For Healthcare Professionals

Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging


About the study

Background: - The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) is a clinical research program on human aging that began in 1958. Volunteers of different ages join the study when they are healthy, and have follow-up visits for life. Visits last for multiple days. Participants are evaluated for many physical elements as well as for brain function. Physical tests are given. Information on mood, personality, and social aspects of life is also collected. This program has contributed more than any other research project to our understanding of aging. Objectives: - To characterize the many aspects of the aging process and learn how people can successfully adapt to aging. Eligibility: - Healthy individuals at least 20 years old. Design: - Participants will receive a booklet and video describing the tests they will take. - During a 3-day visit at the study hospital, participants will take the following tests: - Urine will be collected for 24 hours. Blood samples will be taken. A small piece of muscle tissue may be collected by a needle. - A medical questionnaire and a physical exam will be given. - Participants hearts will be tested, including with blood pressure tests and electronic monitors. They will breathe into a tube to test their lungs. - Participants will perform several exercises, including treadmill walking. - Vision, hearing, and taste will be tested. - Bone and joint X-rays may be taken. - Imaging tests will be given, such as an MRI. - Participants will answer questions to test their mental abilities. - Participants will return for follow-up visits every few years for life. The tests listed above will be given at every visit.

Who can take part

You may be eligible to participate in the study if you meet the following criteria:


  1. Age greater than or equal to 20 years of age
  2. Weigh less than or equal to 300lbs and/or body mass index (BMI) is less than or equal to 40
  3. Do not have established genetic diseases
  4. Are able to perform daily self
  5. care without assistance
  6. Are able to walk independently for at least 400 meters without assistance and without developing symptoms
  7. Are able to perform normal activities of daily living without shortness of breath (walking or climbing stairs)
  8. Do not have cognitive impairment based on mental status screening tests
  9. Do not have a history of cardiovascular disease (including angina, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, cerebrovascular diseases, uncontrolled hypertension)
  10. Do not have a history of diabetes (requiring any medical treatment other than diet and exercise)
  11. Do not have active (any activity in the last 10 years) cancer, except for locally limited basal or squamous cell cancer
  12. Do not have clinically significant hormonal dysfunction (Laboratory values out of range despite supplementation and/or drug treatment)
  13. Do not have a history of neurological diseases or birth defects (other than minor anatomical abnormalities, which do not affect physical and/or cognitive function)
  14. Do not have a history of kidney or liver disease (associated with reduced kidney or liver function)
  15. Do not have a history of severe gastrointestinal (G.I.) diseases
  16. Do not have muscle-skeletal conditions due to diseases or traumas (that cause pathological weakness and/or chronic pain)
  17. Do not have a history of severe psychiatric conditions (associated with behavioral problems or requiring chronic medical treatment)
  18. Do not have any medical condition that requires absolute and continuous need for long term treatment with antibiotics, corticosteroids, immunosuppressors, H2 blockers and/or proton pump inhibitors, or pain medications
  19. Do not have important sensory deficits (legally blind and/or any condition that precludes the participant from being tested with standard neuropsychological tests or providing informed consent)
  20. Able to read and speak English
  21. Do not have joint replacements due to arthritic changes (joint replacements due to previous trauma are ok) or do not have 2 or more joint replacements for any reason.
  22. Do not meet any exclusionary criteria for MRI and agrees to perform the test
  23. Agree to genetic (DNA/RNA) sample collection, analysis, and storage at Visit 1


  1. HIV virus infection
  2. Hepatitis B or C
  3. Syphilis
  4. WBC > 12,000/mcrL;
  5. Platelets < 100,000 or >600,000 /mcrL;
  6. Hemoglobin < 11 g/dL;
  7. Creatinine >1.5 mg/dl or calculated creatinine clearance < 50 cc/min;
  8. Bilirubin > 1.5 mg/dl unless higher levels can be ascribed to Gilbert s disease;
  9. ALT, AST or alkaline phosphatase twice the normal serum concentration
  10. Corrected calcium < 8.5 or > 10.7 mg/dl
  11. Albumin < 3.1 g/dl
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Study Locations

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How to Apply

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Phone iconCall (863) 259-9119Email iconEmail Study Center

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