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CHS research resources for the cardiovascular health of older adults

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? DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This application seeks infrastructure support for the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS). The NHLBI has changed the methods of support for its contract-funded cohort studies. In Framingham, the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) and the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC), limited contract renewals will include infrastructure support in the near-term, but they will include funds to bring participants into the clinics if and only if their investigators successfully compete at peer review for grant applications to conduct at least one major examination component. Eventually, even infrastructure support for these cohorts will require peer review as it currently does for CHS. The NHLBI Epidemiology Working Group recommends a competitive model similar to the one already used by the National Cancer Institute (NCI, PAR-14-160, Core Infrastructure and Methodological Research for Cancer Cohorts). At this time, however, the NHLBI lacks an NCI-like mechanism for the peer review of infrastructure grants, so the only option for CHS is to seek peer-reviewed R01 funding even though the genre of infrastructure support differs from that of hypothesis-testing grants. The purpose of infrastructure is to create a research resource; and for a cohort study, the major activities include contact with participants, collection of new data, follow-up for events, quality control, management of data and biospecimens, study administration and communications. None of these aims involves the test of an hypothesis. As the NCI PAR-14-160 indicates, the focus is on activities that will maximize the potential to respond to future scientific needs; enable cohorts to address cutting edge research questions; and facilitate scientific collaboration. Perhaps the major challenge for infrastructure grants is t demonstrate a high level of demand among the potential users. The two main goals of this grant application are: 1) to transform CHS into a research resource for the cardiovascular health of older adults; and 2) to deploy innovative approaches to assure the productive use of this infrastructure. For the first goal, the research-resource aims are to support: 1) the CHS Coordinating Center, its various databases, and its data-management and administrative activities; 2) the CHS Biorepository; 3) biannual telephone calls to collect new information; and 4) events data collection for the cardiovascular outcomes and total mortality. The second goal is to promote the use of these research resources. For this goal, the aims are: 1) to provide limited and focused support for 8 CHS Working Groups (WGs) to use CHS data and develop grant applications to address new questions and hypotheses; 2) to support mentored access to CHS data and specimens; and 3) to make CHS data, new events data, and ancillary-study opportunities available to all investigators. In each year, the WGs will recruit 8-16 new collaborators, publish 30-54 papers, and generate 6-12 new ancillary study proposals. The findings from CHS will be vital for the developing novel CVD preventive strategies and for improving the health of older adults in the US.
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