Office of Research & Development

print icon sign up for VA Research updates
VA RESEARCH QUARTERLY UPDATE
 

New Initiatives

VA develops new relationships with NIH


 A blood sample is placed in a centrifuge as part of the process of separating out the DNA. VA is collaborating with NIH on efforts to boost the use of patients' genetic profiles and other individual factors to personalize medical care.
A blood sample is placed in a centrifuge as part of the process of separating out the DNA. VA is collaborating with NIH on efforts to boost the use of patients' genetic profiles and other individual factors to personalize medical care. (Photo by Jeffery Bowen)

A blood sample is placed in a centrifuge as part of the process of separating out the DNA. VA is collaborating with NIH on efforts to boost the use of patients' genetic profiles and other individual factors to personalize medical care. (Photo by Jeffery Bowen)

In 1988, the National Institute of Aging (NIA), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), initiated a long-term study to examine the ways in which older adults' changing health interacts with social, economic, and psychological factors, and with retirement decisions. The study, called the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), is managed through a cooperative agreement between the NIA, which provides primary funding for the study, and the University of Michigan, which administers and conducts the study.

VA researchers are now working with NIA to gather a Veteran cohort from the study. VA's health data is being merged with information that has been provided to the study over the years to help researchers answer key questions about the health and well-being of Veterans, including those who do not use VA for their health care.

The data will include information about Veterans' income, work, assets, pension plans, health insurance, disability, physical health and functioning, cognitive functioning, and health care expenditures. It will be made available to qualified researchers in 2016.

In addition, VA and NIH are working to build a close working relationship between VA's Million Veteran Program (MVP) and the new presidential Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) that will be conducted by NIH. MVP is a national, voluntary research program that uses genetic information to better understand how genes, lifestyle, and military exposures affect health. PMI is a nationwide effort to make precision medicine the norm rather the exception in health care. Precision medicine is an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle into account.

The synergism between the two programs will ideally result in improved specialized treatment for specific diseases.


Questions about the R&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.