Data and Documentation

Chicago Community Adult Health Study (CCAHS) data and documentation has been deposited at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) for use by researchers around the world and is available here. Researchers may browse the documentation and apply for access to CCAHS data via ICPSR study page linked below.

The Chicago Community Adult Health Study (CCAHS) consists of four interrelated components that were conducted simultaneously: (1) a face-to-face survey of adult health for a stratified, multistage, probability sample of 3105 adults, aged 18 and over and living in 343 neighborhood clusters (NCs) within the city of Chicago, including direct physical measurements of their blood pressure and heart rate and of height, weight, waist and hip circumference, and leg length; (2) a biomedical supplement which collected blood and/or saliva samples on a subset of 661 survey respondents in 80 "focal" NCs; (3) a community survey in which individuals described aspects of the social environment of all survey respondentsí neighborhoods; and (4) a systematic social observation (SSO) of virtually all (1664 of 1672) blocks in which potential survey respondents resided. To download the CCAHS codebook, survey questionnaire and SSO data collection instrument click on the buttons below.

The Chicago Community Adult Health Study survey data cover the following topical areas.

  • Household Composition
  • Physical Health
  • Limitation of Activities
  • Utilization of Health Care
  • Health Risk Behavior
  • Social Environment
  • Physical Environment
  • Mental Health
  • Depression and Depressive Symptoms
  • Cognitive Functioning and Memory
  • Social Relations and Support
  • Social Integration
  • Marital Status and Marital Relationship
  • Life Events (Acute) Stress
  • Chronic Stress/Strain
  • Psychological Attributes and Beliefs
  • Voluntary and Helping and Productive Activity
  • Physical Activity
  • Religious/Spiritual Beliefs and Behaviors
  • Life Course Experiences
  • Employment
  • Job Attitudes
  • Discrimination and Vigilance
  • Demographics and Socioeconomic Variables

CCAHS Physical/ Biological measures include:

  • Cortisol from Saliva (on subsample of 311 respondents)
  • Blood Assays (on subsample of 629 respondents)
  • Total Cholesterol
  • C-reactive Protein (CRP)
  • Glycosolated Hemoglobin (HbA1c)
  • Physical Measurements (on all 3105 respondents)
  • Systolic and Diastolic Blood Pressure
  • Heart Rate
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Waist and Hip Circumference and Ratio
  • Leg Length

Systematic Social Observation (SSO)

For the full sample of 3105 we have also collected observational data on the block around each respondent's house through systematic social observation (SSO) by our survey interviewers. Our SSO partly replicates and partly modifies and extends the SSO that PHDCN conducted in 1995. We trained interviewers to conduct ratings by filling out a coding sheet (see SSO Instrument) as they walked twice around the entire block - the first time walking along the "inside" block faces and the second along the "outside" face blocks (a face block is one side of a street segment). Some questions on the coding sheet are face-block-specific, pertaining to characteristics that can vary from one side of a street to another (e.g., presence of trash, empty bottles, drug paraphernalia, or graffiti; condition of buildings; or land use); other questions are street-specific, with both sides of the street assumed to share the measured characteristic (e.g., volume of traffic, condition of street); and a few questions refer to the entire block (e.g., odors/ irritants in the air).

CCAHS Systematic Social Observation (SSO) measures include:

  • Physical Disorder
  • Physical Decay / Deterioration
  • Physical Condition
  • Evidence of Risk Behaviors
  • Alcohol/ Tobacco Advertising
  • Presence of Bars/ Liquor Stores
  • Noise Level
  • Air Quality
  • Noxious Odors
  • Volume of Traffic
  • Commercial/ Residential Security
  • Presence of trees
% Hypertensive in Neighboorhood Cluster

The persistence of sizable racial differences in hyper- tension may be due, perhaps entirely, to the different residential contexts in which African Americans are constrained to live. (Morenoff, Jeffrey D., James S. House, Ben B. Hansen, David R. Williams, George A. Kaplan, & Haslyn E. R. Hunte. 2007. "Understanding Social Disparities in Hypertension Prevalence, Awareness, Treatment, & Control: The Role of Neighborhood Context." Social Science &Medicine, 65(9): 1853-1866.)

