Exploring patterns of response across the lifespan: The Cambridge Centre for Ageing and Neuroscience (Cam-CAN) study

Emma Green*, Holly Bennett, Carol Brayne, Lorraine K. Tyler, Edward T. Bullmore, Andrew C. Calder, Rhodri Cusack, Tim Dalgleish, John Duncan, Richard N. Henson, William D. Marslen-Wilson, James B. Rowe, Meredith A. Shafto, Karen Campbell, Teresa Cheung, Simon Davis, Linda Geerligs, Rogier Kievit, Anna McCarrey, Abdur MustafaDarren Price, David Samu, Jason R. Taylor, Matthias Treder, Kamen Tsvetanov, Janna Van Belle, Nitin Williams, Lauren Bates, Tina Emery, Sharon Erzinçlioglu, Andrew Gadie, Sofia Gerbase, Stanimira Georgieva, Claire Hanley, Beth Parkin, David Troy, Tibor Auer, Marta Correia, Lu Gao, Rafael Henriques, Jodie Allen, Gillian Amery, Liana Amunts, Anne Barcroft, Amanda Castle, Cheryl Dias, Jonathan Dowrick, Melissa Fair, Hayley Fisher, Anna Goulding, Adarsh Grewal, Geoff Hale, Andrew Hilton, Frances Johnson, Patricia Johnston, Thea Kavanagh-Williamson, Magdalena Kwasniewska, Alison McMinn, Kim Norman, Jessica Penrose, Fiona Roby, Diane Rowland, John Sargeant, Maggie Squire, Beth Stevens, Aldabra Stoddart, Cheryl Stone, Tracy Thompson, Ozlem Yazlik, Dan Barnes, Marie Dixon, Jaya Hillman, Joanne Mitchell, Laura Villis, Fiona E. Matthews

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: With declining rates of participation in epidemiological studies there is an important need to attempt to understand what factors might affect response. This study examines the pattern of response at different adult ages within a contemporary cross-sectional population-based cohort, the Cambridge Centre for Ageing and Neuroscience (Cam-CAN). Methods: Using logistic regression, we investigated associations between age, gender and Townsend deprivation level for both participants and non-participants. Weighted estimates of the odds ratios with confidence intervals for each demographic characteristic were calculated. Reasons given for refusal were grouped into three broad categories: 'active', 'passive' and illness preventing interview. Results: An association of age and participation was found, with individuals in middle age groups more likely to participate (age group 48-57 OR: 1.8, 95% CI: 1.5-2.2 and age group 58-67 OR: 2.1, 95% CI: 1.7-2.4). Overall, there was no difference in participation between men and women. An association with deprivation was found, with those living in the most deprived areas being the least willing to participate (fifth quintile OR: 0.6, 95% CI: 0.5-0.7). An interaction between age and gender was found whereby younger women and older men were more likely to agree to participate (p = 0.01). Conclusion: Our findings highlight some of the factors affecting recruitment into epidemiological studies in the UK and suggest that targeted age-specific recruitment strategies might be needed to increase participation rates in future cohort investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number760
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council [grant number BB/H008217/1]. F.E.M. is supported by the MRC U105292687. The funders had no role in the design, implementation, analysis or interpretation of the study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Author(s).


  • Ageing
  • Cognition
  • Epidemiological study
  • Lifespan
  • Neuroscience
  • Non-participation


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring patterns of response across the lifespan: The Cambridge Centre for Ageing and Neuroscience (Cam-CAN) study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this