Welcome to ELSA

Description: The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) COVID-19 Substudy is a panel survey of people aged 52 and older and their partners, living in private households in England. Its sample was drawn from a nationally representative cohort, the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Its main goal is to provide insight into the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on health, access to health and social care, financial circumstances, mental wellbeing, and social activity in older adults in England. The survey elicits information about demographics, COVID-19 testing and symptoms, health, healthcare utilization, employment, food and job security, volunteering, informal care, social networks and isolation, retirement and pension, income, and spending.
Cohort profile: https://api.semanticscholar.org/CorpusID:235344074

The ELSA COVID-19 Substudy sample is a nationally representative sample of the population aged 52 and older, living in private households in England. The initial sample was recruited in 2020 from individuals who participated in a previous wave of ELSA.
Age EligibilityAge 52 and older
People Interviewed per HouseholdAge-eligible individuals and their spouse of any age who participated in a previous wave of ELSA
RepresentativenessNationally representative

The ELSA COVID-19 Substudy interviews were carried out between June and July 2020 and between November and December 2020. The ELSA COVID-19 Substudy used a sequential mixed-mode strategy, where participants were first invited to take part in the study online using computer-assisted web interviewing (CAWI). After participants were offered enough time and opportunities to complete the interview online, they were then invited to complete the survey by phone using computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI). At Waves 1 and 2, about 83% of respondents completed the interview online and about 17% completed the interview by phone.

The ELSA COVID-19 Substudy Wave 1 sample included 4,774 households containing 7,040 individuals and their spouses.

ELSA COVID-19 Substudy data can be linked to ELSA. ELSA includes linkages to administrative data. ELSA respondents are asked for permission to link to official records of National Insurance contributions, welfare and benefit receipt, details of any tax credits they may be claiming, Hospital Episode Statistics and NHS Central Register (mortality) and cancer registration data.

MortalityOffice for National Statistics
Healthcare UtilizationHospital Episode Statistics
CancerPublic Health England
PensionNational Insurance Records
BenefitsDepartment of Work and Pensions
Public access ELSA COVID-19 Substudy data can be downloaded from the UK Data Service (UKDS). There are three levels of access available from UKDS: 1) End User License (EUL), 2) Special License (SL), 3) Secure Access (SA). The EUL-level data are anonymized and only require registration with UKDS. The SL-level data include variables posing slightly higher risk of disclosure and require additional approval. The SA-level data are considered sensitive and are only available via a Secure Lab or encrypted remote access.
ELSA core interview
ELSA end-of-life interview
ELSA life-history interview
ELSA self-completion survey
ELSA health assessment
UK Data Service
GWAS DataEuropean Genome-phenome Archive (EGA)
Polygenic Score DataELSA team
Linked Economic DataELSA Linked Data Access Committee (ELDAC)
The Gateway to Global Aging Data has created a user-friendly dataset based on ELSA COVID-19 Substudy data designed to allow researchers to conduct cross-round and cross-study analysis.
Harmonized ELSA COVIDA dataset of research-ready variables derived from the ELSA COVID-19 Substudy interviews of Waves 1-2.Coming soon