LONG LIFE Family Study
Frequently Asked Questions

Click on any link to access more detailed information.

What do researchers expect to learn from LLFS? The goal of LLFS is to understand why some people live until a very old age. We would like to learn if families with many long-lived individuals share common characteristics or habits that might help others live long, healthy lives, as well.

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Who can join the study? If you or a family member is over the age of 79, with a living sibling also over the age of 79, your family may be eligible to join the study! Because this is a family study, we would like to enroll as many members of your family as possible.

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What´s so special about my life?  It is not so unusual to be very old these days, but it is pretty rare to have living brothers and sisters in old age, especially after 90 years of age.  We are interested in studying these families to find important clues about successful ageing.

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Why do you want to talk to my family members? The more family members we are able to include, the better chance we have to learn which characteristics are associated with your longevity.

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What if some of my family members are not living in the area? It does not matter. We would like to learn as much about your family as possible. We will make our best effort to collect information from all members of your family, including those who live nearby and those who are further away. We will try to see everyone or we will collect information by mail and phone.

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What do I have to do and how long will it take? We would ask you to participate in an in-person, two-hour interview that we would conduct either in our clinic or in your home at your convenience. During this visit, a trained clinical staff member would ask you to complete several questionnaires and conduct some performance and physical assessments. We will also request a blood sample to obtain information about your genes. Genes contain information about you that was inherited from your parents, and some of these genes may play a role in your long life.

During this visit, you may refuse to participate in any part of the study.

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How soon will results be known? Because this study will be carried out over a period of 5 years, it will take some time before all the information on families is collected and analyzed. The scientific results of the study will be made public once the information we obtain is carefully analyzed.

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What information will I receive from this study? You will get the results from your blood tests including total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, blood glucose, triglycerides, and kidney function levels. You will also receive results on your blood pressure, height, weight, grip strength and lung function tests. You also will be notified if your test results for hemoglobin levels, white blood cell count or platelet count are extremely abnormal. If you wish, we will also notify your physician.

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Will the study doctors and staff take care of my medical needs? No, LLFS will not provide health care services or treatment. Your own doctor will continue to take care of you. If any of your test results require medical attention, we will notify you. At your request, we will also send the results to your personal physician so that appropriate follow-up can take place.

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Are there any risks involved? Your participation in this study involves minimal risk. There might be a slight discomfort due to the blood test. However, we will take every precaution using skilled technicians to obtain blood from you. The study also involves routine medical questions and if you feel uncomfortable answering any questions, you may choose to not answer them.

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What is the cost of participation? There is no cost to participate except your time.We will compensate you $25 for your time and participation upon completion of the in-person visit.

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Who is sponsoring the LLFS? The project was developed in collaboration with and supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) located in Bethesda, Maryland.

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How can I find out more about the LLFS? You can call the LLFS Recruitment Office toll free. We would be happy to tell you more about the study and answer any questions you may have.

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I am interested in participating in the study, but I don’t remember things as well as I used to.  Does that mean I can’t be part of the study?  You can still be part of the study even if you don´t remember everything as you once did.  For this study, there is no need to worry if you can’t recall everything.  Also, your children or other relatives or friends are welcome to be present at the interview to support you.

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I am not sure that I can complete all the assessments.  For example, I can’t walk as well as I used to.  Can I still participate?  Yes.  All of our tests and measurements are specially designed for elderly people, and we will not challenge you more than you would like.  If you should find some of our questions or tests too overwhelming, we simply skip and go to the next one.

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What should I do to volunteer? You can simply click here, or contact one of our research offices. Someone from the study will contact you to answer you questions and to find out a little more about your family.

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What if I decide to end my participation in the LLFS? You have the right to stop participating in LLFS at any time. We will make every effort to make participation as convenient as possible. The success of this study will depend on the willingness of individuals like you to participate in the study.

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Will my government benefits from Medicare or Social Security be affected if I participate or decide I don’t want to participate after all? No. Participation in this study is strictly voluntary, and will not affect any of your present benefits.

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Will any outside agencies see the information we give to the study? No. Your information obtained during this study will remain strictly confidential. We will use a study number to identify you which will not include your name or any other piece of information that could identify you.

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Do you still have questions? For additional information, please click here. We are interested in hearing from you!

 

 

If you think your long-lived family would like to participate,
please click on the button below to initiate the process!


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This page last updated on 5/17/06 • © 2006 Washington University

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