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NHLBI Obesity Research


The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study (CARDIA)

Project Period: 12/30/1983–6/30/2018
Contact: Dr. Jared Reis

The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Studyexternal disclaimer (CARDIA) is a study examining the development and determinants of clinical and subclinical cardiovascular disease and its risk factors. It began in 1985-6 with a group of 5115 black and white men and women aged 18-30 years. The participants were selected so that there would be approximately the same number of people in subgroups of race, gender, education (high school or less and more than high school) and age (18-24 and 25-30) in each of 4 centers: Birmingham, AL; Chicago, IL; Minneapolis, MN; and Oakland, CA. These same participants were asked to participate in follow-up examinations during 1987-1988 (Year 2), 1990-1991 (Year 5), 1992-1993 (Year 7), 1995-1996 (Year 10), 2000-2001 (Year 15), and 2005-2006 (Year 20). A majority of the group has been examined at each of the follow-up examinations (90%, 86%, 81%, 79%, 74%, and 72%, respectively).

While the specific aims of each examination have varied, data have been collected on a variety of factors believed to be related to heart disease. These include conditions with clear links to heart disease such as blood pressure, cholesterol and other lipids, and glucose. Data have also been collected on physical measurements such as weight and skinfold fat as well as lifestyle factors such as substance use (tobacco and alcohol), dietary and exercise patterns, behavioral and psychological variables, medical and family history, and other chemistries (e.g., insulin). In addition, subclinical atherosclerosis was measured via echocardiography during Years 5 and 10, computed tomography during Years 15 and 20, and carotid ultrasound during Year 20.

Last Updated July 2014

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