Human aging is characterized by large differences between and within older adults. Numerous factors are known to contribute to these differences, including genetic and immunological, somatic and medical, cognitive and behavioral, psychosocial and experiential, as well as socioeconomic and geospatial conditions. Continuing and expanding the scientific objectives of the Berlin Aging Study, the Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II) seeks to comprehensively describe phenomena associated with aging and old age and to better understand the multiple different underlying factors and their interactions. To this end, BASE-II was established as a multi-institutional project combining and integrating interdisciplinary perspectives ranging from molecular genetics and immunology, geriatric medicine and psychology, to sociology and economics. In this Special Issue, we have compiled seven empirical analyses that feature examples of interdisciplinary insights that BASE-II provides by linking data across multiple levels of analyses at which human functioning and development occur in old age. Here, we provide an overview of the study, note commonalities between BASE-II and earlier studies, and highlight some of its unique qualities.
© 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.