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Cohort Acronym

Cohort type
General population-based cohort

Alzheimer's disease, Mild cognitive impairment (MCI), Parkinson's disease, Type of dementia/ND not specified, Vascular dementia

Participant type
No diagnosis

Recruitment Period 1987-1989 
Sample size at start or planned sample size if still recruiting 15,792  
Estimated Current Sample Size 5,000 to 9,999 
Age at Recruitment 45-64   
Gender Male and Female 

The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC) is a prospective epidemiologic study conducted in four U.S. communities. ARIC is designed to investigate the etiology and natural history of atherosclerosis, the etiology of clinical atherosclerotic diseases, and variation in cardiovascular risk factors, medical care and disease by race, gender, location, and date. Since 2011 a large ancillary study, the ARIC Neurocognitive Study (ARIC-NCS) has been assessing neurocognitive status and adjudicating possible cases of dementia.

Four ARIC field centers each randomly selected and recruited a cohort sample of approximately 4,000 individuals aged 45-64 from a defined population in their community. A total of 15,792 participants received an extensive baseline examination (visit 1, 1987-1989), including medical, social, and demographic data collection. Subsequent examinations occurred in 1990-92 (visit 2), 1993-95 (visit 3), 1996-98 (visit 4), 2011-2013 (visit 5) and 2016-2017 (visit 6). Visit 7 (2018-2019) is currently in progress. Follow-up occurs annually (semi-annually since 2012) by telephone to maintain contact with participants and to assess health status of the cohort.

Country USA 
Contact details
Institution name University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 
Principal Investiator (PI) Jacqueline Wright 
Contact email PI email: [email protected]; Contact email: [email protected]; [email protected] 
Contact phone number 919-962-3229; 919-962-3096 
Address ARIC Study Coordinating Center:
PI: Dr. David Couper; Project Director: Ms. Kim Ring
Collaborative Studies Coordinating Center
Department of Biostatistics
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
123 W. Franklin Street, Suite 450
Chapel Hill, NC 27516 
Funders (Core support) National Institutes of Health (NIH) 

Variables Collected

Brain related measures: N/A
Funtional rating: Individual psychological
Anthropometric: Blood pressure, Height, Hip circumference, Waist circumference, Weight
Physical: N/A
Biological samples: Cardiovascular, Hearing and vision, Musculoskeletal, Reproductive, Respiratory
Genotyping: Gene screening
Brain imaging: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Positron emission tomography (PET) - amyloid
Brain banking: N/A
Lifestyle: Alcohol, Dietary habits, Physical activity, Smoking
Socio-economic: Education, Ethnic group, Family circumstances, Informal support, Martial status, Occupation and employment
Health service utilisation: Formal health and social care service utilisation including private care
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