Mari Kleemola

Ten-year Cohort Study on the Well-being of the Elderly


Good Ageing in Lahti Region (GOAL) is a longitudinal research project initiated by the Päijät-Häme hospital district in 2002. Over the next ten years, the project followed the welfare, living habits, social contacts, quality of life and service needs of the elderly in the 15 municipalities of the hospital district. The overall goals of the project were to improve the welfare, health and quality of life of the elderly, and thus increase the attractiveness of the region. The project was led by Mikael Fogelholm, Sc.D. Data collection and reporting was coordinated by the University of Helsinki and its Palmenia Centre for Continuing Education.

The research participants of the study stayed the same over the years and belonged to one of the three year-of-birth cohorts: 1926-1930, 1936-1940 and 1946-1950. The participants were selected randomly and their number in each municipality varied according to the number of inhabitants in the municipality. For example, in Lahti more than 1,000 were invited to participate while in smaller municipalities the number of invitations was about one hundred. Altogether, 4,300 persons participated in the study.

Data collection was conducted in four waves (2002, 2005, 2008 and 2012) through questionnaires, health check-ups, and clinical and laboratory measurements. The first three waves are archived at the Finnish Social Science Data Archive and are available for theses or research purposes. The data have also been translated into English for the use of non-Finnish researchers. The data collected in 2012 will be archived at a later stage.

More information on the archived data

More information on the research project