Pilot Projects

How do socioeconomic status, behaviors, and age interact to produce death risks? (Mehta)
This research evaluates the nature of interactions between two key socio-demographic variables (educational attainment, race/ethnicity) and two key behavioral risk factors(obesity and smoking) to determine whether the two sets of risk factors operate additively or multiplicatively with each to influence the chance of dying. 2017.

Multimorbidity Patterns in Aging Couples: Longitudinal Associations with Functional Disability (Polenick)
Using data from ten waves (1996 to 2014) of the Health and Retirement Studies, we will examine patterns of multimorbidity both within and between spouses, focusing on concordance in the management activities required by multiple conditions. 2017.

Chronic diseases and physical functioning: Development and validation of an ICD-coded multimorbidity index (Wei)
The proposed studies will use unique data linkages between granular patient-reported outcomes in the nationally-representative Health and Retirement Study and Medicare claims to develop and internally validate a multimorbidity index for International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-coded chronic conditions weighted to physical functioning. The successful completion of these studies will yield a validated multimorbidity measure that captures the impact of coexisting chronic diseases on physical functioning in aging adults relevant for clinical care, research, and policy. 2017.

Cognitive resilience to depressive symptoms in diverse older adults (Zahodne)
Significant knowledge gaps regarding the depression-dementia link include modifiable factors that attenuate this link and reasons for differences in resilience across racial groups. The proposed research will address each of these gaps by recruiting a racially diverse, population-representative sample of older adults for psychosocial, cognitive, and functional assessment and examining how modifiable psychosocial resources that differ across race promote cognitive resilience to depressive symptoms in a flexible structural equation modeling framework. 2017.

Rural Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment and Chronic Disease: A Mixed Methods Study of Social and Health Factors in Their Care (Cigolle)
The proposed pilot will perform a mixed-methods study of older adults with dementia in rural Michigan. The pilot will address how rural older adults with dementia are cared for in their communities, as viewed by primary care physicians in those communities. 2016.

Muscle weakness among older adults: A silent epidemic (Clarke)
The current proposal will chart new territory in investigating the long-term health consequences of dynapenia to: 1) predict whether individuals who fall below these proposed cut-points are at risk for developing future negative health outcomes; 2) examine proposed cut-points in predicting future health risks above and beyond traditional indicators of morbidity and mortality; and 3) understand the role obesity may play in exacerbating future negative health outcomes among those who are considered weak. 2016.

Cholinergic genetic effects on health and cognition in older adults: Longitudinal analysis (Lustig)
Using the HRS representative sample of approximately 20,000 Americans over the age of 50, we will examine how limits in cholinergic function are related to changes in measurements of attention, memory, and cognitive status and physiological health across multiple time points. 2016.

Demographic and socioeconomic differences in polygenic risk of cardiovascular health in the Health and Retirement Study (Schmitz) 2016.

Changes in Health and Longevity over the 20th Century: Evidence from North Carolina (Bailey) 2015.

The Effects of Collection Procedures on Telomere Length (Faul) 2015.

Understanding Recent Change in Gender Differences in Life Expectancy among Adults in Wealthy Countries (Burgard) 2014.

Cognitive ability and awareness of hypertension in older Americans (Levy) 2014.

Applying Whole Genome data to Common Social Science Issues (Mitchell) 2014.

Past Pilot Projects

View past MiCDA Pilot Projects