The National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP) investigates the link between social connections and health at older ages, applying broad and deep definitions of both. At the heart of this project is a nationally-representative sample of 3,005 community-dwelling adults, from whom extensive interview and biomeasure data were obtained in 2005/6 (W1) when they were ages 57-85. A second wave of data collection in 2010/11 (W2) reinter viewed all surviving participants, their spouses and coresident partners (N=3,377), and established longitudinal, population-based data on health and social life among older Americans. The data from W1 were made publicly available about a year after the close of the field period. W2 data collection was completed in June 2011, preliminary data were made available to the investigators in August 2011, and a release of the data to the research public is expected in early Spring 2012. This proposal seeks funding to extend IVIERIT Award R37 AG030481, The National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP), for five years. The team of investigators proposes a series of analyses, focused on reconceptualizing health in the older population, changes in health and well-being, and the production of health in the dyad and social networks. Each of these is an ongoing effort begun using data from the first wave of NSHAP. Together these analyses allow us to characterize the health of the older population into health classes, characterized by values on health dimensions including organ systems, immune function, health behaviors, psychological states and sensory motor function, each with multiple indicators. They will allow us to predict mortality from health class, and to examine transitions between health classes over time. The proposed analyses will allow us to model the production of health within intimate relationships, predominantly marriages, and social networks at older ages, and to examine sleep as possible a mechanism through which the social world affects health.

Public Health Relevance

This project will add to the understanding of the processes producing health and healthy aging, and the contributions of the social world to those processes. Marriage is arguably the most important social relationship for adults, and understanding the relationship between health and well-being of partners is key to understanding the role of the social world in producing and maintaining health at older ages.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award (R37)
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Special Emphasis Panel (NSS)
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Patmios, Georgeanne E
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National Opinion Research Center
United States
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