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This study is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA), the aging program within ICPSR. NACDA is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Heath (NIH).

Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly, 1981-1993: [East Boston, Massachusetts, Iowa and Washington Counties, Iowa, New Haven, Connecticut, and North Central North Carolina] (ICPSR 9915) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):


The goals of the Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (EPESE) project were to describe and identify predictors of mortality, hospitalization, and placement in long-term care facilities and to investigate risk factors for chronic diseases and loss of functioning. The survey elicited information from persons 65 years of age and older in four geographic locations: East Boston, Massachusetts, New Haven, Connecticut, Iowa and Washington Counties, Iowa, and five counties in north central North Carolina. The public use baseline data (Part 1) cover demographic characteristics (age, sex, race, income, education, marital status, number of children, employment, and religion), height, weight, social and physical functioning, chronic conditions, related health problems, health habits, self-reported use of dental, hospital, and nursing home services, and depression. Data from six follow-up surveys conducted in all four of the sites are also provided (Parts 2-4 and 6-8), along with information from death certificates for deaths occurring in the first six years of follow-up for all four sites (Part 5).

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Baseline Data - Download All Files (8 MB)
DS2:  First Follow-Up Data - Download All Files (10 MB)
DS3:  Second Follow-Up Data - Download All Files (10 MB)
DS4:  Third Follow-Up Data - Download All Files (11.4 MB)
DS5:  Deaths Data - Download All Files (1.5 MB)
DS6:  Fourth Follow-Up Data - Download All Files (9.9 MB)
DS7:  Fifth Follow-Up Data - Download All Files (9.8 MB)
DS8:  Sixth Follow-Up Data - Download All Files (11.9 MB)
DS9:  Resource Data Book and Questionnaires
No downloadable data files available.

Study Description


Taylor, James O., Robert B. Wallace, Adrian M. Ostfeld, and Dan G. Blazer. Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly, 1981-1993: [East Boston, Massachusetts, Iowa and Washington Counties, Iowa, New Haven, Connecticut, and North Central North Carolina]. ICPSR09915-v3. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1998. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09915.v3

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Aging (N01-AG-0-2107, N01-AG-0-2106, N01-AG-0-2105,N01-AG-2-2102)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   aging population, chronic illnesses, death, health care, hospitalization, long term care, medical history, mortality rates, nursing homes, older adults

Geographic Coverage:   Boston, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Haven, North Carolina, United States

Time Period:  

  • 1981--1993

Universe:   All noninstitutionalized persons 65 years of age and older in East Boston, Massachusetts, New Haven, Connecticut, Iowa and Washington Counties, Iowa, and five counties in north central North Carolina.

Data Types:   survey data, and administrative records data

Data Collection Notes:

(1) Additional documentation, the EPESE RESOURCE DATA BOOK, Volumes I and II, is available only in hardcopy form upon request from ICPSR. (2) The baseline age distribution is: East Boston: 65-69 (N = 1,277), 70-74 (N = 1,081), 75-79 (N = 697), 80-84 (N = 413), and 85+ (N = 341). Iowa: 65-69 (N = 986), 70-74 (N = 988), 75-79 (N = 815), 80-84 (N = 523), and 85+ (N = 361). New Haven (non-Blacks): 65-69 (N = 611), 70-74 (N = 590), 75-79 (N = 491), 80-84 (N = 335), and 85+ (N = 256). New Haven (Blacks): 65-74 (N = 351), and 75+ (N = 178). North Carolina: 65-69 (N = 1,420), 70-74 (N = 1,121), 75-79 (N = 794), 80-84 (N = 505), and 85+ (N = 322). Totals for each area are: East Boston (N = 3,809), Iowa (N = 3,673), New Haven (N = 2,811), and North Carolina (N = 4,165). (3) The codebook and data collection instruments are provided as Portable Document Format (PDF) files. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided through the ICPSR Website on the Internet.


Sample:   In East Boston, individuals eligible for the study were identified through a total community census performed concurrently with the baseline interview in 1982. In Iowa, interviews were attempted with all eligible persons enumerated using a list from the area's Agency on Aging, supplemented by additional listings from local informants. New Haven used a stratified random sample of clusters of households. The sample was stratified for three different types of residence: public housing for the elderly, private housing for the elderly, and elsewhere in the community. Males were oversampled to attempt to achieve balance in the sex distribution of the sample. In North Carolina area sampling was used at the first stage of the design to obtain a sample of 1980 census blocks, block clusters, and enumeration districts. The sample was designed so that it would consist of at least 50 percent Black older persons.

Data Source:

personal interviews and administrative records


Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2006-01-18 File CB9915.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 1998-11-16 Missing pages from the codebook (Part 6, the Fifth Interview, Fourth Follow-Up), have been inserted. An updated EPESE Bibliography is also now available, as part of the codebook.
  • 1998-05-20 Follow-up data for the North Carolina site were added to the original follow-up files (Parts 2-4), and data for the fourth through sixth follow-ups (Parts 6-8) have been supplied for all four sites. In addition, death certificate information for the fourth through sixth follow-ups has been added to Part 5, Deaths Data, for all four sites. Also, the data collection instrument and a revised codebook are now available as Portable Document Format files.

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