Charleston Heart Study, 1960-2000 (ICPSR 4050)

Principal Investigator(s): Nietert, Paul J., Medical University of South Carolina-Charleston; Sutherland, Susan E., Medical University of South Carolina-Charleston; Bachman, David L., Medical University of South Carolina-Charleston; Keil, Julian E., Medical University of South Carolina-Charleston; Gazes, Peter, Medical University of South Carolina-Charleston; Boyle, Edwin, Medical University of South Carolina-Charleston


The Charleston Heart Study (CHS) represents data collected over a 41-year period (1960-2000) in order to provide an understanding of the natural progression of aging in a community-based cohort. In 1960 the CHS began enrolling a random selection of community residents who were 35 years of age and older -- including men and women, Black and White. The primary hypothesis of the original study was to investigate racial differences in the manifestation and risk factors for coronary disease. Over the ensuing 40+ years, a variety of outcome measurements were incorporated into the re-examination of the participants, including psychosocial, behavioral, aging, and functional measures. As a longitudinal study, the CHS allows for the study of the risk factors, correlates, and consequences of aging, while simultaneously allowing for exploration of racial disparity in the manifestation of putative risk factors and outcomes. The CHS began with baseline data and added a special cohort of Black men. In subsequent years three separate follow-ups were conducted. The data include death information for respondents and background characteristics (age, race, sex, occupation, education, and marital status).

Access Notes

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. Additional information can also be found in the Use Agreement.

    This data collection may not be used for any purpose other than statistical reporting and analysis. Use of these data to learn the identity of any person or establishment is prohibited. In preparing the data files for this collection for public archiving and distribution, the producers have removed direct identifiers and characteristics that might lead to identification of data subjects. Users interested in obtaining the Charleston Heart Study must complete the CHS Limited Use Agreement form. A copy of this form can be accessed from the download page associated with this data collection.

    Any public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging

    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).


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Baseline Data
No downloadable data files available.
DS2:  Phase 3 Additional Cohort Data
No downloadable data files available.
DS3:  Phase 10 (Recall 3) Data
No downloadable data files available.
DS4:  Phase 11 (Recall 4) Data
No downloadable data files available.
DS5:  Phase 12 (Recall 5) Data
No downloadable data files available.
DS6:  Deaths
No downloadable data files available.

Study Description


Nietert, Paul J., Susan E. Sutherland, David L. Bachman, Julian E. Keil, Peter Gazes, and Edwin Boyle. Charleston Heart Study, 1960-2000. ICPSR04050-v3. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-06-07.

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 (AG021162-01)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    activities of daily living, African Americans, aging, cardiovascular disease, death records, depression (psychology), health status, mental health, physical condition, psychological wellbeing, race, social behavior, White Americans

Smallest Geographic Unit:    city

Geographic Coverage:    Charleston (South Carolina), South Carolina, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1960--2000

Date of Collection:   

  • 1960--1964 (Baseline and Phase 3 special cohort)
  • 1984--1986 (Phase 10)
  • 1987--1990 (Phase 11)
  • 1990--1991 (Phase 12)
  • 1960--2000 (Death file)

Unit of Observation:    individuals

Universe:    Residents of Charleston County, South Carolina in 1960.

Data Type(s):    administrative records data, clinical data, medical records, survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The codebook, questionnaires, Limited Use Agreement form, and References/Bibliography are provided by ICPSR as Portable Document Format (PDF) files.


Sample:    Clustered geographical probability sample.

Data Source:

personal interviews, telephone interviews, self-enumerated questionnaires, clinical exams, and National Death Index

Response Rates:    Baseline: 84 percent

Presence of Common Scales:    Physical Disability Index, Health Scale for the Aged, Wechsler Memory Scale, Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire (SPMSQ), Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale


Original ICPSR Release:   2005-01-28

Version History:

  • 2010-06-07 The data are restricted, but the documentation files are now available for download.
  • 2008-04-01 Minor edits were made to the metadata. A change was made in the Limited Use Agreement form and the codebook reflects this change.

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