National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS)
The National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) is a national study of how daily life changes as we age. This page provides information for NHATS participants.
Since 2011, the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) has been providing important information about the daily lives of older adults in the U.S. Thousands of participants are interviewed each year about their daily activities. People who help NHATS participants are interviewed as part of the National Study of Caregiving (NSOC).
NHATS is being led by investigators at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, with data collection by Westat. Support for NHATS is provided by the National Institute on Aging.
The National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) is a national study of the ways daily life changes as we age. The study was designed to help understand how older people today, and in future generations, can lead fuller, healthier lives.
NHATS is being led by investigators at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. The study was designed by leading researchers from universities around the country. NHATS is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.
A team of trained data collectors from Westat, a national research firm that conducts some of the largest health care surveys in the U.S., conducts the interviews.
NHATS participants are selected because they are enrolled in Medicare. Because it is impossible to interview all Medicare enrollees, we used scientific sampling procedures to select a representative group of people that represents all older people throughout the country.
The interview asks study participants about their health, their home, how they do their everyday activities, how they get around at home and in the community, their family, and the people in their lives who may help with everyday activities. There are also some simple every day activities we will ask the study participant to do. These include standing, getting up from a chair, walking, and measuring memory, vision, and hearing.
This interview takes about 2 and a half hours. The amount of time can vary from person to person.
Participation in this study is voluntary. At any time, a participant may choose not to be part of the study or choose not to answer a question. However, each person invited to be in NHATS represents thousands of others and cannot be replaced. The more experiences we learn about, the more successful the study will be.
We follow strict procedures and guidelines to keep any identifying information private and safe. The information we collect is used for research purposes only.
After the information is collected and compiled, NHATS data is made available to researchers. The study information will be used to understand trends in health and functioning as we age and the social and economic consequences of health and aging for individuals, families, and society.