Background: The longevity of Japanese is thought to be associated with psychosocial factors such as sense of coherence, social support, and social capital. However, the actual factors responsible and the extent of their contribution to individual health status are not known.
Methods: The Aichi Gerontological Evaluation Study (AGES) 2003 Cohort Study is a prospective cohort study of community-dwelling, activities of daily living-independent people aged 65 or older living in 6 municipalities in Chita peninsula, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Information on psychosocial factors and other individual- and community-level factors was collected in the second half of 2003 using a baseline questionnaire. Vital status and physical and cognitive decline have been followed using data derived from long-term care insurance certification. Geographical information on the study participants was also obtained.
Results: A total of 13 310 (6508 men; 6802 women) study participants were registered in the study. For an interim report, we followed the cohort for 48 months, yielding 24 753 person-years of observation among men and 26 456 person-years among women.
Conclusions: The AGES 2003 Cohort Study provides useful evidence for research in social epidemiology, gerontology, and health services.