The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC) is a prospective epidemiologic study conducted in four U.S. communities. ARIC is designed to investigate the etiology and natural history of atherosclerosis, the etiology of clinical atherosclerotic diseases, and variation in cardiovascular risk factors, medical care and disease by race, gender, location, and date. Since 2011 a large ancillary study, the ARIC Neurocognitive Study (ARIC-NCS) has been assessing neurocognitive status and adjudicating possible cases of dementia.

Four ARIC field centers each randomly selected and recruited a cohort sample of approximately 4,000 individuals aged 45-64 from a defined population in their community. A total of 15,792 participants received an extensive baseline examination (visit 1, 1987-1989), including medical, social, and demographic data collection. Subsequent examinations occurred in 1990-92 (visit 2), 1993-95 (visit 3), 1996-98 (visit 4), 2011-2013 (visit 5) and 2016-2017 (visit 6). Visit 7 (2018-2019) is currently in progress. Follow-up occurs annually (semi-annually since 2012) by telephone to maintain contact with participants and to assess health status of the cohort.

The Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) is an NHLBI-funded observational study of risk factors for cardiovascular disease in adults 65 years or older. Starting in 1989, and continuing through 1999, participants underwent annual extensive clinical examinations. Measurements included traditional risk factors such as blood pressure and lipids as well as measures of subclinical disease, including echocardiography of the heart, carotid ultrasound, and cranial magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI). At six month intervals between clinic visits, and once clinic visits ended, participants were contacted by phone to ascertain hospitalizations and health status.

Information on dementia comes from two Ancillary Studies. The CHS Cognition Study (Dr. Lewis Kuller, PI) included 3608 participants who had an MRI in 1992-94 and who were followed for dementia through 1999. A follow-up study was done at the Pittsburgh field center that included 532 participants followed through 2013 (Dr. Oscar Lopez,PI).

The Nurses’ Health Study II (NHS II) was established by Dr. Walter Willett and colleagues in 1989 with funding from the National Institutes of Health to study oral contraceptives, diet, and lifestyle risk factors in a population younger than the original NHS cohort.

Why a new cohort of nurses?
This younger generation of nurses included women who started using oral contraceptives during adolescence and were thus maximally exposed during their early reproductive life. Several case-control studies suggesting such exposures might be associated with substantial increases in breast cancer risk provided a particularly strong justification for investment in this large cohort. Researchers also planned to collect detailed information on the types of oral contraceptives used, which was not obtained in the Nurses’ Health Study.

In addition, NHS II obtained information on physical activity and diet in adolescence and early adult life.

ASPREE is a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled primary prevention trial designed to assess whether daily active treatment of 100 mg enteric-coated aspirin will extend the duration of disability-free life in healthy participants aged 70 years and above except for Hispanic and African American minority groups in the U.S. where the minimum age of entry is 65 years.

The primary objective is to determine whether low-dose aspirin prolongs life, or life free of dementia, or life free of significant, persistent physical disability in the healthy elderly. Secondary objectives relate to the effects of low-dose aspirin on the key outcome areas of death, cardiovascular disease, dementia and cognitive decline, cancer, physical disability, depression and major bleeding episodes. Variables were collected annually through visits and for the purposes of retention telephone calls were scheduled at set points through the 7 years.

Since 1993 the EAS has used systematic recruiting methods to assemble a cohort of over 2,200 elderly individuals from the Bronx, 26% of whom are African American. The EAS sample is broadly representative of the elderly population in one of the poorest and most racially and ethnically diverse urban counties in the United States.

The EAS has developed, tested, and applied strategies designed to meet the recruitment and retention challenges that may arise when conducting research studies with older adults. In 2004, the EAS began using the Registered Voter Lists (RVL) for Bronx County for continuous recruitment efforts. Individuals of at least 70 years of age, Bronx residents, non-institutionalized and English speaking are randomly selected from updated RVL and sent a letter followed by a screening telephone call. Persons who complete the telephone screening battery and agree to participate in clinical follow-up are invited to enroll. Continuing enrollment has resulted in over 2200 participants by 2017.

