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U.S. National Institute on Aging joins Icelandic Heart Association to map medical mileposts of aging



April 23, 2001

NIA Press Office | 301-496-1752 | nianews3@mail.nih.gov



Today in Reykjavik representatives of the U.S. National Institute on Aging and the Icelandic Heart Association announced their collaboration on a vast study on the interactions of age, genes and environment. This collaboration, with support from the Iceland Government, will allow the Icelandic Heart Association to extend into the new millennium its 34 years of data that describe the health of 23,000 Icelandic residents in the greater Reykjavik area.

Fifteen thousand Icelanders, those people who began volunteering for the study in 1967 and are still alive today, will be eligible for participation in the AGES* study. The new study will continue the original longitudinal study of Icelandic citizenry for key information on trends in cardiovascular health. In addition, the eligible participants will contribute physical examination information on the health of their bones, muscles, metabolic, and nervous systems. Participants will be given state-of-the-art measurements that will provide them and their physicians with valuable information on their health status, and, at the same time will contribute to a more general understanding of how to maintain health and independence in old age.

The AGES study benefits from the quality and depth of data collected in the Reykjavik Study by the Icelandic Heart Association. Those examinations provide a wealth of information on cardiovascular risk factors in older people. The current study will look at cardiac function in old age, and, for this portion of the study, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, will collaborate on the research. The existing data also are linked to Icelandic health registries on coronary heart disease and mortality, both of which are rich resources that help describe health changes associated with aging.

Richard J. Hodes, M.D., National Institute on Aging Director, represented the U.S. Government at the signing of a commitment of support to conduct the AGES study.

Representing the Icelandic Heart Association were Vilmundur Guðnason, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Icelandic Heart Association Research Institute and Gunnar Sigurðsson, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman of the Icelandic Heart Association.

Representing the Icelandic Government at the signing was Minister of Health, Jón Kristjánsson, M.D., and Geir Haarde, Minister of Finance.

In attendance at the signing were the AGES Study principal investigators from the National Institute on Aging, Tamara Harris, M.D., M.S., and Lenore Launer, Ph.D., and from the Icelandic Heart Association, Gudmundur Thorgeirsson, M.D., Ph.D., and Palmi Jonsson, M.D.

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) is a component of the Federal biomedical research agency, the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services. Its mission includes the conduct and support of biomedical, social, and behavioral research on aging, the aging process and the special needs of older people.


*Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility Study-Reykjavik Study of Healthy Aging for the New Millennium

 

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) is a component of the Federal biomedical research agency, the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services. Its mission includes the conduct and support of biomedical, social, and behavioral research on aging, the aging process and the special needs of older people.


*Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility Study-Reykjavik Study of Healthy Aging for the New Millennium

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