J Epidemiol. 2023 Jul 29. doi: 10.2188/jea.JE20230079. Online ahead of print.
In an aging society, it is important to visualize the conditions of people living with diseases or disabilities, such as frailty and sarcopenia, and determine the environmental and genetic factors underlying such conditions. Atherosclerosis and arterial stiffness are key conditions between these factors and noncommunicable diseases. In 2014, we launched a population-based prospective open-cohort study, the Nagasaki Islands Study (NaIS), which was conducted in Goto City, located in the remote islands of Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, mostly involving middle-aged and older residents. We conducted our own health checkups along with the annual standardized checkups organized by the municipality; recruited study participants; and started to follow-up with them for vital status (death), migration, and occurrence of diseases such as myocardial infarction, stroke, fracture, and human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) -associated uveitis. Our checkups were conducted as baseline surveys in different areas of Goto City during the fiscal years 2014-2016, secondary surveys during 2017-2019, and tertiary surveys since 2021, consisting of medical interviews, physical examinations, blood and urine tests, body composition measurements, osteoporosis screening, arterial stiffness measurements, carotid ultrasonography, and dental examination. A total of 4,957 residents participated in either the baseline or secondary surveys and were followed-up; and 3,594 and 3,364 residents (aged 27-96 and 28-98 years) participated in the baseline and secondary surveys, respectively. In conclusion, the NaIS has been undertaken to reveal the influence of aging and risk factors of noncommunicable diseases and disabilities, with an aim to contribute towards better healthcare in the future.