We're building a better ClinicalTrials.gov. Check it out and tell us what you think!
ClinicalTrials.gov Menu

Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Know the risks and potential benefits of clinical studies and talk to your health care provider before participating. Read our disclaimer for details.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00233272
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : October 5, 2005
Last Update Posted : October 13, 2022
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Institute on Aging (NIA) )

Brief Summary:


- The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) is a clinical research program on human aging that began in 1958. Volunteers of different ages join the study when they are healthy, and have follow-up visits for life. Visits last for multiple days. Participants are evaluated for many physical elements as well as for brain function. Physical tests are given. Information on mood, personality, and social aspects of life is also collected. This program has contributed more than any other research project to our understanding of aging.


- To characterize the many aspects of the aging process and learn how people can successfully adapt to aging.


- Healthy individuals at least 20 years old.


  • Participants will receive a booklet and video describing the tests they will take.
  • During a 3-day visit at the study hospital, participants will take the following tests:
  • Urine will be collected for 24 hours. Blood samples will be taken. A small piece of muscle tissue may be collected by a needle.
  • A medical questionnaire and a physical exam will be given.
  • Participants hearts will be tested, including with blood pressure tests and electronic monitors. They will breathe into a tube to test their lungs.
  • Participants will perform several exercises, including treadmill walking.
  • Vision, hearing, and taste will be tested.
  • Bone and joint X-rays may be taken.
  • Imaging tests will be given, such as an MRI.
  • Participants will answer questions to test their mental abilities.
  • Participants will return for follow-up visits every few years for life. The tests listed above will be given at every visit.

Condition or disease

Detailed Description:
The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) is the NIA s major clinical research program in human aging that has been conducted in Baltimore since 1958. The study population is a series of healthy volunteers of different ages followed indefinitely with serial evaluations over time. The major aim of the study is to characterize the aging process in its multifaceted aspects. To accomplish this task, a large cohort of volunteers dispersed over a wide age range are enrolled in the study when they are healthy, and then followed with regular follow-up visits for life. Since the aging process involves the whole range of physiological domains, participants receive an extensive evaluation of physiological parameters, biomarkers, risk factors, disease-related measures, impairments, and physical and cognitive function over follow-up visits that last for multiple days. Blood samples and other specimens are collected to obtain part of these measures and/or to be stored for future use. Information on mood, personality, psychological and social aspects of life that are relevant to the study of aging is also collected. Information collected in the BLSA represents a unique source of longitudinal data on aging. Historically the BLSA has contributed more than any other research project to our understanding of aging. More recently, the BLSA has begun to focus on factors associated with exceptionally healthy aging.

Layout table for study information
Study Type : Observational
Estimated Enrollment : 10000 participants
Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging(BLSA)
Actual Study Start Date : February 3, 2014

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Healthy Volunteers
Healthy volunteers over a wide age-range

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. The major aim of the BLSA is to characterize the aging process in its multifaceted aspects. [ Time Frame: Ongoing ]
    Characterization of the aging process

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

Layout table for eligibility information
Ages Eligible for Study:   20 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Probability Sample
Study Population
Healthy volunteers 20 years of age or older.
  • Age greater than or equal to 20 years of age
  • Weigh less than or equal to 300lbs and/or body mass index (BMI) is less than or equal to 40
  • Do not have established genetic diseases
  • Are able to perform daily self- care without assistance
  • Are able to walk independently for at least 400 meters without assistance and without developing symptoms
  • Are able to perform normal activities of daily living without shortness of breath (walking or climbing stairs)
  • Do not have cognitive impairment based on mental status screening tests
  • Do not have a history of cardiovascular disease (including angina, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, cerebrovascular diseases, uncontrolled hypertension)
  • Do not have a history of diabetes (requiring any medical treatment other than diet and exercise)
  • Do not have active (any activity in the last 10 years) cancer, except for locally limited basal or squamous cell cancer
  • Do not have clinically significant hormonal dysfunction (Laboratory values out of range despite supplementation and/or drug treatment)
  • Do not have a history of neurological diseases or birth defects (other than minor anatomical abnormalities, which do not affect physical and/or cognitive function)
  • Do not have a history of kidney or liver disease (associated with reduced kidney or liver function)
  • Do not have a history of severe gastrointestinal (G.I.) diseases
  • Do not have muscle-skeletal conditions due to diseases or traumas (that cause pathological weakness and/or chronic pain)
  • Do not have a history of severe psychiatric conditions (associated with behavioral problems or requiring chronic medical treatment)
  • Do not have any medical condition that requires absolute and continuous need for long term treatment with antibiotics, corticosteroids, immunosuppressors, H2 blockers and/or proton pump inhibitors, or pain medications
  • Do not have important sensory deficits (legally blind and/or any condition that precludes the participant from being tested with standard neuropsychological tests or providing informed consent)
  • Able to read and speak English
  • Do not have joint replacements due to arthritic changes (joint replacements due to previous trauma are ok) or do not have 2 or more joint replacements for any reason.
  • Do not meet any exclusionary criteria for MRI and agrees to perform the test


  • HIV virus infection
  • Hepatitis B or C
  • Syphilis
  • WBC > 12,000/mcrL;
  • Platelets < 100,000 or >600,000 /mcrL;
  • Hemoglobin < 11 g/dL;
  • Creatinine >1.5 mg/dl or calculated creatinine clearance < 50 cc/min;
  • Bilirubin > 1.5 mg/dl unless higher levels can be ascribed to Gilbert s disease;
  • ALT, AST or alkaline phosphatase twice the normal serum concentration
  • Corrected calcium < 8.5 or > 10.7 mg/dl
  • Albumin < 3.1 g/dl

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00233272

Layout table for location contacts
Contact: Linda M Zukley, Ph.D. (410) 350-3983 zukleylm@mail.nih.gov
Contact: Luigi Ferrucci, M.D. (410) 558-8110 ferruccilu@grc.nia.nih.gov

Layout table for location information
United States, Maryland
National Institute of Aging, Clinical Research Unit Recruiting
Baltimore, Maryland, United States, 21224
Contact: NIA Studies Recruitment    410-350-3941    niastudiesrecruitment@mail.nih.gov   
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Layout table for investigator information
Principal Investigator: Luigi Ferrucci, M.D. National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Additional Information:
Publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):
Layout table for additonal information
Responsible Party: National Institute on Aging (NIA)
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00233272    
Other Study ID Numbers: 030325
First Posted: October 5, 2005    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: October 13, 2022
Last Verified: October 11, 2022
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: Undecided
Plan Description: .There is ongoing discussion within the NIA IRP and a plan has not been finalized yet.

Layout table for additional information
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Institute on Aging (NIA) ):
Disease Processes
Natural History