The Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study (Health ABC) is a longitudinal cohort of 3,075 men and women, aged 70-79 at baseline in 1997-98, and includes 552 African American men and 729 African American women. At baseline, all cohort members reported no difficulty walking 1/4 mile or up ten steps. The study sites are Memphis, Tennessee and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The study was designed to investigate how changes in body composition (muscle, fat, and bone) act as a common pathway through which weight-related health conditions and behavioral factors contribute to loss of function. Race and gender differences and similarities over the ten years of the study have been key to understanding health trajectories as the cohort has aged. The study measurements include weight-related health conditions such as diabetes and metabolic disorders, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis of the knee, cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, and depression. Body composition was repeatedly measured with both dual energy x-ray absorptiometry and computerized tomography. We also assessed muscle strength, and physical function, as well as an extensive set of biomarkers. The major outcome of the study is persistent difficulty walking 1/4 mile or stair climbing reported over a 6-month period. Other outcomes include cardiovascular events, cancers, fractures, dementia, diabetes, hospitalizations, and deaths.

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National Institute on Aging (NIA)
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Contrera, Kevin J; Betz, Josh; Deal, Jennifer et al. (2017) Association of Hearing Impairment and Anxiety in Older Adults. J Aging Health 29:172-184
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