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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

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.

The Irish LongituDinal Study on Ageing (TILDA)

The Irish LongituDinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) is a study of a representative cohort of over 8500 people resident in Ireland aged 50+, charting their health, social and economic circumstances over a 10-year period. The second wave of data collection was completed this year. TILDA is unique amongst longitudinal studies internationally in the breadth of physical, mental health and cognitive measures collected.

The Japanese Study of Aging and Retirement (JSTAR)

In order to establish a sustainable social security system in Japan, whose population is aging ahead of other developed countries, it is crucial to make available micro-data on the diverse aspects of the lives of elderly people. Extensive surveys have been conducted on elderly people in many other countries, and the resulting data have been utilized not only for academic and research purposes, but also as a valuable input for real-world policymaking. 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.

Against this backdrop, RIETI and 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 data collected in this survey include diverse information on the economic, social, and health conditions of elderly people. In addition, the survey is designed to ensure, to the maximum extent possible, comparability with preceding surveys such as the Health and Retirement Study in the United States, the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe in continental Europe, and the English Longitudinal Study of Aging in the United Kingdom. Therefore, by analyzing JSTAR data, researchers can track the characteristics of the Japanese elderly population in terms of both their specificity and universality in the world. In this sense, JSTAR is Japan's first-ever globally comparable panel data survey of elderly people.

The Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS)

The Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS) started as a prospective panel study of health and aging in Mexico. The MHAS study will design, field, and disseminate the data to achieve research goals that include: examining the aging processes and its disease and disability burden in a large representative panel of older Mexicans; evaluating the effects of individual behaviors, early life circumstances, migration and economic history, community characteristics, and family transfer systems on multiple health outcomes; comparing the health dynamics of older Mexicans with comparably aged Mexican-born migrants in the U.S. and second-generation Mexican-Americans using similar data from the U.S. population (for example the biennial Health and Retirement Study) to assess the durability of the migrant health advantage; assess the health of all components of the population from which migrants are selectively recruited; and considering ways in which intergenerational transfer systems affect old-age health dynamics in a country where migration is commonplace and remittances may repay prior investments or ensure against uncertainty in old age.

Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging

The Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging (VETSA) is a large-scale investigation of cognitive aging from middle to later age. The intended sample was recruited from the Vietnam Era Twin Registry (VETR), a registry of middle-aged male-male twin pairs who both served in the United States military during the Vietnam conflict (1965-1975). VETSA employs a multitrait, multimethod approach to cognitive assessment to focus on the genetic and environmental contributions to cognitive processes over time, as well as the relative contributions to cognitive aging from health, social, personality, and other contextual factors.

Wisconsin Longitudinal Study

The Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) is a long-term study of a random sample of 10,317 men and women who graduated from Wisconsin high schools in 1957. The WLS provides an opportunity to study the life course, intergenerational transfers and relationships, family functioning, physical and mental health and well-being, and morbidity and mortality from late adolescence through 2008. WLS data also cover social background, youthful aspirations, schooling, military service, labor market experiences, family characteristics and events, social participation, psychological.



NIA Array Analysis tool is a free on-line software for statistical analysis of gene expression data (microarrays or RNA-seq). The tool uses ANOVA to evaluate the statistical significance (p-value and FDR) of differential gene expression on log-scale. Results are visualized using log-ratio plots and scatter-plots. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) is used to identify major patterns of variability in gene expression, and then clusters of genes correlated with each PC are delineated. Additional tools include finding genes whose expression matches a given pattern, plotting the dendrogram for individual replications, the error function (SD vs. expression level), and displaying the correlation matrix. Input data is uploaded as tab-delimited text together with annotation file for microarray platform.

To learn more about ANOVA and download the tool for use, click here.

Complex LCR Detector and Analyzer

The program LCRSimulationAnalysis was created by Alexander Maltsev at the Laboratory of Cardiovascular Science at the National Institute of Aging, National Institutes of Health. The program detects and analyses complex Local Ca Releases in numerical simulations of intracellular Ca dynamics in cardiac pacemaker cells (sinoatrial node cells) using Stern et al. model published in 2014 in Journal of General Physiology 2014 May;143(5):577-604.


mitoAnalyzer is a software package that provides a general approach for the analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in next-generation sequencing studies, using whole-genome sequencing data. It has two components:

  • mitoCaller -- an algorithm designed specifically to identify mtDNA variants (i.e., homoplasmies and heteroplasmies)
  • mitoCaller incorporates sequencing error rates at each base in a likelihood calculation and allows allele fractions at a variant site to differ among individuals. It relies on a genotype likelihood calculation, described below: 
  • Genotype Likelihood Calculation:Genotype Likelihood Calculation
  • mitoCalc and fastMitoCalc -- programs to estimate mtDNA copy number in a cell directly from sequencing data
  • mitoCalc and fastMitoCalc estimate mtDNA copy number based on the observed ratios of sequence coverages between mtDNA and autosomal DNA.
  • The most recent update, fastMitoCalc is a program that can estimate mtDNA copy number highly accurately but is more than 100 times faster than mitoCalc.
  • fastMitoCalc can rapidly analyze hundreds of thousands of genomes, thereby facilitating association studies of mtDNA copy number with quantitative traits or nuclear variants.

Click here for more information, including download and use instructions for MitoAnalyzer