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Good Aging in Skåne

The Study GÅS

Good Aging in Skåne (GÅS) is a study that will provide knowledge about what affects the health status of the elderly and the need for care (read more below). The project is aimed at a selection of people 60 years and older who live in Malmö, Hässleholm, Osby, Ystad or Eslöv. These municipalities are involved in the project, the investigations are carried out by Geriatrics, at Skåne University Hospital in Malmö, and the research group in geriatrics, at the Department of Clinical Sciences in Malmö at Lund University. The project leader for the study is Sölve Elmståhl, professor of geriatrics at Lund University and chief physician of geriatrics. 
Solve [dot] Elmstahl [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se


Increased knowledge is needed to better understand what affects the health status of the elderly and their care and care. The proportion of older people is increasing in society, which means greater need for care and care. The Government has granted government grants for the construction of longitudinal databases describing the health status of the elderly and the need for care and care and how this is met by municipalities and county councils.

The ongoing project "Good Aging in Skåne" (GÅS) started in 2001 and is one of four sub-projects in the national project "The Swedish National study on Aging and Care" (SNAC). The intention is to get answers to what future needs for care and care will look like and gain increased knowledge of the importance of the environment, lifestyle and past illnesses for the health and well-being of the elderly, identify risk factors for illness and be able to relate the elderly's needs in relation to care. and care efforts. Other sub-projects are being implemented in Blekinge, Hälsingland and Stockholm.


To gain knowledge and follow in a population survey:
- Normal aging
- Functioning ability
- the presence of diseases and their risk factors;
- Elderly health and life situation
- Need for care and care

The study includes a population part and a care system part. In the care system section, the extent of care and utilization of care is studied by the municipality and county councils.

The population section focuses on the elderly population and the participants are invited for recurring surveys. Chronic illnesses are becoming more common with increasing age and affect the ability to manage personal care such as dressing, washing and moving and caring for the household. The question of how the functional capacity of the elderly will look in the future is unclear and how illness affects this course. There is some support in the research that morbidity is postponed to a higher age, but new studies indicate that the positive health development among the elderly has been broken.

Data collection takes place at one of our receptions through a medical examination, a nurse examination, a number of memory tests and filling out forms with questions about, among other things, diet, solitude, ADL, biobank and others.


The invitation to participate in the project is made from a random sample of the population aged 60 to 93 in the five participating municipalities. Participants who are 78 years of age or older are followed up every three years, while for those aged 60 to 72, follow-up will take place every six years. During the years 2001 to 2004, 2931 people participated in our very first survey round. An initial re-examination of the oldest participants was conducted during 2005-2007.

Table of the number of recruits per survey round
Table of the number of recruits per survey round

Each examination, every three years, includes identical protocol with medical examination, blood tests, function test and memory test. 2931 people participated in the basic survey and every six years new participants in the age groups 60 and 81 are recruited.

In-depth investigations

Over the years, a number of participants have also participated in in-depth investigations conducted where researchers needed to further deepen their topic. For example, we conducted Housing & Health (with a focus on accessibility in the housing for the younger participant group), Blood pressure & vessel study (where the focus was on the influence of blood pressure in various changes in the position and the blood flow in the vessels in the throat), Kidney study (where the focus was to find a better method for measuring renal function in the elderly) and Magnetic camera research (where the focus has been to investigate the normal brain's aging, proteomics and genomics are on a sub-selection).


Collected data from GÅS has, until 2019, been the basis for 20 dissertations and is currently included in 10 ongoing doctoral dissertations. A total of about 300 original works are published or under print from the research group. In addition, another 20 works are submitted or in script form. Various work focuses on normal aging as well as interaction with illness and life satisfaction.

There are still significant gaps in knowledge about how treatment should be done by the group of elderly over 80 years. Many treatment recommendations by the elderly are based on studies of people aged 50-60 and do not take into account age-related changes. This entails a risk of both over-treatment and under-treatment of the elderly. The disease panoramas of the elderly change and lifestyle varies considerably between different birth cohorts. Knowledge of how this is changing in the elderly is lacking today.

Ongoing analysis are conducted at both organ level (e.g. norm value for body size, weight, lung / kidney / heart function) as well as at the individual level (lifestyle factors such as dietary habits, physical activity, functional ability, quality of life) and community level (transport functions, participation in activities, health care consumption, care, family support).

GÅS logga

Contact Information

Professor Sölve Elmståhl
Telephone +46 40 39 13 20
solve [dot] elmstahl [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (solve[dot]elmstahl[at]med[dot]lu[dot]se)

Lund University
CRC, house 28, floor 13
Jan Waldenströms gata 35
205 02 Malmö