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New health and wellbeing studies

Is there an association between an individual's socio-economic status and their physical or mental health? This is the type of question now being posed by economists at the University of Aberdeen coordinating new pan-European research following receipt of 2,390,000 Euros (£1.54 million) funding from the European Commission.

This funding will now allow Aberdeen economists to start two new pan-European research projects investigating how an individuals' socio-economic status affects their health, quality of life and general well being. The University of Aberdeen will coordinate both projects involving six other EU countries.

Professor Ioannis Theodossiou of the University of Aberdeen Centre for European Labour Market Research has been successful in generating this additional EU funding and will lead both projects. The first project, entitled 'SOCIOLD', will involve economists from Denmark, France, Finland, Greece and the Netherlands and will look at the effects socio-economic status and physical or mental health has for the older workforce.

Professor Theodossiou said: "There is growing concern among policy makers that inequalities in health are widening and are becoming particularly visible amongst the older workforce. The health and welfare of the workforce has an impact on their productive capacity and their ability to provide for themselves in retirement. It is very important that both national and European policy makers identify the nature of the relationship between health and welfare in order to guide current and future policy."

The second project will look at the impact of labour market experiences, working patterns, social norms and socio-economic status on individuals' quality of life and sense of wellbeing. The 'EPICURUS' project will also involve collaborators across Europe. Both projects have been supported by the Commission of the European Communities through the Fifth Framework Programme, "Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources".

Further information on both projects is available on two websites: and


Notes to Editors

1. The Centre for European Labour Market Research (CELMR) at the University of Aberdeen is the overall coordinator of both projects. Further information on CELMR is available from website:

2. Ioannis Theodossiou is Professor of Economics and member of the Centre for European Labour Market Research. He will be assisted in both projects by Dr David McCausland, Senior Lecturer, Department of Economics and Dr Diane Skatun of the Health Economics Research Unit.

3. The other partners involved in both projects are:
Centre for Labour Market and Social Research, Aarhus, Denmark
RIFE, Finland
Université Panthéon-Assas Paris II, France
University of Athens, Greece
University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
University of Macedonia, Greece

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Ref: 1126wellbeing
March 11, 2003