Introducing EdSHARe: Education, Racism, Dementia, and the Potential of Repurposing Two Education Cohort Studies (HSB and NLS72) for Aging Research


Friday, June 23, 2023 | Noon CST | Zoom - register here | 90 minutes

Presenters: John Robert "Rob" Warren, University of Minnesota with Eric Grodsky, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Chandra Muller, University of Texas at Austin; and Adam Brickman and Jennifer Manly, Columbia University. Amanda Sonnega, Coordinating Center Director, will moderate.


Every decade, the US Department of Education conducts a large cohort study of a nationally representative sample of high school students; those students are followed for about a decade, and comprehensive information about their families, schools, educational experiences, peers, and other life contexts is collected from school transcripts and interviews with students, parents, teachers, and school administrators. 


We revived and repurposed two of those cohorts- the 1972 National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972 (NLS-72) cohort and the 1980 High School and Beyond (HSB) cohort- to become studies of aging and later life well-being. This talk will focus on the design and potential of the 2021 (age ~60) HSB follow-up and the 2024 (age ~70) NLS72 follow-up. Both feature rich measures of cognitive impairment, health, and socioeconomic outcomes; both include surveys, cognitive assessments, in-home health visits, blood and saliva biomarkers, and administrative record linkages. To these, the 2024 NLS72 will add MRIs for a subsample of respondents. Education Studies for Healthy Aging Research (EdSHARe) is the broader project that includes these cohorts.


This webinar will be hosted by the Coordinating Center for the Centers on the Demography and Economics of Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias; the Center for Demography of Health and Aging (CDHA) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; the Center on Aging & Population Sciences (CAPS) at University of Texas, Austin; and the Life Course Center for the Demography and Economics of Aging (LCC) at the University of Minnesota.


Background: The Demography and Economics of Aging Centers Program, expanded to include Alzheimer’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Related Dementias, has contributed significantly to developing both innovative lines of research and the next generation of scholars in the field. New areas and new directions have emerged (such as population genetics and biomeasure collection within national population-based surveys), largely because of increasing cross-disciplinary collaborations encouraged by the Centers. This successful model represents multiple centers engaged in a range of research and infrastructure activities within thematic research areas. There is wide recognition within the National Institute on Aging and in the field that the full promise of the center mechanism itself and, indeed, the pace of future scientific discovery in aging will depend on scholars continuing to bridge disciplinary divides.