Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS)

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Accession Number

Study Type
Epidemiology Study

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

Study Period
June 1988 - May 2009

NHLBI Division

Dataset(s) Last Updated
October 24, 2019

Primary Publication URLs

Related Studies


Commercial Use Data Restrictions No

Data Restrictions Based On Area Of Research No

Available Data

The BioLINCC CHS data package was last updated in June of 2016 and includes follow-up data through year 24, events data through 12/31/2011, and several ancillary studies.


The Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) is a study of risk factors for development and progression of CHD and stroke in people aged 65 years and older. The objectives of the Cardiovascular Health Study are to: 1) quantify associations of conventional and hypothesized risk factors with CHD and stroke; 2) assess the associations of non-invasive measures of subclinical disease with the incidence of CHD and stroke; 3) quantify the associations of risk factors with subclinical disease; 4) characterize the natural history of CHD and stroke, and identify factors associated with clinical course; and 5) describe the prevalence and distributions of risk factors, non-invasive measures of subclinical disease, and clinical CHD and stroke.


The study originated in 1988 from the recommendations of an NHLBI workshop on the management of CHD in the elderly. This is the most extensive study undertaken by the NHLBI to study CVD exclusively in an elderly population. Initially funded for six years, it was renewed for a second six year period in 1994 and recently was renewed for continued morbidity and mortality follow-up.


The 5,888 study participants were recruited from four U.S. communities and have undergone extensive clinic examinations for evaluation of markers of subclinical cardiovascular disease. The original cohort totaled 5,201 participants. A new cohort was recruited in 1992. The 687 participants in the new cohort are predominately African-American and were recruited at three of the four field centers.


The 2,962 women and 2,239 men were examined yearly from 1989 through 1999. The added minority cohort of 256 men and 431 women was examined from 1992 to 1999. Examination components have included medical history questionnaires, measurement of ankle-brachial index, abdominal and carotid ultrasound studies, echocardiograms, ambulatory electrocardiograms, cerebral magnetic resonance imaging, spirometry and retinal photographs over the past decade. The most extensive evaluations were at study entry (baseline) and again in 1992-1993 to assess change in subclinical disease measures. CHS has undertaken extensive follow-up for ascertainment of cardiovascular events including incident claudication, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, stroke and death.

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Resources Available

Study Datasets Only

Study Documents

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