The VLS is a long-term, large-scale, and multi-faceted longitudinal investigation of human aging. Incorporating biomedical approaches, leading-edge technologies, and epidemiological perspectives, the VLS evaluates and tracks actual cognitive, health, functional and lifestyle trajectories leading to outcomes that can be classified as normal, resilient, exceptional, impaired, or dementia. Our studies examine these differential brain and cognitive changes as a function of interactions among multiple biomarkers of both risk and protection. Among these dynamically interacting biomarkers are those representing selected aspects of biological, health, genetic, metabolic, vascular, lifestyle, physical fitness, cognitive activity, sex/gender, and demographic domains
The 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70) follows the lives of more than 17,000 people born in England, Scotland and Wales in a single week of 1970. Over the course of cohort members lives, the BCS70 has collected information on health, physical, educational and social development, and economic circumstances among other factors.
The EPIPorto study is a landmark in epidemiological research in Portugal. It is a population-based cohort study, ongoing for over 15 years, with the main aim of assessing the determinants of health in the adult population of Porto. For this purpose we randomly selected 2485 persons, who have been repeatedly evaluated over time.
Participants were invited to visit the study centre to answer a questionnaire on social, demographic and behavioural characteristics, and their clinical history. Additionally, objective measurements were made, including blood tests, blood pressure, weight and height, electrocardiogram, evaluation of lung function and bone mineral density. The participants address was georeferenced, allowing the analysis of the spatial distribution of health states and events in the city. Subgroups of the cohort at the baseline evaluation were used as controls in case-control studies namely on myocardial infarction and gastric cancer.
The National Child Development Study (NCDS) is a longitudinal study which follows the lives of 17,000 people born in England, Scotland and Wales in a single week of 1958. Also known as the 1958 Birth Cohort Study, it collects information on physical and educational development, economic circumstances, employment, family life, health behaviour, wellbeing, social participation and attitudes.
Since the birth survey in 1958, there have been nine further sweeps of all cohort members at ages 7, 11, 16, 23, 33, 42, 46, 50 and 55. In 2003 (at age 45), 9,000 cohort members also participated in a special bio-medical survey to learn more about how development, environments and lifestyles affect peoples health. CLS will carry out a new survey of the NCDS cohort at age 60 in 2018.
NCDS is part of CLOSER (Cohort & Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resources) which aims to maximise the use, value and impact of the UK’s longitudinal studies.
The Confucius Hometown Aging Project (CHAP) is a longitudinal study of vascular risk factors, ageing, and health in people aged 60 years or older who live in a rural community near Qufu (hometown of Confucius), Shandong, China. The study was done by local hospital staff consisting of clinicians and nurses.
JSTAR project researchers aimed to construct a world-class longitudinal dataset on middle-aged and elderly Japanese persons to enable researchers worldwide to perform scientific investigation on aging and retirement from an international perspective. Despite the rapid aging of the Japanese population, no statistical survey that could properly capture the diversity of the elderly population from various viewpoints had been carried out in Japan until recently. RIETI, Hitotsubashi University jointly launched a comprehensive survey of elderly people in 2007 to collect panel data on their lives and health, with the University of Tokyo joining from 2009 onward.
The 2009 JSTAR survey includes a follow-up survey of the respondents to the 2007 survey and an initial survey of elderly people in two additional municipalities, i.e., Tosu in Saga Prefecture and Naha in Okinawa Prefecture, whereas the 2011 JSTAR Survey includes follow-up surveys of the respondents to the 2007 and 2009 surveys plus an initial survey of elderly people in three additional municipalities, Tondabayashi, Chofu, and Hiroshima
LifeGene is a national collaborative project designed to build up a resource for research in all medical disciplines, enabling new and groundbreaking research on the relationships among heredity, environment and lifestyle. The study includes studying several hundred thousand Swedes with the aim of creating new tools to prevent, diagnose and treat our most common diseases. LifeGene constitutes a platform for a myriad of biomedical research projects. Researchers not only in biomedicine and biotechnology but also behavioral and social sciences may benefit from access to LifeGene. By combining a biological perspective with e-epidemiology, LifeGene opens up new possibilities for a greater understanding of the interplay between heredity, lifestyle and the environment as regards to our most common diseases.
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.
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 study is a prospective cohort study that included 400 subjects with MCI enrolled in at Huashan Hospital in Shanghai, China and a followed-up once annually for three years. The objectives are to identify individuals with MCI who convert to AD and to explore factors associated with the conversion. The observation time point is every 12 months and phone interview on 6th, 18th month. The primary endpoint was the time from diagnosis to the conversion from MCI to Probable AD Dementia. The secondary endpoints are the time to conversion from MCI to Possible AD Dementia or Probable AD Dementia, time to Conversion from MCI to All-cause Dementia, Overall survival, Changes in Neuropsychological examinations and Changes in MRI from baseline to the end of follow-up. The planned research duration was from Jan 2012 to Dec 2016.