Since 1970, The Cooper Institute has provided groundbreaking research in epidemiology, exercise physiology, behavior change, obesity, healthy aging and other health issues. Our research has been instrumental in identifying physical inactivity as an important public health problem, and insetting public health recommendations for physical activity. Our work has influenced major national public policy initiatives from the American Heart Association, American College of Sports Medicine and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
of longitudinal observation in the CCLS have generated groundbreaking studies impacting public health around the world
decreased mortality among fit individuals, compared to unfit individuals, shown in landmark CCLS publication
papers published in peer-reviewed journals over the past 50 years
Cooper Center Longitudinal Study
The CCLS is our principal research asset. It is one of the most highly-referenced studies on physical fitness and health in the world. It allows researchers to evaluate the effect of lifestyle choices on the development of chronic conditions, mortality, healthcare costs and more.Learn More
Our key publications
Our research is prominently referenced in policy and recommendation reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association, American College of Sports Medicine, World Health Organization, and numerous health agencies worldwide. Check out our most frequently cited publications in the past decade.See More
These five publications are key to
who The Cooper Institute is today
Physical fitness levels vs selected coronary risk factors. A cross-sectional study
Association between coronary heart disease risk factors and physical fitness in healthy adult women.
Physical fitness and all-cause mortality. A prospective study of healthy men and women.
The safety of maximal exercise testing.
Changes in physical fitness and all-cause mortality. A prospective study of healthy and unhealthy men.
Cardiorespiratory Fitness, C-Reactive Protein, and All-Cause Mortality in Men and Women: The Cooper Center Longitudinal Study
As you may be aware, cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) as well as inflammation are two hot topics in the health and fitness research field. CRF is best thought of as the ability of the body to use oxygen at the cell level, and can be objectively measured via maximal treadmill exercise testing in a clinical setting.
Thinking about the red planet as your destination? At a minimum, a round trip to Mars is approximately 34 million miles with a flight time measured in years! Such a distant destination will require a lot of planning and preparation. Not least of which, it is important to ensure that your underlying health is good enough to make any space trip as there are no emergency rooms or hospitals in space.
There is abundant evidence that a low level of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is a strong and independent risk factor for all-cause mortality among women. However, much less is known regarding the gradient of mortality risk among women, particularly those at the low end of the CRF continuum.
Our research has been published widely and cited in key scientific literature. The following publications are some of the most frequently cited references in the past decade.
Charvat JM, Leonard D, Barlow CE, et al. Long-term cardiovascular risk in astronauts. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2022;97(7):1237-1246.
Shuval K, Leonard D, Chartier K,et al. Fit and Tipsy? The interrelationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and alcohol consumption and dependence. MedSci Sports Exerc. 2021.
Farrell SW, DeFina LF, Radford NB, et al. Relevance of fitness to mortality risk in men receiving contemporary medical care. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020;75(13):1538-1547.
DeFina LF, Radford NB, Barlow CE, et al. Association of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality with high levels of physical activity and concurrent coronary artery calcification. JAMA Cardiol. 2019;4(2):174-181.
Rodriguez F, Leonard D, DeFina L, et al. Association of educational attainment and cardiovascular risk in Hispanic individuals: Findings from the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study. JAMA Cardiol. 2019;4(1):43-50.
Abdullah SM, Defina LF, Leonard D, et al. Long-term association of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol with cardiovascular mortality in individuals at low 10-year risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Circulation. 2018;138(21):2315-2325.
Willis BL, Leonard D, Barlow CE, Martin SB, DeFina LF, Trivedi MH. Association of midlife cardiorespiratory fitness with incident depression and cardiovascular death after depression in later life. JAMA Psychiatry. 2018;75(9):911-917.
Radford NB, DeFina LF, Leonard D, et al. Cardiorespiratory fitness, coronary artery calcium, and cardiovascular disease events in a cohort of generally healthy middle-age men: Results from the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study. Circulation. 2018;137(18):1888-1895.
Barlow CE, Shuval K, Balasubramanian BA, et al. Association between sitting time and cardiometabolic risk factors after adjustment for cardiorespiratory fitness, Cooper Center Longitudinal Study, 2010-2013. Prev Chronic Dis. 2016;13:E181.
Radford NB, DeFina LF, Barlow CE, et al. Progression of CAC score and risk of incident CVD. JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2016;9(12):1420-1429.
DeFina LF, Barlow CE, Radford NB, Leonard D, Willis BL. The association between midlife cardiorespiratory fitness and later life chronic kidney disease: The Cooper Center Longitudinal Study. Prev Med. 2016;89:178-183.
Wainstein HM, Feldman M, Shen CL, et al. The relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and bone mineral density in men: a cross-sectional study. Mayo Clin Proc. 2016;91(6):726-734.
Pandey A, Patel MR, Willis B, et al. Association between midlife cardiorespiratory fitness and risk of stroke: The Cooper Center Longitudinal Study. Stroke. 2016;47(7):1720-1726.
Willis BL, DeFina LF, Bachmann JM, et al. Association of ideal cardiovascular health and long-term healthcare costs. Am J Prev Med. 2015;49(5):678-685.
Bachmann JM, DeFina LF, Franzini L, et al. Cardiorespiratory fitness in middle age and health care costs in later life. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015;66(17):1876-1885.
Lakoski SG, Willis BL, Barlow CE, et al. Midlife cardiorespiratory fitness, incident cancer, and survival after cancer in men: The Cooper Center Longitudinal Study. JAMA Oncol. 2015;1(2):231-237.
Radford NB, DeFina LF, Barlow CE, et al. Effect of fitness on incident diabetes from statin use in primary prevention. Atherosclerosis. 2015;239(1):43-49.
Pandey A, Patel M, Gao A, et al. Changes in mid-life fitness predicts heart failure risk at a later age independent of interval development of cardiac and noncardiac risk factors: the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study. Am Heart J. 2015;169(2):290-297 e291.
DeFina LF, Haskell WL, Willis BL, et al. Physical activity versus cardiorespiratory fitness: Two (partly) distinct components of cardiovascular health? Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2015;57(4):324-329.
Howard EN, Frierson GM, Willis BL, Haskell WL, Powell-Wiley TM, Defina LF. The impact of race and higher socioeconomic status on cardiorespiratory fitness. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2013;45(12):2286-2291.
DeFina LF, Willis BL, Radford NB, et al. The association between midlife cardiorespiratory fitness levels and later-life dementia: a cohort study. Ann Intern Med. 2013;158(3):162-168.
Berry JD, Pandey A, Gao A, et al. Physical fitness and risk for heart failure and coronary artery disease. Circ Heart Fail. 2013;6(4):627-634.
Frierson GM, Howard EN, DeFina LF, Powell-Wiley TM, Willis BL. Effect of race and socioeconomic status on cardiovascular risk factor burden: The Cooper Center Longitudinal Study. Ethn Dis. 2012;23(1):35-42.
Willis BL, Gao A, Leonard D, Defina LF, Berry JD. Midlife fitness and the development of chronic conditions in later life. Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(17):1333-1340.