The Department of Health Elderly Health Service Cohort in Hong Kong was set up to promote understanding of ageing in a global context, to exploit the role of Hong Kong as a sentinel for populations currently experiencing very rapid economic development, to provide a developed non-Western 'social laboratory' where empirically derived hypotheses can be tested and to leverage the different patterns of common chronic diseases between East and West to generate novel hypotheses about their determinants. The initial cohort enrolled from July 1998 to the end of December 2001 includes 66 820 people aged 65 years or older, forming about 9% of the population of this age. A comprehensive health assessment was made at enrollment and then repeated regularly on an ongoing basis. The health assessment included a comprehensive assessment of lifestyle, social circumstances, physical health and mental health, including an assessment of cognition and depressive symptoms. Health services use and deaths have been obtained by record linkage and confirmed, where necessary, by telephone interview. Currently, the data are not publicly available; we would welcome collaborations and research proposals.
© The Author 2014; all rights reserved. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Epidemiological Association.