Notice Number: NOT-AG-16-019
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Response Date: May 31, 2016
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
The Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology (DGCG) at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) is interested in compiling information on existing longitudinal cohorts of children and/or adults and associated biorepositories to explore the potential for and feasibility of using a multiple overlapping cohort design in future studies of age-related physiological changes influencing health across the life span. This request for information (RFI) seeks input from the research community on existing longitudinal cohort studies (of different age groups) with robust physiologic datasets and stored biospecimens which may be suitable for linked cohort designs for the identification of: 1) possible physiologic factors (especially protective factors) present during childhood which influence health and disease across adulthood and, 2) early- and mid-life prognostic markers of age-related conditions in late-life.
Much of our current understanding of the factors contributing to health and functional status in old age is based on cross-sectional data (e.g., comparisons between middle-aged and older adults) and/or longitudinal data representing a relatively limited segment of the human life span. This has resulted in critical gaps in our understanding of how physiological characteristics/events at one stage of life affect subsequent changes at latter stages of the human life span. This includes the identification of protective factors present during childhood which may contribute to the maintenance of health span across the adult years, as well as early and mid-life predictors of chronic diseases in late-life.
Mixed longitudinal designs which link cohorts of different age groups sequentially to create a life-course framework (e.g., childhood up to young adults or to mid-life) is one approach for addressing the above issues. A major advantage of linking data from existing cohorts is that it enables data mining and analysis of aging changes across a longer interval of the life course and in substantially less time than possible with any prospective cohort design. However the choice and feasibility of appropriate linked cohort designs to address the scientific issues of interest has to be carefully planned based on the number/types of suitable cohorts/data/biospecimens available and possible differences in cohort characteristics such as sample sizes, methods and intervals used for data/sample collection, types of clinical variables measured, missing data, length of follow-up, data-sharing policies and practices, etc. Hence a starting point in NIA's planning process for potential use of linked cohorts design for studies of aging changes across the life span is to compile fundamental information on the availability of existing cohorts of different age groups, associated physiologic datasets and stored biological samples.
The NIA is seeking input from the research community on existing longitudinal cohorts of children and/or adults with robust physiologic datasets and stored biospecimens (e.g., cord blood, plasma/serum, tissue biopsies) which may be available and appropriate for use in linked cohort designs for the identification of: 1) possible physiologic factors (especially protective factors) present during childhood which influence health and disease across adulthood and, 2) early- and mid-life prognostic markers of age-related conditions in late-life.
Examples of cohorts and related research activities that the NIA would be interested in learning more about include:
It would be appreciated if responses to this RFI include the following information on cohort profile, in addition to any other details germane to this request:
Responses to this RFI can be submitted via email to the Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology at: NIADGCGRFI@nia.nih.gov. Responses will be accepted until May 31, 2016.
Responses to this RFI are voluntary. This RFI is for planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of the Federal Government, the National Institutes of Health or individual NIH Institutes or Centers. The NIA does not intend to make any type of award based on responses to the RFI or to pay for either the preparation of information submitted or the Government's use of such information.
The NIA will use the information submitted in response to the RFI at its discretion. Respondents are advised that the Government is under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of information provided and will not provide feedback to respondents.
We look forward to your input and hope that you will share this RFI document with your colleagues, as appropriate.
Please direct all inquiries to:
Chhanda Dutta, PhD
Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology, NIA