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Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Centers (OAIC)

The goal of the OAIC program is to increase scientific knowledge that allows older adults to maintain or restore their independence. The NIA supports the OAICs to develop and enhance research and education at institutions with strong programs in aging research. This support is critical to address key research problems, technological limitations, and faculty development needs for future generations of appropriately-trained researchers. The OAICs are also known as "Pepper Centers" - so named to honor the late Senator Claude D. Pepper who championed the effort to create these centers of excellence. - Kevin P. High, MD, MS, Director

 Research Spotlight

Effect of Structured Physical Activity on Prevention of Major Mobility Disability in Older Adults
The LIFE Study Randomized Clinical Trial

Marco Pahor, MD; Jack M. Guralnik, MD, PHD;Walter T. Ambrosius, PhD; Steven Blair, PED; Denise E. Bonds, MD; Timothy S. Church, MD, PhD, MPH; Mark A. Espeland, PhD; Roger A. Fielding, PhD; Thomas M. Gill, MD; Erik J. Groessl, PhD; Abby C. King, PhD; Stephen B. Kritchevsky, PhD; Todd M. Manini, PhD; MaryM. McDermott, MD; Michael E. Miller, PhD; Anne B. Newman, MD, MPH;WJack Rejeski, PhD; Kaycee M. Sink, MD, MAS; Jeff D. Williamson, MD, MHS

Science Translational Medicine Objective: To test the hypothesis that a long-term structured physical activity program is more effective than a health education program (also referred to as a successful aging program) in reducing the risk of major mobility disability.

Importance: In older adults reduced mobility is common and is an independent risk factor for morbidity, hospitalization, disability, and mortality. Limited evidence suggests that physical activitymay help prevent mobility disability; however, there are no definitive clinical trials examining whether physical activity prevents or delays mobility disability.


NIA, one of the 27 Institutes and Centers of NIH, leads a broad scientific effort to understand the nature of aging and to extend the healthy, active years of life. NIA is the primary Federal agency supporting and conducting Alzheimer's disease research.