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Older persons are often referred to physicians because of complaints of progressive difficulties in walking. The diagnostic and therapeutic approach to these patients is complex. Multiple physiologic subsystems may influence the ability to walk and no standard criteria are currently available to establish whether these subsystems are functioning within the “normal” range. To address lack of knowledge Dr. Luigi Ferrucci and Dr. Stefania Bandinelli conducted InCHIANTI, a representative population-based study of older persons living in the Chianti geographic area (Tuscany, Italy). The data collection started in September 1998 and was completed in March 2000. 3 and 6-year follow-up assessment of the InCHIANTI study population were performed in the years 2001-2003 and 2004-2006. A nine-year follow-up is already planned and funded through an NIA grant. The InCHIANTI Biobank is a collection of biological samples of the study population.
The Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS), established in 1988, is a systematic longitudinal study enrolling HIV-infected individuals in Switzerland. It is a collaboration of all Swiss University Hospital infectious disease outpatient clinics, two large cantonal hospitals, all with affiliated laboratories, and with affiliated smaller hospitals and private physicians carrying for HIV patients. The Swiss Mother and Child HIV Cohort Study (MoCHiV) is integrated into the SHCS. It aims at preventing mother to child transmission and enrolls HIV-infected pregnant women and their children. The SHCS involves practically all researchers being active in patient-oriented HIV research in Switzerland. The clinics can delegate recruitment of participants and follow-up visits to other outpatient clinics or to specialized private physicians, provided that the requirements of the protocol can be entirely fulfilled and controlled. The laboratories can contract other laboratories for some of the analyses.