The National E-infrastructure for Aging Research (NEAR) 

facilitates the use of databases from major population
longitudinal studies on aging and health in Sweden

Latest News

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Booth and spotlight session at Nordic Congress of Gerontology

On June 12-14, NEAR attended the 27th Nordic Congress of Gerontology (NKG) 2024 held in Stockholm. NEAR was featured with an interactive booth and held a spotlight session on: "Nordic Infrastructures for Ageing Research: Promises and Pitfalls".

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Methodological NEAR results: How to deal with missing data

A NEAR-based study explored statistical models for dealing with missing data. All three different methods of multiple imputation performed relatively well in imputing missing gait speed data. However, the highest performance was found for conditional quantile multiple imputation (CQI).

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Database Workshop Meeting in Karlskrona

On April 8-9, NEAR database managers met at Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH) in Karlskrona for a two-day workshop to discuss and improve NEAR’s database workflow processes.

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New possibilities for aging research – Focus of the 2023 NEAR workshop

On November 8, NEAR organized its fourth workshop in collaboration with the Ferrero Foundation during Healthy Aging Week 2023 in Alba, Italy.

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NEAR results: Daytime nappers display poorer cognitive abilities

A study including four NEAR studies examined associations between several self-reported sleep disturbances and cognitive domains. Excessive daytime napping (>2 hours) was associated with poorer cognitive abilities.

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Symposium at SWEAH conference in Norrköping

On November 21, NEAR attended and held a symposium at the Swedish Graduate School on Ageing and Health (SWEAH) conference in Norrköping.

About NEAR

The National E-infrastructure for Aging Research (NEAR) is a unique research infrastructure that was founded in 2018. It is a collaboration between eight universities including Karolinska Institutet, University of Gothenburg, Lund University, Umeå University, Jönköping University, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Uppsala University and Stockholm University. The Director of NEAR is Senior Professor Laura Fratiglioni, MD, PhD.

Aims

  • To run a National E-infrastructure for Aging Research
  • To promote and facilitate aging research in Sweden
  • To increase national as well as international exchange and collaboration
  • To enhance research quality and the generalizability of research findings

The ultimate goal is to identify sustainable intervention strategies for better health and develop more effective care for the older population.

National Interest

NEAR fulfills the six criteria established by the Swedish Research Council (VR) to define an infrastructure of national interest:

Be of broad national interest

Sweden has one of the oldest populations in the world. The dramatic demographic changes underscore the urgent need to investigate aging research with the major goal of identifying intervention strategies for longer and healthier lives. NEAR focuses solely on aging and health, thus contributing to achieving this goal.

Provide conditions for world-leading research

A broad multidisciplinary perspective is needed to achieve outstanding research in aging. NEAR includes datasets with medical, psychological, and social data covering social gerontology, public health, biomedicine, neuroscience, and care sciences. The availability of these diverse data in such a large population makes NEAR unique.

Be exploited by several research teams or users involved in high-quality research projects

Our scientific production from the first five years shows that NEAR is increasingly used by national and international researchers with high scientific profiles as the infrastructure provides unique information for aging research and policy development.

Be of large sample size and national coverage

NEAR includes 15 databases covering older populations from almost all parts of Sweden. The large sample size (90,000 persons), provides nationally representative health-related data that allows for tracing societal changes, time trends, and generational differences in older adults’ health.

Be subject to a long-term plan

NEAR’s long-term plan includes continuous expansion by adding new data and databases, linking with registers, and interacting with related international infrastructures.

Be open and easy to access for researchers, industry, and other users, and be subject to an accessibility plan

We have developed a detailed policy regarding accessibility, rules, and procedures for using NEAR data for academic and non-academic users. We found solutions to guarantee open access to all users while taking the ethical and legal aspects of sensitive personal data into account.