Background: The oldest old is the fastest growing age group worldwide and the most prone to severe disability, especially in relation to loss of cognitive function. Improving our understanding of the predictors of cognitive, physical and psychosocial wellbeing among the oldest old can result in substantial benefits for the individuals and for the society as a whole. The Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Dementia (CAIDE) study investigated risk factors and determinants of cognitive impairment in a population-based longitudinal cohort, which was first examined between 1972 and 1992, when individuals were in their midlife, and re-assessed in 1998 and 2005-2009. Most of the study participants are currently aged 85 years or older. We aim to re-examine the cohort's survivors and gain further insights on the mechanisms underlying both cognitive and overall healthy ageing at old age.
Methods: CAIDE85+ is the third follow-up of the CAIDE study participants. All individuals still alive and living in the Kuopio and Joensuu areas of Eastern Finland, from the original CAIDE cohort (two random samples, N = 2000 + ~ 900), will be invited to a re-examination. The assessment includes self-reported data related to basic demographics and lifestyle, as well as psychosocial and physical health status. Cognitive and physical evaluations are also conducted. Blood biomarkers relevant for dementia and ageing are assessed. Primary outcomes are the measurements related to cognition and daily life functioning (CERAD, Trail Making Test-A, Letter-Digit Substitution Test, Clinical Dementia Rating and Activities of Daily Living). Secondary endpoints of the study are outcomes related to physical health status, psychosocial wellbeing, as well as age-related health indicators.
Discussion: Through a follow-up of more than 40 years, CAIDE85+ will provide invaluable information on the risk and protective factors that contribute to cognitive and physical health, as well as ageing and longevity.
Study registration: The present study protocol has been registered at https://clinicaltrials.gov/ (registration nr NCT03938727 , date 03.05.2019).
Keywords: Ageing; CAIDE; Cognitive decline; Dementia; Disability; Longevity; Longitudinal cohort study; Midlife risk factors; Physical functioning; Protocol.