The HALE project

The HALE (Healthy Ageing: a Longitudinal study in Europe) Project

The HALE project started in 2001 and consists of three longitudinal studies: the Seven Countries Study, the Finland Italy Netherlands Elderly (FINE) study and the Survey Europe on Nutrition in the Elderly: a Concerted Action (SENECA) study, directed by the Professors Wija van Staveren and Lisette de Groot from Wageningen University, The Netherlands. The project was funded by the European Union and Daan Kromhout was the principal investigator.

The aim of the HALE project was to study changes in, and determinants of, usual and healthy ageing in 13 European countries.

Combining data

The HALE project used data collected in the Seven Countries Study; 7047 men aged 40-59 at baseline in five European countries (Finland, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Serbia) who were followed for 35 years. For the elderly participating in the FINE and SENECA study the data of 3805 men and women aged 70-89 at baseline were pooled. The baseline surveys were carried out in 1988-1991 and the participants were re-examined after 5 and 10 years. This project included men from 13 European countries (Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Spain and Switzerland).

Read also about the other studies:

The Zutphen Elderly Study

The Zutphen Elderly Study is an extension of the original Zutphen Study with a sample of the same age. The Zutphen Elderly Study was the only cohort of the FINE study and the HALE project in which detailed information on the diet of all the participants was collected four times between 1985 and 2000. Read more about the dietary data collected in Zutphen.

The FINE study

In the second phase, that started in 1984, additional field surveys were done among the elderly in Finland, The Netherlands and rural Italy and separately in Serbia and Crete. This formed the current Finland, Italy, Netherlands Elderly (FINE) study. Read more about the FINE study.


Read about half a century of scientific endeavor.

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Study design

Find out how the research team obtained their data.

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Learn about the countries and cohorts studied in the SCS.

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Related studies

Browse the other studies that sprouted from the SCS.

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Meet the driving forces behind the success of the SCS.

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Scan the list of benefactors that made the SCS happen.

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