What is REGARDS?

REGARDS logoThe Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) project, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is a national study focusing on learning more about the factors that increase a person's risk of having a stroke.

REGARDS is an observational study of risk factors for stroke in adults 45 years or older. 30,239 participants were recruited between January 2003 and October 2007. They completed a telephone interview followed by an in-home physical exam. Measurements included traditional risk factors such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels and an echocardiogram of the heart. At six month intervals, participants are contacted by phone to ask about stroke symptoms, hospitalizations, and general health status. The study is ongoing and will follow participants for many years.

The purpose of the REGARDS project is to understand why people in some parts of the country develop more strokes than people in other parts of the country, and why blacks develop more strokes than whites. We hope to learn how to reduce the number of people having strokes.

Why Do We Need REGARDS?

REGARDS is an important research project that will look at differences in risk of stroke. Stroke is a common name for a lack of blood flow to the brain. Today, stroke is the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the United States. While both blacks and whites suffer from strokes, more blacks die from strokes than whites. One purpose of REGARDS is to help scientists understand why this happens. Also, there is a geographic difference in stroke across the United States. This means that the area in which a person is living or has lived may be related to having a stroke or dying from a stroke. The place in which a person lives may be an important clue in preventing strokes. By learning more about strokes, we can help prevent the third leading cause of death in the United States. By participating in REGARDS, you will help scientists save lives and improve health.

Who Are We?

REGARDS is supported by cooperative agreement U01 NS041588 co-funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services.

Investigator Listing

NINDS (Funding Agency):

  • Drs. Claudia Moy, Rod Corriveau

Coordinating Center (UAB):

  • Drs. George Howard, Virginia Howard, Suzanne Judd,
    Leann Long, Virginia Wadley, Ryan Irvin,
    April Carson, Mr. David Rhodes, Ms. Meg Stewart

Neuropsychology Centers:

  • Columbia University: Dr. Jennifer Manly
  • University of Indiana: Dr. Fredrick Unverzagt
  • UAB: Drs. Virginia Wadley, David Geldmacher, Erik Roberson

Central Laboratory- University of Vermont:

  • Drs. Mary Cushman, Neil Zakai, Tim Plante

ECG Reading Center- Wake Forest University :

  • Dr. Sayed Soliman (previously Dr. Ron Prineas)

Survey Design-University of Arkansas:

  • Dr. LeaVonne Pulley

Home Visits (Baseline + 2nd): Examination Medical Services, Inc.:

  • Ms. Andra Graham

Statistical Advisory-Drexel University:

  • Dr. Leslie McClure

Neuroepidemiology Center:

  • University of Cincinnati: Drs. Brett Kissela, Dawn Kleindorfer,
    Matt Flaherty
  • SUNY Upstate: Dr. Karen Albright