This study examines the role that residential neighbor- hoods may play in racial/ ethnic & socioeconomic dis- parities in systolic(SBP) & diastolic(DBP) blood pressure, hypertension, & awareness, treatment, & control of hypertension. Between 2001 & 2003 we collected data, including direct assessments of SBP & DBP, on a probability sample of 3105 participants aged 18+ living in 343 Chicago neighborhoods. We found that blacks & people with lower levels of education have significantly higher levels of SBP & higher rates of hypertension than their respective comparison groups (i.e., whites & people with 16+ years of education), but that these disparities diminish & become statistically insignificant after adjusting for neighborhood context. Levels of SBP & DBP & the rate of hypertension were lower in more affluent/ gentrified neighborhoods (i.e., places with a high level of residential turnover & with greater shares of people in their 20s & 30s and/ or have 16+ years of education & are in professional/ managerial occupations), net of controls for a wide range individual- & neighborhood-level controls. Among people with hypertension, blacks were more likely than whites to be aware of their condition, but this difference was also explained by neighborhood factors: people living in more disadvantaged neighborhoods & neighborhoods with greater proportions of blacks were more likely to be aware of their hypertension. Among those being treated for hypertension, blacks were less likely than whites to have their condition under control, & controls for neighborhood context failed to explain this disparity. In sum, residential neighborhoods potentially play a large role in accounting for social disparities in high blood pressure & hypertension prevalence & awareness, but not in treatment for & control of hypertension.


Odds Ratios of Risk for Severe Mobility Disability by Street Conditions and Lower Extremity Physical Impairment: Chicago Community Adult Health Study, Age 45+

People with impairments in neuromuscular and movement-related functions are more likely to be disabled, in terms of their mobility outdoors, when they live in neighborhoods with poor street and sidewalk quality (as measured by the SSO). (Clarke, Philippa, Jennifer A. Ailshire, Michael Bader, Jeffrey D. Morenoff, and James S. House. 2008. "Mobility Disability and the Urban Built Environment." American Journal of Epidemiology, 168:506-513.)

Research on the effects of the built environment in the pathway from impairment to disability has been largely absent. Using data from the Chicago Community Adult Health Study (2001-2003), we examined the effect of built environment characteristics on mobility disability among adults age 45+ (N=1195) according to their level of lower extremity physical impairment. Built environment characteristics were assessed using systematic social observation to independently rate street and sidewalk quality in the block surrounding each respondentís residence in the City of Chicago. Using multinomial logistic regression we found that street conditions had no effect on outdoor mobility among adults with only mild or no physical impairment. However, among adults with more severe impairment in neuromuscular and movement related functions, the difference in the odd ratios for reporting severe mobility disability was over four times greater when at least one street was in fair or poor condition (characterized by cracks, potholes or broken curbs). When all streets were in good condition the odds of reporting mobility disability was attenuated in those with lower extremity impairment. If street quality could be improved, even somewhat, for those adults at greatest risk for disability in outdoor mobility, the disablement process could be slowed or even reversed.


Less education is not associated with chronic over-exposure to cortisol

Dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis is hypothesized to be an important pathway linking socioeconomic position and chronic disease. This paper tests the association between education and the diurnal rhythm of salivary cortisol. Up to eight measures of cortisol (mean of 5.38 per respondent) over 2 days were obtained from 311 respondents, aged 18-70, drawn from the 2001-2002 Chicago Community Adult Health Study. Multi-level models with linear splines were used to estimate waking level, rates of cortisol decline, and area-under-the-curve over the day, by categories of education. Lower education (0-11 years) was associated with lower waking levels of cortisol, but not the rate of decline of cortisol, resulting in a higher area-under-the-curve for more educated respondents throughout the day. This study found evidence of lower cortisol exposure among individuals with less education and thus does not support the hypothesis that less education is associated with chronic over-exposure to cortisol. (Dowd, Jennifer B., Nalini Ranjit, D. Phuong Do, Elizabeth A. Young, James S. House, and George A.Kaplan. 2010. "Education and Levels of Salivary Cortisol over the Day." Annals of Behavioral Medicine, epub Sept 2,2010)



August 2012

Proposal for 2nd wave of data collection

We are in the process of requesting funding from the National Institutes of Health(NIH) to conduct a second set of interviews in this continuing research project. If funding is obtained, we anticipate contacting participants in 2013-2014.

April 2011

CCAHS Data submitted to ICPSR

We have submitted our data to the ICPSR for restricted use by researchers around the world. ICPSR ensures: 1) long-term data availability; 2) worldwide dissemination of data in the major statistical package formats and online analysis; and 3) user support pertaining to downloading and using data;.and 4) It also provides restricted access data service for studies such as CCAHS and a secure data enclave. In addition, ICPSR creates a database of citations based on analyses of the data.

Sample Characteristics

Sample Characteristics

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