University of Tampere, Finland

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Professor Marja Jylhä, Tampere School of Public Health



The University of Tampere is a multidisciplinary research university with six faculties, three independent scientific institutes, and 15 000 degree students. Traditionally, the university is best known for research on society, health, and well-being, but recently also for medical technology.  Research on ageing and the ageing society, a major field of research at the Department of Social Policy & Social Work, Medical School, Institute of Medical Technology, and particularly at Tampere School of Public Health, belong to the areas that the university has decided to particularly promote and support. 

Tampere School of Public Health (TPSH) is a multidisciplinary academic institute for Master and PhD level teaching and research in health sciences and medicine, with acknowledged strengths in epidemiology, biostatistics, ageing research, and health services research, but also in health promotion, social psychiatry, sociology of health, and occupational sciences. It is clearly the strongest academic institution in public health in Finland. At present, TSPH has two full Professors in Gerontology and several internationally competitive research groups both in medical and social gerontology that are involved in international  projects in ageing research.

Marja Jylhä (MJ), MD, PhD, is Professor of Gerontology at Tampere School of Public Health and Director of the national graduate school “Doctoral Programs in Public Health”. She has been actively involved in European and international research networks in ageing since the end on 1970s when she participated in the WHO-initiated comparative survey “The Elderly in Eleven Countries”. MJ was Coordinator of the Research Program on Aging in 1989-1991 and Program Director, Research Program of Aging, 1999-2003, both launched by the Academy of Finland.  She is the Principal Investigator of two major longitudinal studies and a large project on health care and services. She is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America since 2003 and collaborates with the National Institute on Aging.  She has served as a reviewer for academic positions and funding in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Canada, and the US. She has been actively involved in projects funded by the European Commission, such as CLESA, NUTRAGE, GEHA, AGEACTION and the new MARK-AGE. MJ was a member of the steering group in the European Forum on Population Ageing Research in 2000-2002, and since 2004 she has been chair of the steering committee in ERA-AGE.

Marja Jylhä´s main research interests include health and functioning, longevity, old age as a culturally shaped stage of life, and health and ageing as individual experiences. She continuously publishes in highest quality epidemiological and ageing research journals.

Recent publications

Jylhä M. Old age and loneliness: cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses in the Tampere Longitudinal Study on Aging. Can J Aging 23(2).15-, 2004

Jylhä M, Volpato S, Guralnik J. Self-rated health showed a graded association with frequently used biomarkers in a large population sample. J Clin  Epidemiol 59 (5):465-471, 2006

Jylhä M: Comparisons, cultures, contexts. Eur J Ageing 4(2):101-102, 2007

Jylhä M, Paavilainen P, Lehtimäki T, Goebeler S, Karhunen PJ, Hervonen A, Hurme M. Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, interleukin-6, and C-reactive protein as predictor of mortality in nonagenarians: The Vitality 90+ Study. J Gerontol: Med Sci 62A(9): 1016-1021, 2007