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Participants

First, Thank You.

We are incredibly thankful for our participants' time, support, and contributions to the ARIC study!

Stacee N., UMMC, Jackson, MS

We love seeing all our participants at our clinic, and appreciate them being part of the study for so long!

Kathryn H., University of Minnesota, MN

ARIC participants are the best! They have given so generously of their time and effort for this study, and we cannot thank them enough. 

Our staff is always excited to see participants at their appointments - we have a great time together.

Melissa M., Johns Hopkins Comstock Center, MD

Your kindness and dedication to our study is so heartwarming! I really appreciate each participant!!

Nadine S., Wake Forest University Medical Center, NC

Thank you for all of your years of support and dedication to this groundbreaking study.

Retina J., UMMC, Jackson, MS

We really enjoy it when we get to spend time with our ARIC participants for one of their visits and are so impressed with how long they have kept a continued and vested interest in this study.

ARIC has some of the best participants in the world! We love our participants like they are family!

The Team at Wake Forest University Medical Center, NC
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ARIC Field Centers

News and Updates

Please click here for our most recent newsletter.

Clinic Visits Continue

After pausing for the pandemic in 2020, the ARIC study began seeing participants again in 2021. We hope to see you soon, especially for two important “imaging” opportunities. 
You have already made many valuable contributions to our understanding of science and health. With these imaging studies, we can learn even more about how the brain changes with age. 

New Brain Imaging Opportunity

The current ARIC clinical visit includes important imaging opportunities. We’ll ask you to consider participating in a brain MRI and a brain PET scan, which can produce useful information about your brain and its health.

What is the difference between an MRI and a PET scan? 

A brain MRI uses magnets, while a brain PET scan uses x-rays, along with a safe ‘marker’ injected in your arm, to get pictures of your brain. An MRI shows structural changes, including strokes and other injuries. PET scans can show if there is buildup of abnormal proteins.

Why are we studying brain images? We can compare results from these scans to how you did on memory and thinking tests. This will help us understand risk factors for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and help identify factors that might protect against memory and thinking problems.

Some of our participants have already had a brain MRI, a PET scan, or both. We are so appreciative of your past participation. Having several scans will help us understand how the brain changes over time. We also hope to learn more about the main risk factors – and protective factors – for changes in the brain.

MRI Machine

New Blood Pressure Measurement Methods

During your clinic visit we’ll describe a unique blood pressure study that checks your blood pressure three different ways. 

One set of blood pressure measurements in different positions (seated, lying down, standing) will check for differences that may indicate blood pressure problems and increased risks of falls. 

Another will record your blood pressure repeatedly over a full 24-hours using a special device, to help understand blood pressure changes that may increase risks of different heart disease and related conditions. 

Finally, you will learn how to accurately check your own blood pressure in the morning and evening at your own home.

By checking blood pressure in these ways, our team of researchers will learn about your blood pressure patterns in many different situations throughout the day and night. This study not only has the potential to impact how you manage your blood pressure but also how our entire health care system views and manages this critical health measure!

Man taking blood pressure reading

Ways You're Making an Impact

With your help, ARIC has led to advances in how doctors help manage heart health, and guided national health policy. 

Many discoveries have increased understanding of the causes of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, advanced cardiovascular disease prevention, and shaped guidelines for treating coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and chronic kidney disease.

ARIC data have been used in over 2,700 publications, with several major findings and outcomes including: 

  • ARIC was the first to sequence a region in the PCSK9 gene on a large population. Based on this finding, a medication was developed to help prevent coronary heart disease.
  • Among African Americans, that sickle cell trait was associated with increased risk of chronic kidney disease and pulmonary embolism risk.
  • Cardiac troponin was identified as a marker of heart muscle damage and BNP as a marker of heart muscle stretch. Both are associated with increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
  • Cardiovascular risk factors measured during middle age are associated with risk of developing dementia in older age.
  • ARIC has also worked on identifying risk factors for other diseases and conditions, such as: abdominal aortic aneurysm, peripheral artery disease, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, silent stroke, venous thrombosis, diabetes, cancer, and weight gain.

We're here to help.

If you have questions regarding the ARIC study, please reach out to your local study site or visit our Contact Us page.

Contact Us