Christina Daskalopoulou

Christina Daskalopoulou

ATHLOS PhD Student

Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience. King’s College London

I have a Bachelor in Applied Mathematics, one Master degree in Applied Statistics and a second one in Business Statistics which was partly funded by a scholarship from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Before joining King’s College London, I used to work as a statistician in the risk department of NN insurance company and after that I was a senior consultant in IRI market research company. My research interests include ageing, longitudinal studies and psychometrics. I am also interested in systematic reviews, meta-analysis and in teaching research methods.

PhD thesis summary

PhD title: Determinants and Trajectories of Healthy Ageing; Associations of Physical Activity, Smoking and Alcohol Consumption with Healthy Ageing throughout the Lifespan

PhD supervisors:

  • First Supervisor Name: Matthew Prina, Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London and Head of the Social Epidemiology Research Group
  • Second Supervisor Name: Martin Prince, Professor of Epidemiological Psychiatry and co-Director of the Centre for Global Mental Health at King’s College London
  • Third Supervisor Name: Artemis Koukounari, Assistant Professor in the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Department, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

PhD overview: Older people constitute a considerable proportion of the total population, with more than 900 million people aged 60 years old living worldwide and their number is projected to grow. This demographic transition will have a societal and economic impact. Consequently, societies have already started developing policies that will promote older people’s well-being and will assist in the reduction of the ever-growing costs associated with an increasing elderly population. Health trajectories help us to encompass the variations of health through the life course, both in terms of longevity and of health status. In addition, several studies report an association between lifestyle behaviour and healthy ageing. Therefore, the main aims of this project are to estimate healthy ageing trajectories by using secondary data and to quantify how lifestyle behaviours impact on these trajectories.

Specifically, I will focus on the associations of physical activity, smoking and alcohol consumption to the way one ages healthily. This study is part of the ATHLOS project, a research and innovation action, consisted of 14 partners in 11 European countries. The combination and harmonisation of more than 20 longitudinal studies, to create a harmonised dataset, constitutes one of the primary aims of ATHLOS. Therefore, the secondary data, which will be used to this project, is currently being generated by other ATHLOS partners. During the first stage of my PhD, I have conducted a systematic review on the associations of healthy ageing with physical activity, smoking and alcohol consumption. Results are available here (DOI: 10.1016/j.arr.2017.06.003) and here (http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019540)

Next, I created a healthy ageing index in the 10/66 dataset, a population cohort from low-and middle-income countries (part of ATHLOS dataset), checked the predictive validity of mortality and incident dependence and estimated its associations with lifestyle behaviour. In the final stage of my PhD, I will be working on the estimates of healthy ageing trajectories (by applying Growth curve Mixture Modelling) and assess the impact of behavioural determinants on these to the ATHLOS harmonised dataset or part of it.

Contact details

Christina Daskalopoulou

Social Epidemiology Research Group, Department of Health Service and Population Research.

Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London.

 

Email: christina.daskalopoulou@kcl.ac.uk

Twitter: @ChristinaDas4

Christina Daskalopoulou