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.