The research group ‘medical sociology and health policy’ also investigates differences in health, healthcare utilisation and lifestyle among the elderly population. For instance, self- reported health, functional status, frailty and comorbidity are associated with health care utilisation and health behaviour. Differential social background factors (such as age, gender, marital status, living situation, housing, social networks) and socioeconomic status (education, income) are also associated with health, health care utilisation and health related behaviour and lifestyle factors. By gaining more knowledge in this area, we can better understand the current and future health needs of the elderly population. Since the elderly represent an increasing proportion of our population, greater knowledge in this area is an important issue for health services research in general.