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Highlighting HAALSI, a longitudinal research study at Harvard that is fueling health discoveries in an aging, sub-Saharan African population
January 29 @ 1:59 pm
Across much of sub-Saharan Africa, HIV-related mortality has dramatically declined thanks to advancements in antiretroviral therapy; however, while many are now living longer, they are also experiencing higher rates of geriatric illnesses and other non-communicable diseases. The consequences of population aging in rural, low-income settings have not received much of the research spotlight, until now.
Researchers at The Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies are working in partnership with MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt) at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, and The INDEPTH Network (a global network of health and demographic surveillance systems) to explore the biological, social, and economic determinants of chronic diseases in an understudied, aging population, and how these findings can help us better understand aging in a global context.
In this one-hour virtual seminar, Harvard researchers will provide an overview of Health and Aging in Africa: A Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community in South Africa (HAALSI), a cohort study following approximately 5,000 men and women over the age of 40 in rural South Africa. The project, which began in 2013 and is currently in its third wave of data collection, captures indicators related to illnesses often seen in aging populations — CVD, diabetes, and dementia, to name a few. The seminar will present the project goals (including harmonization with other global “sister” studies to the Health and Retirement Studies), and describe the HAALSI cohort, projects, surveys, waves, and available data, including information on how to access data. It will also introduce HAALSI’s ancillary project dedicated to the epidemiology of dementia, which incorporates additional cognitive, clinical, and biomarker data which is harmonized with other international dementia studies.