Thailand HealthSpan Study

Thailand HealthSpan Study: GENETICS BASED LIFESTYLE RESEARCH

In cooperation with the International Research Institute for Wellness and Prevention The Thailand HealthSpan Study is a Longitudinal Study on Aging. It is a large long-term study that intends to follow approximately 100,000 men, women and children when recruited, for at least 20 years. For the first time in Thailand, there will be the opportunity to begin to understand the complex interplay between physical, social and psychological determinants of health, including gene-gene and gene-environment interactions.

Few studies of aging have collected bio-marker, genetic or epigenetic data to reveal the process of aging, and to study how biological processes interact with physical and lifestyle environments to produce harmful health outcomes. Genetic variation undoubtedly contributes to general aging and certain age-related diseases, there are many cases of very closely related individuals with the same genetic markers showing substantial variation in the age of onset, or severity of, disease. There is also evidence that the incidence of disease varies according to life circumstances, or lifestyle.

An increasing body of persuasive evidence supports a role for epigenetic changes in the etiology of aging and associated disease. However, the common caveat to all these early studies is that individuals were not tracked over time, and the epigenetic measures only reflected a single point in time. What is needed is longitudinal research like the Thailand HealthSpan Study  to fill this gap in our understanding of the role of epigenetic change in chronic illness.

The Thailand HealthSpan Study genetics based lifestyle research is directed by lead principal investigator, Dr. Aimon Kopera MD, and co-principal investigator, Dr. Paul Evans EdD. In addition, the Thailand HealthSpan Study may include a network of multidisciplinary researchers across Thailand and internationally who participate in development of the scientific content and research methods of various sub-studies during the longitudinal project.

Project Summary:

Human aging is associated with many factors, including not only physical and physiological factors but also lifestyle, social, educational and psychological factors. Thus, research into human aging requires many kinds of examinations and specialists in various areas. In addition, human aging research requires long-term study in which the same subjects are measured repeatedly to observe age-related changes.

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Dr. Paul Evans 3

Dr. Paul Evans Slide3

Investigators in many countries now recognize the importance of collecting longitudinal data for understanding aging and informing decision making and this recognition is reflected in studies in the United States such as the Health and Retirement Survey, Midlife (MIDUS); The Longitudinal Studies of Aging (LSOAs), a collaborative project of National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the Akesogen USA Veterans Administration Genetic Study, the Emory University  Healthy Aging Study,  The Human Longevity Institute and Health Nucleus Research Studies; the English Longitudinal Study on Aging (ELSA) and the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). Additionally, other ageing studies have been developed in other countries such as China (CHARLS), Japan (JHRS) and India (LASI).

Dr. Paul Evans Aging Stjudy 4

The main purpose of the study is systematic observation epigenetic change and description of the process of healthy aging in the Thai population.

(1) To quantify genetically normal and successful aging.

(2) To determine the genetic reference values in the healthy aging process by longitudinal observation.

(3) To apply genetic analysis and lifestyle research findings to increase healthy workforce stability and livelihood empowerment as people age

(4) To apply genetic analysis and lifestyle research findings regarding the healthy aging of the Thai population to stabilize the working age population and positively affect economic growth

Dr. Paul Evans Healthy Aging 5

Aimon Kopera MD 6

Paul Evans EdD 7

IRIWP Dr. Paul Evans 8

International Research Institute for Wellness and Prevention 10

Subject Recruitment

  • To be eligible for The Thailand HealthSpan Study, subjects must be 18 years of age or older or be enrolled by their parents, and they must be residents of Thailand. Subjects must also read and understand Thai or English
  • Subjects can sign up online, or through their doctors, hospitals, government agencies, colleges, universities or place of work
  • Subjects complete a comprehensive health history questionnaire
  • Subjects will occasionally respond to various lifestyle and health surveys
  • The information that is shared will be compiled into a secure database that will allow researchers to study how an individuals’ health changes over time. The data collected may also help subjects, their families and their physician learn more about their overall health
  • Based on the information provided, Thailand HealthSpan researchers may also contact participants about other studies, they may wish to join
  • The level of subject participation is completely voluntary

Public Service Announcements (PSAs)  for ‘Healthy” Subject Recruitment

A national campaign of televised public service announcements will be sponsored by corporate partners, the Thai government and foundations.

The televised announcements will be targeted directly to consumers in various demographic categories.

Collaborations

The Thailand HealthSpan Study is intended to be a highly collaborative endeavor from the outset. We want to assemble a core research team is a dynamic and highly productive group of national and international leaders in the field of aging who all have ongoing collaborations with national and international research teams and these collaborations will be further enhanced by the Thailand HealthSpan Study.

The lead and co-principal investigators will develop strategic collaborations and associations with national and international researchers and teams in the field of aging and longitudinal studies. These collaborations will achieve three major objectives: 1) the exchange of techniques, skills and expertise relevant to the study of aging in Thailand; 2) the enhancement and advancement of opportunities for scientific gains to be made, particularly with respect to areas which require large numbers of ethnically diverse groups, such as population genomics, and the study of gene-environment interactions; and 3) the sharing of the design, conduct, content or study measures with major studies in anticipation of harmonizing information to allow for international comparisons.

Founding Partners and Sponsors Slide