Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA)

Note that you will be prompted to log in or register an account

Accession Number

Study Type
Epidemiology Study

Collection Type
Open BioLINCC Study See bottom of this webpage for request information

Study Period

NHLBI Division

Dataset(s) Last Updated
September 13, 2022

Primary Publication URLs


Commercial Use Data Restrictions No

Data Restrictions Based On Area Of Research No


The original objectives of CARDIA were to document levels of risk factors for coronary artery disease and potential determinants of these risk factors in young adults; to study the interrelationships of risk factors and lifestyles and to document behavioral and environmental changes during the transition from young adulthood to middle age; to compare cross-sectional and longitudinal data on age-related trends in cardiovascular disease risk factors; and to compare levels and evolution of risk factors between men and women, blacks and whites, and in groups of differing socioeconomic status. Goals of the study have evolved to emphasize understanding determinants of left ventricular mass, emerging obesity and hypertension, and sequelae of hypertension in pregnancy.


CARDIA is designed to increase understanding of contributors to changes in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors during the critical years of transition from young adulthood to middle age. CARDIA was funded initially in 1983 for a five year cycle that included two rounds of examinations. Contract renewals have allowed for subsequent re-examinations.


Black and white men and women; ages 18-30 years at entry with a range of attained education; sample size: 5,115.


CARDIA is a population-based observational study of 5,115 participants aged 18-30 years recruited in 1985-1986. The sample was designed to achieve approximately balanced subgroups of race, gender, education (high school or less and more than high school) and age (18-24 and 25-30). Forty percent of the cohort had no more than a high school education. A second examination (1987-1988), third (1990-1991), fourth (1992-1993), fifth (1995-1996), sixth (2000-2001) and seventh (2005-2006) examinations have been completed in the cohort.

In addition to standard measurements of blood pressure, anthropometry, blood lipids, smoking behavior, physical activity, diet, pulmonary function, and many psychological factors, CARDIA has other included measurements (in subsets or in the full cohort) to obtain unique information on other aspects of risk factor development and early morbidity. These have included: graded exercise treadmill testing; echocardiography, particularly for measurement of left ventricular mass; cardiovascular reactivity; serum cotinine; Lp(a), apoE phenotype, apolipoprotein A1 and B; homocysteine; skin reflectance; body composition by dual X-ray absorptiometry; glucose tolerance testing; vascular resistance and compliance; and plasma renin activity and sympathetic nervous system activity.

Data Update

Available data for request include exam data through Year 30 and outcomes and death data through 2021. Additionally, data from 17 ancillary studies are available for request.

Please note that researchers must be registered on this site to submit a request, and you will be prompted to log in. If you are not registered on this site, you can do so via the Request button. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Resources Available

Study Datasets Only

Study Documents

Persons using assistive technology may not be able to fully access information in the study documents. For assistance, Contact BioLINCC and include the web address and/or publication title in your message. If you need help accessing information in different file formats such as PDF, XLS, DOC, see Instructions for Downloading Viewers and Players.