Determinants of major non-communicable diseases in the elderly: the pilot Freemasons health study.
Feigin V., Anderson C., Mhurchu CN., Mann J., Abbas M., Bennett D.
AIM: To present preliminary results of the pilot phase of the Freemasons Health Study. METHODS: A prospective cohort study, in which determinants of occurrence of stroke and dementia in the elderly will be investigated. RESULTS: The pilot study (n = 507) showed substantial heterogeneity in risk factor levels among participants and suggested outcome rates that would allow a study of 6000 individuals aged 65 years and over to produce statistically reliable results within a few years of follow up. Preliminary results of the pilot study suggest that the demographic (age, sex) and risk factor (namely blood pressure levels and ranges of body mass index) profile of the projected sample of the Freemasons population is similar to that of the general elderly New Zealand population. CONCLUSIONS: The pilot study confirmed that the collection of baseline data from the New Zealand Freemasons population and their spouses is feasible, and that the prevalence of major vascular risk factors in the elderly Freemasons population is similar to that of the general New Zealand population of comparable age. In addition to contributing to our understanding of the aetiology of major non-communicable diseases in the elderly, the proposed major study provides a unique opportunity to investigate the determinants of health and requirements for care in an elderly New Zealand population.