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Rehabilitation Dataset Directory: Dataset Profile

Dataset: Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (EPESE)

Basic Information
Dataset full name: Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly
Dataset acronym EPESE
Summary The Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (EPESE) is a longitudinal prospective study, funded by National Institute on Aging. The EPESE sample consists of non-institutionalized individuals age 65 and older in four communities: East Boston, Massachusetts; two rural counties in Iowa; New Haven, Connecticut, and central North Carolina. The purpose of the study is to understand the predictors of mortality, hospitalization, and risk factors for chronic diseases, functional decline, and admission to long-term care facilities. The study consisted of a preliminary baseline household interview of participants followed annually. Information from hospital/state records and death certificates are also included.
Key Terms Older adults, Hospitalization, Long-term care, Frailty, Chronic disease, Health behaviors, Chronic illnesses, Death, Health care, Hospitalization, Long term care, Medical history, Mortality rates, Nursing homes
Study Design Longitudinal
Data Type(s) Survey
Sponsoring Agency/Entity National Institutes of Health: National Institute on Aging
Health conditions/Disability measures
Health condition(s) Heart attack, Stroke, Diabetes mellitus, Cancer, Hip fracture, Arthritis, Joint pain, Hypertension, Angina
Disability Measures Katz Activities of Daily Living Scale, Mobility (Rosow-Breslau functional health scale), physical performance (Nagi scale), Depression (CES-D scale), physical activity (walking, gardening, vigorous exercise), hearing problems, vision problems, cognitive impairment (Short Portable Mental Status questionnaire)
Measures/outcomes of interest
Topics Income, Education, Marital status, Children, Employment, Religion, Physical functioning, Health-related problems, Health habits, Dental service use, Hospital service, Nursing Home Services. Clinical Variables: Height, Weight, Blood Pressure (baseline and third in-person interview)
Sample Population Non-institutionalized persons 65 years of age and older.
Sample Size/Notes 1981--1993 Approximately 14,456 East Boston (N = 3,809), Iowa (N = 3,673), New Haven (N = 2,811), and North Carolina (N = 4,165). First follow-Up: 14,070 Second follow-Up: 13,382 Third follow-up: 12,381 Fourth follow-up: 11,657 Fifth follow-up: 10,998 Sixth follow-up: 9,998 Deaths during follow-up: 4,238 Lost to follow-up:220
Unit of Observation Individual
Geographic Coverage East Boston, Massachusetts, New Haven, Connecticut, Iowa (Iowa and Washington counties), five counties in north central North Carolina
Geographic specificity Individual level
Data Collection
Data Collection Mode Baseline: In-person interview Follow-up: Phone and in-person interviews depending on wave. Data supplemented by hospital and state data system health service records and death certificate information.
Years Collected 1981-1993
Data Collection Frequency Baseline Data: 1980-81 (varies with site) 6 approximately annual follow-up interviews.
Strengths and limitations
Strengths Longitudinal design of the survey assists in identifying risk factors of diseases, disabilities, hospitalizations, institutionalization, and mortality. Large community-based sample and high initial response rate (80% and higher). Attrition for reasons other than death was minimal. Males were oversampled to maintain balance in the gender distribution. North Carolina sample consists of at least 50 percent African-Americans. Small sub-sample had blood samples taken in sixth follow-up.
Limitations Sample not nationally representative. High proportion (up to 20%) of oldest cohorts data based on proxy responses. Some variation in survey content by study location. Study relied on self-reported information on chronic disease, hospitalization, and nursing home service. Very limited nutrition/diet information.
Data details
Primary Website
Data Access
Data Access Requirements Data Use agreement, No cost
Summary Tables/reports NACDA description and citation
Dataset components (where applicable) DS1: Baseline Data
DS2: First Follow-Up Data
DS3: Second Follow-Up Data
DS4: Third Follow-Up Data
DS5: Deaths Data
DS6: Fourth Follow-Up Data
DS7: Fifth Follow-Up Data
DS8: Sixth Follow-Up Data
DS9: Resource Data Book and Questionnaires

Selected papers
Technical Questionnaires, codebooks and manuals
Other Papers Taylor, James 0., Robert B. Wallace, Adrian M. Ostfeld, and Dan G. Blazer. ESTABLISHED POPULATIONS FOR EPIDEMIOLOGIC STUDIES OF THE ELDERLY, 1981-1987:[EAST BOSTON,
MASSACHUSETTS, IOWA AND WASHINGTON COUNTIES, IOWA, NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT, AND NORTH CENTRAL NORTH CAROLINA] [Computer file]. 2nd release. Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Aging [producer], 1993. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter­university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1994.

Cornoni-Huntley J, Ostfeld AM, Taylor JO, Wallace RB, Blazer D, Berkman LF, Evans DA, Kohout FJ, Lemke JH, Scherr PA, et al. Established populations for epidemiologic studies of the elderly: study design and methodology. Aging (Milano). 1993 Feb; 5(1):27-37.

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