The purpose of the VIA Longitudinal Study is to evaluate various lifestyle and environmental factors, as well as genetic and epigenetic factors, that affect the rate of aging in a broad cross section of individuals over the course of many years. We will also examine other variables we observe via questionnaires, such as supplement and drug intake.
Our goal is to determine how various behaviors, broadly construed, correlate with healthy aging and to evaluate how well new, largely untested ways of measuring biological age correlate with more established measures. These newer measures include DNA methylation, telomere length, senescent cell burden, NAD+ levels, as well as much more exotic tests, such as examinations of the changes with age in the contents of neural-derived exosomes.
In this sense, the VIA Longitudinal Study aims to do for the study of aging what the Framingham Heart Study did for the study of heart disease. The Framingham Heart Study and the VIA Longitudinal Study are designed with very similar study protocols, however the Framingham Heart Study looked primarily at heart disease and the VIA Longitudinal Study is looking at aging.
You are being offered the opportunity to take part in this research study because you are 50 years of age or older, you are generally healthy, you have the legal ability to make your own decisions, and you have expressed an interest in volunteering for this study. Those are the main inclusion criteria for joining this study. There are no restrictions of race, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, educational status, sexual preference, religious preference, or political views in this study. On the contrary, we are actively recruiting a large cohort of aging healthy volunteers that are racially, ethnically, and gender diverse; with an emphasis on groups that face health disparities as well as LGBT groups.