Health needs of older people

Theme links to NIHR’s strategic priority area of multimorbidity at any age. Posts appointed to these theme posts could be held in geriatric medicine, or in a GMC speciality where age-related morbidity represents a critical component, e.g. diabetes, cardiology, general practice, orthopaedic surgery.


Infrastructure and Environment to support this NIHR Theme

Healthy Lifespan Institute (HELSI) advances research into healthy ageing/multimorbidity which integrates cell-biology, in-vivo research, molecular-genetics/sequencing, bioinformatics, complex statistics, biomechanics and engineering, psychology/sociology, health services research, clinical trials (>130 world-class academics).  A key focus is senescence/senolytics, spanning basic in-vitro, in-vivo and translational approaches, working with collaborators at the Mayo Clinic (USA) with access to world-class laboratories.  Surgery research within the Institute has focussed on improving outcomes for older cancer patients, oncology research themed around bone health and new biological agents, dementia support, integrated care, geroprotector clinical trials; biomarkers of frailty,  identification of biomarkers to predict outcome clusters using machine learning. Sheffield also has an international reputation in bone health including the WHO/ Sheffield FRAX score. 

Within the flagship Healthy Lifespan Institute our collaboration involves breast surgeons, oncologists and GPs with an interest in rolling out bone health assessment for cancer patients, focusing on elderly patients and frailty. This collaboration provides excellent qualitative/ quantitative methods expertise for an academic trainee to undertake research to improve quality of life for elderly cancer patients. 

Grant Income 

Income related to this theme is substantial, including:



Bridging the age gap in breast cancer: cluster randomized trial of the effects of two decision support interventions for older women with operable breast cancer on quality of life, survival, decision quality, and treatment choices. L Wyld, et al. British Journal of Surgery, znab005, Published: 23 March 2021

Bridging the age gap in breast cancer: impact of omission of breast cancer surgery in older women with oestrogen receptor-positive early breast cancer on quality-of-life outcomes. J L Morgan, et al. British Journal of Surgery, Volume 108, Issue 3, March 2021, Pages 315–325

The use of geroprotectors to prevent multimorbidity: Opportunities and challenges. Samir Morsli, Ilaria Bellantuono. Mech Ageing Dev. 2021 Jan;193:111391. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2020.111391. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

Bridging the Age Gap in breast cancer: Impact of chemotherapy on quality of life in older women with early breast cancer. Nicolo` Matteo Luca Battisti et al. European Journal of Cancer VOLUME 144, P269-280, February 01, 2021

Treatment choices for older women with primary operable breast cancer and cognitive impairment: Results from a prospective, multicentre cohort study. Charlene Martin et al. Journal of Geriatric Oncology Open Access Published: December 19, 2020 

Bridging the age gap in breast cancer. Impacts of omission of breast cancer surgery in older women with oestrogen receptor positive early breast cancer. A risk stratified analysis of survival outcomes and quality of life Lynda Wyld et al.European Journal of Cancer VOLUME 142, P48-62, JANUARY 01, 2021 Published:November 18, 2020 in elective abdominal cancer surgery in older patients: systematic review and meta-analysis. S L Daniels, et al. BJS Open, Volume 4, Issue 6, December 2020, Pages 1022–1041

Senescence and Cancer: A Review of Clinical Implications of Senescence and Senotherapies. Lynda Wyld et al. Cancers 2020, 12(8), 2134;

Bridging the Age Gap: a prognostic model that predicts survival and aids in primary treatment decisions for older women with oestrogen receptor-positive early breast cancer. S E Ward et al. British Journal of Surgery, Volume 107, Issue 12, November 2020, Pages 1625–1632, 

Breast cancer surgery in older women: outcomes of the Bridging Age Gap in Breast Cancer study. J L Morgan et al on behalf of the Bridging the Age Gap Trial Management Team. British Journal of Surgery, Volume 107, Issue 11, October 2020, Pages 1468–1479 

Quality of life versus length of life considerations in cancer patients: A systematic literature review. Anne Shrestha et al. Psychooncology. 2019 Jul; 28(7): 1367–1380.

Published online 2019 May 15. 

Geroprotectors: A role in the treatment of frailty. A.U.Trendelenburg, A.C.Scheuren, P.Potter, R.Müller, I.Bellantuono. Mechanisms of Ageing and Development Volume 180, June 2019, Pages 11-20

Guidance for the assessment and management of prostate cancer treatment-induced bone loss. A consensus position statement from an expert group.

Janet E. Brown et al. J Bone Oncol. 2020 Dec; 25: 100311. Published online 2020 Aug 2. doi: 10.1016/j.jbo.2020.100311 PMID: 32995252

The development of a theory and evidence-based intervention to aid implementation of exercise into the prostate cancer care pathway with a focus on healthcare professional behaviour, the STAMINA trial. Rebecca R. Turner et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021; 21: 273. Published online 2021 Mar 25. 

PMC7641826 Recruitment and retention of participants from socioeconomically deprived communities: lessons from the Awareness and Beliefs About Cancer (ABACus3) Randomised Controlled Trial. Vasiliki Kolovou et al. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2020; 20: 272. Published online 2020 Nov 4. 

Improving cancer symptom awareness and help-seeking among adults living in socioeconomically deprived communities in the UK using a facilitated health check: A protocol for the Awareness and Beliefs About Cancer (ABACus) Randomised Control Trial. Yvonne Moriarty et al. BMC Public Health. 2019; 19: 285 Published online 2019 Mar 11. 

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