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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2009 Nov;64 Suppl 1:i67-75. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbn015. Epub 2009 Feb 9.

Measures of chronic conditions and diseases associated with aging in the national social life, health, and aging project.

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  • 1Department of Anthropology, Purdue University, 700 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.



This paper presents a description of the methods used in the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project to detect the presence of chronic conditions and diseases associated with aging. It also discusses the validity and distribution of these measures.


Markers associated with common chronic diseases and conditions of aging were collected from 3,005 community-dwelling older adults living in the United States, aged 57-85 years, during 2006. Dried blood spots, physical function tests, anthropometric measurements, self-reported history, and self-rated assessments were used to detect the presence of chronic conditions associated with aging or of risk factors associated with the development of chronic diseases.


The distribution of each measure, disaggregated by age group and gender, is presented.


This paper describes the methodology used as well as the distribution of each of these measures. In addition, we discuss how the measures used in the study relate to specific chronic diseases and conditions associated with aging and how these measures might be used in social science analyses.

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