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Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II): Health and Cognitive Functioning across the Lifespan

Completed Project

Project Management

Martin Kroh

Project Period

December 1, 2011 - June 30, 2015

Commissioned by

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
  • Lars Bertram (Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics), Co-Speaker
  • Ulman Lindenberger (Max Planck Institute for Human Development), Co-Speaker
  • Elisabeth Steinhagen-Thiessen (Research Group on Geriatrics at the Charité), Co-Speaker
  • Gert G. Wagner (German Socio-Economic Panel Study and Max Planck Institute for Human Development), Speaker
  • Lars Bäckman (Karolinska Institute, Sweden)
  • Hauke Heekeren (Freie Universität Berlin)
  • Shu-Chen Li (Max Planck Institute for Human Development)
  • Wilfried Nietfeld (Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics)
  • Graham Pawelec (Universität Tübingen)
  • Florian Schmiedek (Deutsches Institut für Pädagogische Forschung & Max Planck Institute for Human Development)

What is BASE II?

The Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II) is an extension and expansion of the Berlin Aging Study (BASE). This new study with more than 2,200 participants of different ages aims to complement the analysis of cognitive development across the lifespan by including socio-economic and biological factors such as living conditions, health, and genetic preconditions. The study is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Participants are involved in the annual survey of the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) and provide information about their life situation and living conditions.
The Charité's Geriatrics Research Group at the Evangelisches Geriatriezentrum Berlin carries out the medical sessions. Data on the following domains are collected:

  • Objective health (e.g., cardiovascular system, musculosceletal system, immune system),
  • Functional capacity (e.g., physical capacity, vision, hearing, balance),
  • Subjective health and well-being


Genetic analyses carried out in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics can provide information about the effects of genetic differences on physical and mental development processes. Data protection regulations are strictly followed during all assessments. The data are exclusively used for scientific purposes.

Publications dealing with SOEP-BASE:

Philipp Köllinger, Lars Bertram, and Gert G. Wagner (2016): Neue Gene für Wohlbefinden, Depression und neurotisches Verhalten gefunden. Keine Angst: den größten Anteil am Glück haben wir selbst in der Hand! | PDF, 21.41 KB (published as slightly different version in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 05/03/2016, No. 103, p. 12, title: „Bei manchen hat das heitere Gemüt schon Tradition“)

TNS Infratest Sozialforschung (2015): SOEP-RS BASE II 2008-
2014 – Erhebungsinstrumente Berliner Altersstudie II. SOEP Survey Papers 269: Series A. Berlin: DIW/SOEP

Anke Böckenhoff, Denise Saßenroth, Martin Kroh, Thomas Siedler, Peter Eibich and Gert G. Wagner (2013):
The Socio-Economic Module of the Berlin Aging Study II (SOEP-BASE): Description, Structure, and Questionnaire. SOEPpapers 568 | PDF, 208.64 KB . Berlin: DIW Berlin

Denise Saßenroth, Martin Kroh and Gert G. Wagner (2013):
Selectivity Processes in and Weights for the Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II), SOEPpapers 608 | PDF, 338.52 KB . Berlin: DIW Berlin

More information about on the project's homepage.