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Center for Research on Health and Aging

The Center for Research on Health and Aging tests and builds evidence about how older adults can prevent disability and maintain health and examines how the health care system can address the health needs of older adults.

By 2030, one in every five Americans will be 65 or older, an age at which chronic health conditions are common. Learning how to prevent disability and improve the health of older adults will improve their quality of life and reduce U.S. health care costs.

The Center for Research on Health and Aging (CRHA) is part of the Institute for Health Research and Policy housed at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The center achieves its research goals in partnership with researchers throughout the United States and with the counsel and support of health care professionals and agencies that serve older adults, such as the Chicago Department of Senior Services.

Susan Hughes, professor of community health sciences directs the center.

Researchers in CRHA are working to improve the health of older adults through these efforts:

  • Understanding the relationship between Covid mortality and housing status among older adults in Cook County, IL.
  • Hosting the Midwest Roybal Center for Health Promotion and Translation, which designs, tests and translates low cost, effective, translatable interventions that use physical activity to improve mobility and cognitive function among minority and ethnically diverse older adults.
  • Disseminate, Fit & Strong!, an evidence-based program recognized and endorsed by the CDC, National Council on Aging, American Physical Therapy Association, and National Cancer Institute among others.
  • Disseminate, Fit & Strong! Plus, the weight loss version of the program. Results showed the treatment group participants experienced modest, but significant, improvements in weight, BMI, and waist circumference at 2 months that were maintained at 6 months and had significantly better outcomes on pain and function and 2 and 6 months that were clinically and statistically significant.
  • Disseminate, Fit & Strong! @Home, the virtual/online version of the program.
  • Disseminate HealthMatters, an evidence-based health promotion program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their supports in health-friendly communities.

The Center also fosters new, innovative research that promotes and maintains the health and independence of older adults.

With funding by the National Institute on Aging, the center sponsors two pilot grant competitions on the UIC campus each year. Learn more.