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ARIC: "Research With Heart" Since 1987

The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC) is one of the world’s most significant and longest-running heart health studies and is the largest study of heart health in African Americans. Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), ARIC investigates risk factors for heart disease and stroke, and the connections between cardiovascular and cognitive health.
In 1987, nearly 16,000 participants aged 45 through 65 joined the ARIC cohort study in four communities. In 2021, approximately 6,000 original participants, now in their 80s and 90s, are still active in ARIC. They generously give their time for clinical exams every three years, along with regular telephone follow up. Learn more about ARIC, including study impact and scientific findings.

Visit 9 Begins in June 2021

The ARIC study team is delighted to announce that clinic visits for participants will resume in June 2021. Find out more about ARIC’s next clinical exam – Visit 9 – including information on brain and heart imaging, continuous glucose monitoring, and more.
As always, thanks to our amazing ARIC participants, who will soon begin their 35th year in the study. We can’t wait to see you all again!



ARIC in the News

A cup of black coffeeSince February, our ARIC website has been getting a lot of visitors from a link on CNN.com.
A CNN Health story about black coffee and heart health was behind the increased traffic.
The CNN story reported on a study published in February in the American Heart Association’s journal "Circulation: Heart Failure." This new study (which has no relation to ARIC) compared data about coffee consumption from three studies: ARIC, the Framingham Heart Study, and the Cardiovascular Health Study.

Investigator Spotlight

Pamela Lutsey, PhD, MPH, is a Principal Investigator with the ARIC study.ARIC Principal Investigator Pamela Lutsey, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Minnesota, was quoted recently in a New York Times story on the link between dementia and sleep.

Research Spotlight

Dr. Silvia Koton is an active member of the ARIC Neurocognitive Study working group.Silvia Koton, Ph.D.,
MOccH, R.N., FAHA
"The association that we found between stroke severity and risk of dementia was surprisingly strong..."
Dr. Silvia Koton heads the Herczeg Institute on Aging and the PhD Program in the Department of Nursing, Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University in Tel Aviv, Israel. Dr. Koton is an active member of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Neurocognitive Study working group, the Recurrent Cardio-vascular Diseases working group and the ARIC Aging and Physical Functioning working group.
Her recent research presented at the 2021 American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference (ISC) shows that having an ischemic stroke increases dementia risk, and that the risk escalates with the number and severity of strokes. Dr. Koton won the ISC 2021 Vascular Cognitive Impairment Award for her study entitled "Association Between Incidence, Severity and Recurrence of Ischemic Stroke and Risk of Dementia: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study".
"The comprehensive data in ARIC allowed us to uniquely characterize the link between dementia and stroke incidence, recurrence, and severity. The association that we found between stroke severity and risk of dementia was surprisingly strong, and the continued rise in the risk of dementia with each additional stroke was a remarkable finding. Our findings emphasize the importance of preventing stroke to prevent dementia and to maintain high levels of physical and cognitive function and quality of life, especially at older ages."