The primary objective of the Jackson Heart Study is to investigate the causes of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in African Americans to learn how to best prevent this group of diseases in the future.

Specific objectives include:
• Identification of factors, which influence the development, and worsening of CVD in African Americans, with an emphasis on manifestations related to high blood pressure (such as remodeling of the left ventricle of the heart, coronary artery disease, heart failure, stroke, and disorders affecting the blood vessels of the kidney).
• Building research capabilities in minority institutions at the undergraduate and graduate level by developing partnerships between minority and majority institutions and enhancing participation of minority investigators in large-scale epidemiologic studies.
• Attracting minority students to and preparing them for careers in health sciences.

The Jackson Heart Study conducted three cohort examinations, an initial clinic examination from 2000 to 2004 (Exam1), followed by a second exam from 2005 to 2008 (Exam 2) and a final exam in 2009 to 2013 (Exam 3). Starting in 2001, participants have been contacted annually, and ascertainment of hospitalizations for cardiovascular events and deaths is ongoing.

The Longitudinal Study of Generations (LSOG), initiated in 1971, began as a survey of intergenerational relations among 300 three-generation California families with grandparents (then in their sixties), middle-aged parents (then in their early forties), and grandchildren (then aged 15 to 26). The study broadened in 1991 and now includes a fourth generation, the great-grandchildren of these same families.

The study objectives were:

• To track life-course trajectories of family intergenerational solidarity and conflict over three decades of adulthood, and across successive generations of family members;
• To identify how intergenerational solidarity and conflict influence the well-being of family members throughout the adult life-course and across successive generations;
• To chart the effects of socio-historical change on families, intergenerational relationships, and individual life-course development during the past three decades;
• To examine women’s roles and relationships in multigenerational families over 30 years of rapid change in the social trajectories of women’s lives.

The Longitudinal Study of Generations (LSOG), initiated in 1971, began as a survey of intergenerational relations among 300 three-generation California families with grandparents (then in their sixties), middle-aged parents (then in their early forties), and grandchildren (then aged 15 to 26). The study broadened in 1991 and now includes a fourth generation, the great-grandchildren of these same families.

Convenience sample of centenarians, their siblings, offspring, spouses and a control sample consisting of people born around same time as offspring but who do not have parents surviving beyond average life expectancy for their birth cohort. Age range 40-119 years, with ~2500 centenarians in the sample including 600 semi-supercentenarians (ages 105-109) and 200 supercentenarians (ages 110+ years).

We collect the below listed data at enrolment and then collect vital status, hospitalization, changes in meds and diagnoses, cognitive function (TICS) and physical function (IADS, ADL) over the phone, annually. Local subjects are asked to undergo annual detailed cognitive function testing in person with ultimately, brain donation. Blood sample collected at enrolment for DNA, RNA and plasma for biomarkers and storage.

Study is open to collaborations. Please contact Dr. Perls

The Nurses’ Health Study is a longitudinal population study aimed initially to examine the relation between the use of oral contraceptives, cigarette smoking, and risk of major illnesses in women, mainly cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Since then, the study broadened to include the evaluation of health consequences of many lifestyle practices, including diet, physical activity, and specific forms of hormone therapy.

The participants are registered nurses, aged 30 to 55 years and married at the time of recruitment in 1976, and who lived in the 11 most populous states (California, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas).

The NLSY 1979 Cohort is a longitudinal project that follows the lives of 12,686 American youth born between 1957 and 1964. The study was intended to be representative of United States residents, both male and female. It observes the life-course experiences of young adults who were finishing their schooling and were making decisions about education and training, entering the labour market, military service, marriage, and having families. Cohort members are now in their 50s and survey content has turned to age-appropriate topics including health and retirement expectations.

Yearly personal interviews were conducted from 1979 – 1986. In 1987, a telephone interview was conducted. Personal interviews resumed in 1988 and continued yearly until 1994. Since 1994, NLSY79 participants have been interviewed in even-numbered years.