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In our rapidly aging society, people over 80 are considered "the oldest old". While they represent the fastest growing age group, they are, however, the least researched. Health-wise, they tend also to be most at risk. It is thus critical that we have a comprehensive understanding of the aging process from age 80 on. To help meet this need, the Department of Gerontology of St. Thomas University, in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, launched "The Fredericton 80+ Study" in 1998. The principal objective of the project is to investigate the overall life situations of people 80 years old and older by following a particular group of them on an annual basis with respect to the health, social, and psychological dimensions of their lives. The Fredericton 80+ Study is linked to two other 80+ studies, one underway in the city of Lund, Sweden, since 1988 and one in Reykjavik, Iceland, since 1993.