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Research Resources

Use the NIA Research Resources database to find NIA-supported scientific resources, datasets, informatics resources, and more. Search by keyword, resource type, or NIA Division or IRP. 

Health Databases

National Long Term Care Survey (NLTCS)

The National Long-Term Care Survey is a longitudinal survey designed to study changes in the health and functional status of older Americans (aged 65+). It also tracks health expenditures, Medicare service use, and the availability of personal, family, and community resources for caregiving.

The NLTCS survey population consists of a sample of 35,789 people drawn from national Medicare enrollment files in 1982 that has been augmented with subsequent samples of approximately 20,000 Medicare enrollees obtained by adding 5,000 people passing age 65 between successive surveys done approximately every five years. This technique ensures a large, nationally-representative sample at each point in time. Both elderly in the community (including those not impaired) and those residing in institutions are represented in the samples. The survey is administered by the U.S. Census Bureau using trained interviewers, and the response rate is above 95 percent for all waves.

National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP)

The National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP) is a longitudinal, population-based study of health and social factors, aiming to understand the well-being of older, community-dwelling Americans by examining the interactions among physical health and illness, medication use, cognitive function, emotional health, sensory function, health behaviors, social connectedness, sexuality, and relationship quality. NSHAP provides policy makers, health providers, and individuals with useful information and insights into these factors, particularly on social and intimate relationships. The study contributes to finding new ways to improve health as people age.

Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID)

The Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) is the longest running longitudinal household survey in the world. The study began in 1968 with a nationally representative sample of over 18,000 individuals living in 5,000 families in the United States. Information on these individuals and their descendants has been collected continuously, including data covering employment, income, wealth, expenditures, health, marriage, childbearing, child development, philanthropy, education, and numerous other topics. The PSID is directed by faculty at the University of Michigan, and the data are available on this website without cost to researchers and analysts.

Project Talent

Project Talent is a national longitudinal study that first surveyed America’s high school students in 1960. At the time, it was the largest and most comprehensive study of high school students ever conducted in the United States. Over 440,000 students from 1,353 schools across the country participated in two full days or four half days of testing. The study was developed by the American Institutes for Research, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute, and several other organizations, including the University of Pittsburgh, through a Cooperative Agreement. It was funded by the United States Office of Education. Fifty years later, the American Institutes for Research is planning to follow up with participants from the original 1960 study.

Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer's Caregiver Health (REACH)

The REACH study was a multisite caregiver intervention study that compared a variety of interventions for dementia caregivers to control conditions. The study was a landmark in its large sample size, use of multiple sites, and inclusion of large numbers of White, Hispanic, and African American caregivers.

SHARE Israel

The Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) is a multidisciplinary and cross-national panel database of micro data on health, socio-economic status and social and family networks of more than 55,000 individuals from 20 European countries aged 50 or over. Israel joined SHARE in 2004. The first wave of data collection was conducted in Israel between October 2005 and July 2006, among 1771 Israeli households. A total of 2598 men and women were interviewed face-to-face. The second wave of data collection started in August 2009 and ended in August 2010, making longitudinal data available.

Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE)

The Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE) is run by the World Health Organization's Multi-Country Studies unit in the Information, Evidence and Research Cluster. SAGE is part of the unit's Longitudinal Study Programme which is attempting to compile comprehensive longitudinal data on the health and well-being of adult populations, and the ageing process across different countries, through primary data collection and secondary data analysis.

Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE)

The Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) is a multidisciplinary and cross-national panel database of micro data on health, socio-economic status and social and family networks of more than 85,000 individuals (approximately 150,000 interviews) from 19 European countries (+Israel) aged 50 or over. SHARE responds to a Communication by the European Commission calling to "examine the possibility of establishing, in co-operation with Member States, a European Longitudinal Ageing Survey.” SHARE is centrally coordinated by Axel Börsch-Supan, Ph.D. at the Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA), Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy. It is harmonized with the U.S. Health and Retirement Study and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing and has become a role model for several ageing surveys worldwide.

Swedish Adoption/Twin Study on Aging (SATSA)

The Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging (SATSA) provides a unique opportunity to understand individual differences in aging. The twin design and the inclusion of twins reared apart makes it possible to study the importance of genetic and environmental factors that may underlie differing aging outcomes. Further, the broad spectrum of biological, psychological, and social domains assessed across the life span makes it possible to study patterns of change within and across domains and how these predict health and diseases of aging.

The China Health and Retirement Survey (CHARLS)

The China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) aims to collect a high quality nationally representative sample of Chinese residents ages 45 and older to serve the needs of scientific research on the elderly. The baseline national wave of CHARLS is being fielded in 2011and includes about 10,000 households and 17,500 individuals in 150 counties/districts and 450 villages/resident committees. The individuals will be followed up every two years. All data will be made public one year after the end of data collection.