Longitudinal Studies and Older Adults Cohorts

  • Carmen García-PeñaEmail author
  • Claudia Espinel-Bermúdez
  • Pamela Tella-Vega
  • Mario Ulises Pérez-Zepeda
  • Luis Miguel Gutiérrez-Robledo


Science never before faced such a complex, dynamic and time-dependent process as human aging. Longitudinal studies are a source of fundamental evidence of multi-factor changes over time, especially those that have contributed to understanding the aging process through research questions related to the course or prognosis of physical or cognitive functioning of older adults, exposure to comorbidity, health conditions, and biological, environmental, social or emotional negative or positive factors, as well as other questions related to aging.

However, these studies have major methodological challenges to keep the validity of information between standardized measurements and the generalization of the results, especially with the loss of participants due different causes. These difficulties motivated the realization of this chapter where we discussed the role of the longitudinal studies on aging, starting with methodological concepts, the importance of this design in geriatric research and the direction of new research questions, we present also a review of classic longitudinal studies taken from literature, which enable us to provide examples of scope and methodological implications, finally we suggested some strategies about strengthen the validity and generalization of results.

Longitudinal methodology represents a fundamental pillar in geriatric research. Its implementation always must to be supported by good planning that takes into account-standardized procedures as well as techniques that minimize the probable losses during the follow-up having less effect throughout the study.


Longitudinal studies Longitudinal-research Follow-up studies 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carmen García-Peña
    • 1
    Email author
  • Claudia Espinel-Bermúdez
    • 2
  • Pamela Tella-Vega
    • 3
  • Mario Ulises Pérez-Zepeda
    • 3
  • Luis Miguel Gutiérrez-Robledo
    • 4
  1. 1.Research DivisionNational Institute of GeriatricsMexico CityMexico
  2. 2.Research Unit in Clinical Epidemiology, West Medical CenterMexican Institute of Social SecurityGuadalajaraMexico
  3. 3.Department of Geriatric EpidemiologyNational Institute of GeriatricsMexico CityMexico
  4. 4.National Institute of GeriatricsMexico CityMexico

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