8 T cells (CD3+/CD8+), memory (CD45RO+/CD27-), naïve (CD45RO-/CD27+)
CD4 T cells (CD4+), memory (CD45RO+/CD27-), naïve (CD45RO-/CD27+)
Telomere Length & Telomerase Activity
Abundance of telomeric template versus a single gene (GAPDH)
DNA Damage & Repair
Flouorimetric alkaline DNA unwinding (FADU) analysis
Plasma Isoprotanes
iPF2α-III and iPF2α-VI
Mitochondria-Related Biomarkers
Mitochondria haplotype
Mitochondrial DNA sequencing
Reactive oxygen production by mitochondria