Nordforsk interviews Johan Fritzell on the inequalities in health among the older population

Link to the news:

English: Ageing population putting welfare state under pressure

Norwegian: Eldrebølgen setter velferdsstaten under press

SIA final conference

The Social Inequalities in Ageing programme (SIA) held its final conference at Skeppsholmen, Stockholm, on 6 September 2022.

During the conference, researchers from each work package gave presentations to exemplify the research conducted and highlight findings. SIA also invited Professor Martijn Huisman, Amsterdam UMC and Vrije Universiteit, to provide a much-appreciated keynote talk on the concept of resilience.

The conference ended with a panel discussion between Pia Nevala Westman, Nordic Welfare Centre, Barbro Westerholm, member of the Swedish parliament, and Marja Jylhä, Tampere University, moderated by the SIA’s PI Johan Fritzell.

“To get a condensed picture, during one day, of the high-quality research conducted within SIA was truly impressive”, says Johan Fritzell. “We have published around 200 publications over the years, most recently a special section in the European Journal of Ageing. Most importantly, we have gathered leading ageing researchers across the Nordic countries and heavily involved junior researchers in our work”.

The day before the conference, a meeting with the new SIA 2.0 network, sponsored by Forte, was held. The network aims primarily at capacity building and creating a platform for new collaborations across all Nordic countries.

The link to the new networking website can be found HERE. 

Panel discussion between Pia Nevala Westman, Barbro Westerholm, and Marja Jylhä, moderated by the SIAs PI Johan Fritzell.

Senior workshop, Hotel Skeppsholmen.

Junior Workshop, Hotel Skeppsholmen

SIA project final conference in Stockholm, September 5-6, 2022

Researchers tied to the SIA project will attend the SIA project’s closing conference, scheduled for September 5-6, 2022. The event will be at Hotel Skeppsholmen, Stockholm, Sweden. The conference includes presentations and discussions of findings from the SIA project, and a keynote by Professor Martijjn Huisman, Amsterdam UMC and Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.

Registration is done upon sent invitation by the conference organizers.

SIA 2.0 Network grant from Forte

As the SIA programme is finishing relatively soon, we are happy to inform you that a 3- year network grant on Social Inequalities in Ageing has been awarded from the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (Forte). “The new network support enables an important continuation of the capacity building in social ageing research that we have implemented within the SIA programme”, says PI Johan Fritzell. Like the SIA programme, several leading Nordic ageing researchers and their junior colleagues are part of the new network. In addition, the network will organize yearly workshops for Nordic junior researchers and aims further to foster research collaborations across the Nordic countries.

Two new dissertations

Two new dissertations

During the past year, another two doctoral students within the SIA project have finished their theses.

Else Foverskov successfully defended her doctoral thesis “Social Inequality in Cognitive Ageing” supervised by Rikke Lund. Her thesis focused on how socioeconomic conditions are associated with later life level and change in cognitive ability through a life course perspective, primarily examining the role of early life cognitive ability.

Harpa Sif Eyjólfsdóttir also successfully defended her doctoral thesis “Unequal tracks? Studies on work, retirement and health” supervised by Carin Lennartsson. Harpa investigated how health and socioeconomic status influence age of retirement, and in turn, if and how prolonged working life can affect health in later life for different socioeconomic groups. Link to interview with Harpa.

Else’s and Harpa’s studies contribute to the SIA project’s aim of elucidating how social inequalities in important life course processes and transitions influence health and functioning at late midlife and in older ages.

“The fact that the SIA programme has made these two eminent theses possible, as well as quite many earlier, is in my mind the main achievement of the programme and a key aspect for capacity building within social ageing research”, says PI Johan Fritzell.

SIA Junior Workshop 2019

The second SIA workshop for junior researchers was organized at the Aging Research Center in Stockholm, September 3-4, 2019. Eleven doctoral students and postdocs from three Nordic countries participated. The aim of the workshop was to give junior researchers within the SIA-project the possibility to get to know each other as well as presenting, receiving and giving feedback to each other’s work. There was a wide range of interesting papers being presented on topics such as the impact of integrated care on the utilization of emergency care among older people; mortality among Finnish-born migrants in Sweden; the interplay between intelligence and education on the risk of dementia; and, the consequences of structural changes in a disadvantaged housing area in Denmark.

Johan Fritzell started the workshop with a presentation of the SIA-project and then senior researcher Marijke Veenstra from NOVA, OSLO, gave a talk about formal and informal care challenges in a Nordic welfare state. The rest of the first day consisted of six paper presentations with following discussions. Day two started with a talk by Professor Marja Aartsen from Nova, OSLO, about early childhood and later life social network influences on trajectories of cognitive functioning and physical health. Then followed presentations and discussions of four papers and the day ended with a lecture by Marja Aartsen, editor of the European Journal of Ageing, concerning what to think about when submitting and reviewing a paper. The workshop finally closed with a feedback discussion and ideas about future collaborations.

When evaluating the workshop, the following question was asked to the participants; What was the most positive aspect with the workshop summarized in one word? The answers can be found in this word cloud.

Upcoming events within the SIA project 2019

University of Helsinki is organising a conference Towards resilient Nordic welfare states, 14-15 March, 2019. The conference includes SIA presentations on ageing in place policy in Swedish eldercare by Petra Ulmanen and a presentation on our three-city study by Sara Erlandsson, Helene Brodin, Lea Graff and Olli Karsio. For more information:

The Department of Social Work at Stockholm University will arrange a free of charge workshop titled Marketization and inequalities in health and social care for older adults ageing in place in May 14-15, 2019. Two of the keynote speakers are Marta Szebehely and Bo Burström, both part of the SIA project. PhD students are invited to present papers and those accepted will be offered free accommodation and financial travel support. For more information please contact

IAGG-ER (International Association of Gerontolotgy and Geriatrics European Region Congress) will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden in May 23-25, 2019. SIA will be represented by researchers participating in several symposiums. One SIA symposium is titled: Income levels, trends and changes and its impact on health in later life – a Nordic perspectiv. Chaired by Marijke Veenstra and co-chaired by Johan Fritzell. Presenters: Stefan Fors, Else Foverskov, Gitte Lindved Petersen, Marijke Veenstra and Johan Fritzell. Another SIA related symposium is chaired by Linda Enroth titled Gender and Social Inequalities in Disability-Free Life Expectancy in Later Life including presentations by SIA members Linda Enroth and Stefan Fors.
For more information:

Tranforming Care 2019 Conference will be held in Copenhagen 24-26 June. Many SIA related presentations are included in the program. One example is a symposium titled Implementing reablement in home care, convened by Tine Rostgaard and others. Tine is also the organizer for the whole conference. Marta Szebehely is convener, together with Ricardo Rodrigues, for a thematic panel on Transforming care work with presentation by several SIA members. Helene Brodin and Sara Erlandsson are conveners for a thematic panel on Managing care priorities in practice.

ESPANET (European Network for Social Policy Analysis) will organize their next conference in Stockholm in September 5-7, 2019. The overall theme of the conference is Social Citizenship, Migration and Conflict. One stream in the conference is titled Social inequalities in ageing, chaired by Carin Lennartsson and co-chaired by Johan Fritzell. Deadline for abstract submission is March 31, 2019. For more information: