The ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities) Study: JACC Focus Seminar 3/8

Jacqueline D. Wright, Aaron R. Folsom, Josef Coresh, A. Richey Sharrett, David Couper, Lynne E. Wagenknecht, Thomas H. Mosley, Christie M. Ballantyne, Eric A. Boerwinkle, Wayne D. Rosamond, Gerardo Heiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Scopus citations


ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities) initiated community-based surveillance in 1987 for myocardial infarction and coronary heart disease (CHD) incidence and mortality and created a prospective cohort of 15,792 Black and White adults ages 45 to 64 years. The primary aims were to improve understanding of the decline in CHD mortality and identify determinants of subclinical atherosclerosis and CHD in Black and White middle-age adults. ARIC has examined areas including health disparities, genomics, heart failure, and prevention, producing more than 2,300 publications. Results have had strong clinical impact and demonstrate the importance of population-based research in the spectrum of biomedical research to improve health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2939-2959
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 15 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
In the last decade, ARIC has strengthened the engagement of outside investigators through ancillary studies following changes in the NHLBI’s approach to supporting cohort studies ( 114 , 115 ). A review of approved ancillary study proposals over time indicates increases in the number of proposals just before clinical examinations in 2011 to 2013 and 2018 to 19, suggesting a response by investigators to the “platform model” of support for clinic examination components through independently funded NIH grants. The most recent contract supported clinic examination, visit 7, included components supported by 12 independently funded ancillary studies. ARIC uses Medicare data on cohort participant hospitalizations and out-patient visits in combination with medical discharge records obtained by the study with consideration of the limitations of these administrative data ( 116 ). Engagement of new investigators in ARIC led to the development of new areas of research, enhanced existing research areas, and produced new research projects.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020


  • adult
  • cohort study
  • epidemiology
  • health disparity
  • risk factors
  • surveillance


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