international journal of epidemiology

Cohort Profile: The Amirkola Health and Ageing Project (AHAP)


This is the first comprehensive cohort study of the health of older people ever conducted in Iran. The aim of this project is to investigate the health status of older people in Amirkola in the northern part of Iran, near the Caspian Sea. The Amirkola Health and Ageing Project (AHAP) is mainly concerned with geriatric medical problems, such as falling, bone fragility and fractures, cognitive impairment and dementia, poor mobility and functional dependence. It is planned that all participants will be re-examined after 2 years. Data are collected via questionnaire, examinations and venepuncture. AHAP started in April 2011 and 1616 participants had been seen by 18 July 2012, the end of the baseline stage of this study. The participation rate was 72.3%. The prevalence of self-reported hypertension (41.2%) and diabetes mellitus (23.3%) are high. Only 14.4% of older people considered their health as excellent or good in comparison with others at this age. The prevalence of osteoporosis (T score ≤ −2.5) was 57.4% in women and 16.1% in men, and 38.2 % of older people were vitamin D deficient (<20 ng/ml). Researchers interested in using the information are invited to contact the principal investigator Seyed Reza Hosseini.