Research Populations Data Set:

The goal of the Center for Research on Aging is to enhance excellence in gerontologic research by creating, facilitating, and expanding interdisciplinary research collaborations. As one way to achieve this goal, the Center aims to foster collaborative research using existing research populations, that is, subjects enrolled in ongoing longitudinal studies or data sets from previously completed research studies. For experienced researchers, collaboration involving existing research populations will help to generate new hypotheses and to generate pilot results for new grant applications. For junior researchers, access to research populations and collaboration with experienced investigators will provide opportunities for mentoring that will enhance their ability to present and publish important research findings and to submit competitive grant applications.

In the following paragraphs, we briefly describe 12 research populations associated with investigators at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. (For some of these populations, it may be necessary to obtain approval from the study's investigators.) We have also included a brief summary of the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging for those who may wish to access public use data sets. This is just a start: we hope to continue the process of identifying and cataloguing research populations and we intend to update this list periodically.

If you are interested in learning more about a particular project, call or email the contact person listed in the summary. To discuss these, or other research ideas, you may also contact Mona Baumgarten at (410) 706-1531 or

Medicare Current Beneficiaries Survey
This survey, sponsored by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), provides data on non-covered Medicare services. The survey includes a random sample of 17,000 Medicare beneficiaries, followed up 3 times per year for 4 years. Disabled individuals and those aged 80 and over are oversampled. Data are collected by telephone interview and information is available on medical claims, access to care, medical service use, cost of services, health indicators, functional status, and personal characteristics. Data for 1992-3 are available in a public use data set and 1994-7 results will be available soon. Contact Bruce Stuart (410) 706-5389, email

Medicaid Drug Use Review for Maryland and Pennsylvania
The goal is to conduct drug use studies in the Medicaid population and, in Pennsylvania, to assess the effectiveness of educational interventions regarding prescribing practices. Data are available annually, starting in 1995 for Maryland and in 1997 for Pennsylvania. The data sets contain information on all fee-for-service Medicaid claims (n=100,000 in Maryland, 370,000 in Pennsylvania). Managed care claims data for Maryland will be available soon. Data are available on prescription claims, medical service claims, institution claims, demographic characteristics, and program eligibility. Contact Ilene Zuckerman (410) 706-3266, email

Study of Osteoporotic Fractures
The goal of this cohort study is to explore factors related to osteoporosis, bone density, fracture risk, and falls. The study has been in progress since 1986 in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Portland, and Minneapolis. Baseline examinations have been performed of 9,704 White and 600 Black community-residing women aged 65 or more who could walk unassisted by a person. Follow-up is ongoing. Data are collected by interview, medical record abstraction, mortality record search, clinic exams, densitometry, laboratory tests, and videotapes of gait. Information is available on fractures, bone density, cause of death, muscle strength, body composition, medical history, medications, exogenous hormones, reproductive history, cognitive function, functional status, comorbidity, vision, gait, balance, social network, health status, depression, diet, blood gases, and calcium absorption. DNA and serum are banked. Contact Marc Hochberg (410) 706-6474, email

Baltimore Hip Studies
The goal of these three cohort studies is to identify ways to enhance recovery from hip fracture. The cohorts, which were established in 1984, 1990, and 1992, are made up of more than 2,000 hip fracture patients followed up for at least one year. Data were collected by interview with patients and proxies, medical record abstraction, and death index search. Information is available on medical and psychosocial variables, mortality, functional status, cost, health service utilization, complications, bone mineral density, muscle mass, and muscle strength. Call Jay Magaziner (401) 706-2406, email

Epidemiology of Dementia in Aged Nursing Home Admissions
The goal of this cohort study is to estimate the prevalence of dementia in residents newly admitted to nursing home and to compare demented and nondemented residents with respect to mortality, morbidity, and health service utilization. The study sample is made up of 2,285 residents aged 65 years or older admitted to any one of 59 Maryland nursing homes. Subjects were examined at admission and followed up for two years. Data were obtained by review of nursing home chart and by interview with nurse or nurse's aide, resident's significant other, and/or resident. Information is available on dementia status, mortality, febrile episodes, weight change, infections, pressure ulcers, falls and accidents, physician contacts, emergency room visits, nursing home length of stay, hospitalizations, facility characteristics, comorbidity, functional status, and demographic characteristics. Contact Jay Magaziner (401) 706-2406, email

FDA Database of Adverse Drug Reaction Reports
The purpose of the database is to monitor the safety of marketed drugs by collecting information on adverse drug reactions. The database is made up of all spontaneous reports to the FDA regarding more than 1 million adverse events that occurred in the U.S. between 1969 and 1997. For each report, information is available on report date, description of event, drug (type, duration, dose), outcome (e.g., death, hospitalization), and demographic characteristics of patient. The data are available on CD-ROM. Contact Sheila Weiss (410) 706-6989, email

Canadian Study of Health and Aging-1
The purpose of CSHA-1 was to estimate the prevalence of dementia in Canada; to identify risk factors for Alzheimer's disease; to describe current care provided to patients with dementia, to assess burden on caregivers and to assess caregivers' need for support; and to establish a uniform database for subsequent studies. A cross-sectional population-based survey was carried out in 1991-2 in five regions of Canada among 9,008 community-residing persons and 1,255 institutionalized persons aged 65 and over. Data were obtained on, among others, demographic and social characteristics, functional status, cognitive status, clinical variables, caregiving variables, use of health services, and history of exposure to potential risk factors. Contact Mona Baumgarten (410) 706-1531, email

Canadian Study of Health and Aging-2
The purpose of CSHA-2 was to estimate the incidence of dementia in Canada; to identify prospectively risk factors for Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia; to describe the progression of dementia over time; to study issues related to healthy aging; and to quantify changes over time in caregiver health, in the support networks of elderly Canadians, and in health care utilization. A longitudinal follow-up of the subjects included in CSHA-1 was conducted in 1996-7. Data were obtained on, among others, demographic and social characteristics, functional status, cognitive status, clinical variables, caregiving variables, and use of health services. Contact Mona Baumgarten (410) 706-1531, email

 The National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging
NACDA is a research storehouse of information and data on aging. NACDA is funded by the National Institute on Aging and is located at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) in Ann Arbor, Michigan. NACDA exists to advance research on aging by helping researchers profit from the under-exploited potential of a broad range of datasets. NACDA holdings reference all datasets that have research relevance for the study of aging. The core of the NACDA collection is available free of charge to everyone. This collection represents over 100 datasets and the size of the collection is constantly growing. NACDA also links to approximately 500 data sets within ICPSR and other archival projects. Some of these datasets are freely available to the public and some are not. NACDA distributes data principally through point and click downloads from their webpage. NACDA not only collects and distributes data on aging; it also provides expert user support to assist researchers in the conduct of secondary analysis. NACDA staff can provide assistance in the identification of appropriate datasets on specific topics, the analysis of these datasets, and the use of codebooks and computer source code. Broad subject headings for NACDA's holdings are: (1) demographic characteristics of older adults; (2) social characteristics of older adults; (3) economic characteristics of older adults; (4) psychological characteristics, mental health, and well-being of older adults; (5) physical health and functioning of older adults; (6) health care needs, utilization, and financing for older adults. For more information, go to the NACDA's webpage at