Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82 Page 83 Page 84 Page 85 Page 86 Page 87 Page 88 Page 89 Page 90 Page 91 Page 92 Page 93 Page 94 Page 95 Page 96 Page 97 Page 98 Page 99 Page 100 Page 101 Page 102 Page 103 Page 104 Page 105 Page 106 Page 107 Page 108AGING IN THE 21S T CENTURY 10 What does HRS Measure? The HRS has many components. The heart of the study is the core interview that takes place every two years. The core interview takes about two hours to complete and constitutes the bulk of the data the HRS collects. The first core interview, or baseline, is conducted face-to-face in participants’ homes. Follow-up core interviews are conducted either by phone or face-to-face. There are currently twelve waves of core data available from 1992 to 2014 with about 18–23,000 participants in any given wave. The core interview collects information on a range of factors related to well-being among older adults: Income and Wealth Detailed characterizations of household income and wealth over time are hallmarks of the HRS. Personal information like this can be difficult to obtain, but innovative data collection methods used in the HRS have overcome many traditional survey obstacles and continue to yield in-depth and reliable measures. Health and Use of Health Services The HRS takes a multidimensional approach to health — studying the course of chronic diseases and the evolution of functional capacities. A signature feature of the HRS is the direct assessment of cog- nitive abilities and how they change with age. Information on health insurance and medical care are important for understanding health and the connections among health, employment, and economic resources. Employment For many people, retirement is any- thing but a simple one-step transition from full-time work to no work at all. The HRS tracks all the different ways people retire and “un-retire” and can relate these choices to their health, type of work, pension and health insurance coverage, and family situation. These data are invaluable in understanding the potential effects of new policies to encourage people to work longer. Family Connections Family background shapes health and economic outcomes throughout life. Family members provide economic and emotional support and often provide physical care for each other. Understanding these connections and how they change with age has been a central concern behind the design of HRS from its beginning. Creating a Biosocial Survey Disparities in health by race, education, and socioeconomic circumstances have been a policy concern for generations, with little insight into the biological mechanisms. Only recently have large population-representative surveys begun to integrate biological measurement to create bioso- cial surveys that enable such discovery (Hauser and Weir 2010). In 2006, the HRS introduced a new in-person interview, known as the enhanced face-to-face interview (EFTF), that expanded to include the collection of a wide range of measures of physical function, dried blood spots for clinical biomarkers, and salivary DNA. Integrating biology in this way puts the HRS at the forefront of biosocial surveys of aging. Since 2006, blood-based biomarkers mea- sured include cholesterol, glycosylated hemoglo- bin (HbA1c), an indicator of blood sugar control over the past two to three months; C-reactive protein (CRP), a general marker of systemic inflammation, and cystatin C, an indicator of kidney functioning. Beginning in 2014, a mea- sure of immune functioning and inflammation, IL-6, is also assayed. Physical measures include grip strength, timed walk, lung function, balance, height and weight, waist circumference, and blood pressure. These biomarkers have been chosen in the HRS to reflect important age-related changes in cardiovascular and metabolic functioning, levels of inflammation, and organ reserve or frailty. Biomarkers such as blood pressure, cholesterol level, and glycosylated hemoglobin may indicate preclinical problems which are unknown to sur- vey participants, especially those without regular preventive health care. Markers of inflammation such as CRP and markers related to frailty such as lung function, grip strength and cystatin C, are predictors of a number of major health outcomes including mortality.