NICOLA (Northern Ireland Cohort for Longitudanal Study of Ageing) is Northern Ireland's long term study of aging in the over 50's.

8500 men and women aged 50 years and above are being invited to join the study. Those who are invited to take part have been randomly selected from all over 50's living in Northern Ireland and will be representative of the population as a whole.

The NICOLA study is being carried out by the Centre for Public Health, Queens University Belfast, in collaboration with Queens researchers and an inter-disciplinary panel of experts.

NICOLA will closely follow the comprehensive approach taken by ELSA (English Longitudanal Study of Ageing) and TILDA (The Irish LongituDanal Study of Ageing) as well as other ageing studies. However in addition NICOLA has a special focus on intergenerational poverty, transition points in ageing and the effects of diet on the ageing process. The study will also include questions with specific relevence to the Northern Ireland situation.

Study participants will be invited for interview every 2 years and a Heath Assessment every 4 years. They will be followed up for a period of at least 10 years.