People sought in 28078, 28036 zip codes

KANNAPOLIS – The person sitting next to you on the airplane jumped up out of her seat when the pilot signaled it was safe to get up. The man at the weekly bingo game found his winning numbers faster than anyone at your table. These abilities represent physical and mental functions that change as individuals age.

In the Duke-MURDOCK Physical Performance Study (also referred to as the Healthy Aging Study), people from across the Kannapolis area are being recruited.

Sandy Retort joined the study at the Lake Norman Community Health Center in Huntersville, becoming the 500th volunteer to do so.

“I wanted to help researchers better understand the physical and mental changes that take place as we age,” Retort said. “This will be of benefit for all people to help maintain good health and quality of life as we age.”

Under the leadership of Dr. Miriam Morey, professor of medicine in the Duke Department of Medicine, the Kannapolis-based study team is collecting information from volunteers, ages 30 and older, to better understand what factors associated with physical condition, lifestyle and genetics contribute to changes in physical and mental abilities as people age.

Interested people are asked for approximately 90 minutes to complete:

• The MURDOCK Study Community Registry and Biorepository Questionnaire;

• A short questionnaire on physical performance and abilities;

• A brief physical and cognitive testing, such as a 4-meter walk, 30-second chair stand, single leg stance, and 6-minute walk test; and

• A donation of a small amount of blood and urine;

Volunteers are sent home with an “accelerometer” to wear on the waist. The small device can be worn on one’s belt and will record activity levels over seven days. 

In two years, volunteers will return for a second study. They will undergo the same tests completed during the first visit and donate another sample of blood.

In return, they may receive $30 in gift cards.

People eligible to participate must:

• Be at least 30 years old and live in Cabarrus County or the 28036 or 28078 zip codes. The Duke-MURDOCK Study team is recruiting men 30 and older and women 80 and older.

• Have not been diagnosed or treated for heart attack, congestive heart failure, angina or fluid in the lungs in the past six months.

• Not be pregnant.

• Be able walk at least 30 feet without human assistance.

"It is gratifying to see how the people of Kannapolis and surrounding areas have given their time for this very important study,” Morey said, “We are facing a huge growth in the number of people who are expected to survive longer than ever before. This study will help us develop approaches to optimize healthy aging.”


Want to learn more? To learn more about the Physical Performance Study or the MURDOCK Study efforts, visit or call 704-250-5861.