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

http://www.norc.org/Research/Projects/Pages/national-social-life-health-and-aging-project.aspx

Overview
The National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP) Wave II establishes longitudinal, population-based data on health, sexuality and social life among older Americans. NSHAP examines the role of relationships in healthy aging through the collection of high-quality data on social networks; marital, cohabitating and sexual partnerships; attitudes and self-reported behavior; social support; and cutting-edge biomarkers of physical function and health. Additionally, the project fills a crucial gap in knowledge about the health trajectories of older adults and informs new approaches to reducing morbidity and preventing disability and dysfunction as individuals age.

Data Collection
NSHAP Wave I used a national area probability sample of community-residing adults ages 57 to 85 at the time of the interview with an oversampling of African-American and Hispanic areas. Between July of 2005 and March of 2006, NORC and the investigator team at the University of Chicago completed 3,005 interviews with Wave I respondents for an overall weighted response rate of 75.5 percent. Wave II supplemented data from Wave I with the Partner Study, which obtained data from Wave I respondents' romantic partners, usually a spouse. Beginning in August of 2010, NSHAP returned to Referent Respondents and, in addition, interviewed Referent Respondents' Current Partners.

As before, NSHAP data collection consists of three distinct components: 1) an in-person questionnaire; 2) biomeasure collection; and 3) a paper leave-behind questionnaire. The in-person questionnaire and biomeasures were administered by a NORC field interviewer in the respondent's home. Questionnaire topics included: demographic characteristics; social networks; social and cultural activity; physical and mental health including cognition; well-being; illness; medications; history of sexual and intimate partnerships; and patient-physician communication. Additionally, a number of biomeasures were collected in NSHAP Wave I: height; weight; waist circumference; blood pressure; smell; taste; vision; touch; respondent-administered vaginal swabs; oral mucosal transudate (OMT) for HIV-1 antibody screening; saliva; 'get up and go'; and dried blood spots.

Biomarkers
All biomeasures were chosen within the purview of feasibility and acceptability to both interviewers and respondents. Biomeasures were selected to assess: physical function and condition; presence of disease or risk; sensory function; endocrine function, immune function; and health behaviors. All biomeasures included in NSHAP were specifically designed to be implemented by non-medically trained interviewers.

Wave I
A number of biomeasures were collected in NSHAP Wave I: height; weight; waist circumference; blood pressure; smell; taste; vision; touch; respondent-administered vaginal swabs; oral mucosal transudate (OMT) for HIV-1 antibody screening; saliva; 'get up and go'; and blood spots. Technological advances in biomeasure collection methods have decreased respondent burden and increased ease of collection, storage, and yield of various biomeasures for the second wave of NSHA.

Wave II
In Wave II, we now collect: anthropometrics, including height, hip and waist circumference, and weight; cardiovascular function, including blood pressure, heart rate variability, and pulse; 2 of the 3 components of the short physical performance battery (SPPB) including chair stands and a timed walk; sensory function including smell; and actigraphy. In addition, we collect dried blood spots, microtainer blood, passive drool and salivettes, urine, and respondent-administered vaginal swabs, each of which are analyzed using multiple assays for a variety of measures and rationales. Furthermore, we assess respondents' cognition using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA).

Table 1: NSHAP Cognitive Assessment and Biomeasure Collection

Biomeasure

Rationale

Wave I

Wave II

Cognition

 

Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire (SPMSQ)

dark gray

white

Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA)

 

white

dark gray

Anthropometrics

 

 

 

     Height

Body Mass Index (BMI), obesity

dark gray

dark gray

     Hip Circumference

Body Mass Index (BMI), obesity

white

dark gray

     Waist Circumference

Body Mass Index (BMI), obesity

dark gray

dark gray

     Weight

Body Mass Index (BMI), obesity

dark gray

dark gray

Cardiovascular Function

 

     Blood Pressure

Cardiovascular health

dark gray

dark gray

     Heart Rate Variability

Cardiovascular health

dark gray

dark gray

     Pulse

Cardiovascular health

dark gray

dark gray

Physical Performance

 

Get Up and Go

Mobility and functional health

dark gray

white

Short Physical Performance Battery

Mobility and functional health

white

dark gray

Sensory Function

 

     Smell

Sensory function

dark gray

dark gray

     Taste

Sensory function

dark gray

white

     Touch

Sensory function

dark gray

white

     Vision

Sensory function

dark gray

white

Blood Spots

 

     EBV Antibody Titers

Immune function

dark gray

dark gray

     C-Reactive Protein (CRP)

Cardiovascular health

dark gray

dark gray

     Glycosylated Hemoglobin (HbA1c)

Glucose metabolism

dark gray

dark gray

     Hemoglobin (Hb)

Glucose metabolism

dark gray

dark gray

Blood Microtainer

 

     Cytokines

Inflammation, cardiovascular health

white

dark gray

Passive Drool and Salivettes

 

     Cotinine

Nicotine use or exposure

dark gray

white

     Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

Hormone and sexual function

dark gray

dark gray

     Estradiol

Hormone and sexual function

dark gray

dark gray

     Progesterone

Hormone function and libido

dark gray

dark gray

     Testosterone

Hormone function and libido

dark gray

dark gray

Oral Mucosal Transudate: OraSure®

HIV infection

dark gray

white

Oragene

Genetic material

white

dark gray

Cortisol

Stress, inflammation, immune function

white

dark gray

Urine

 

Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin (NGAL)

Kidney function

white

dark gray

Microalbumin

Kidney function

white

dark gray

Creatinine

Kidney function and diabetes

white

dark gray

Vasopressin

Kidney function, water reabsorbtion

white

dark gray

Oxytocin

Sexual arousal and attachment

white

dark gray

Vaginal Swabs

 

     Bacterial Vaginosis

Infection

dark gray

dark gray

     Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Sexually transmitted infection

dark gray

white

     Yeast Vaginosis

Infection

dark gray

dark gray

     Vaginal Cell Cytology

Possible indicator of sexual function

dark gray

dark gray

dark gray- Biomeasure included

white- Biomeasure not included

User Guides
http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/ICPSR/studies/20541/documentation

Publications
http://www.norc.org/Research/Projects/Pages/national-social-life-health-and-aging-project.aspx

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