Older adults in rural South Africa who care for their grandchildren may also be safeguarding their cognitive function

Three researchers (Harvard Pop Center Research Scientist Elyse Jennings, Research Associate Director Meagan Farrell, and former Bell Fellow Lindsay Kobayashi) affiliated with one of the flagship projects at the Harvard Pop Center — Health and Aging in Africa: A Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community in South Africa (HAALSI) — have published their findings in … Continue reading “Older adults in rural South Africa who care for their grandchildren may also be safeguarding their cognitive function”

Latest study on aging in South Africa presents some of the first incidence rates of aging-related cognitive impairment in this population

HAALSI researchers — including former Harvard Bell Fellow Lindsay Kobayashi, and Harvard Pop Center Research Associate Meagan Farrell, and Director Lisa Berkman — have published a study that finds similar patterning between social disparities (such as differences in formal education, literacy and marital status) and cognitive impairment rates in rural South Africa as observed in … Continue reading “Latest study on aging in South Africa presents some of the first incidence rates of aging-related cognitive impairment in this population”

Does alcohol consumption play a role in the spread of HIV among older adults in South Africa?

A study by HAALSI researchers finds that increased and more frequent alcohol consumption among older adults in South Africa is linked with higher levels of sexual risk taking, patterns of behavior that could contribute to the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Is depression a barrier to receiving social support among aging adults in rural South Africa?

A study by researchers affiliated with the population-based study Health and Aging in Africa: A Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community in South Africa (HAALSI), including Harvard Pop Center Research Scientist Elyse Jennings, PhD, finds that those study participants reporting symptoms of depression were less likely to receive some types of social support, and there … Continue reading “Is depression a barrier to receiving social support among aging adults in rural South Africa?”

Does cognitive function in older population living in South Africa differ based on HIV status?

A team of researchers affiliated with the HAALSI study have published their findings in Nature indicating that cognitive function scores varied depending on whether participants were being assessed using conventional measurement instruments versus one designed for low-literacy settings.

Assessing the scale for assessing depression in rural South Africa

Researchers from the Harvard Pop Center in Cambridge, MA and the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa who are affiliated with the HAALSI study have published a paper in the Journal of Affective Disorders that finds that the reliability of the commonly used scale to assess depression (Center for Epidemiologic Depression Scale (CES-D)) … Continue reading “Assessing the scale for assessing depression in rural South Africa”

Aiming to ward off ‘spiral of decline’ in aging rural South African population

Researchers analyzed data collected as part of the HAALSI study to learn more about the self-reported physical activity (PA) levels of a population over 40 years old. Factors such as being male, over the age of 80, in a higher wealth category, obesity, and poorer functional capacity correlated with lower levels of physical activity. The … Continue reading “Aiming to ward off ‘spiral of decline’ in aging rural South African population”

A hopeful discovery about later-life cognitive function in those exposed to early-life adversity in rural South Africa

The HAALSI team of researchers is one of the first to look at the impacts of early-life adversity (such as parental unemployment, discord and substance abuse, and physical abuse) on later-life cognitive function in rural South Africa. Their findings published in Psychology and Aging suggest that cognitive function is, for the most part, resilient against … Continue reading “A hopeful discovery about later-life cognitive function in those exposed to early-life adversity in rural South Africa”

Is social capital valuable in protecting cognitive function in lower-resource settings such as rural South Africa?

While theories about the connection between strong social supports and better cognitive health among an aging population are well established in higher resource settings (high income, high education levels), less is known about whether this same pattern exists in lower resource settings. Researchers affiliated with Health and Aging in Africa: a Longitudinal Study of an … Continue reading “Is social capital valuable in protecting cognitive function in lower-resource settings such as rural South Africa?”

HAALSI study takes closer look at HIV incidence among older adults in South Africa

While there is much data on the levels of prevalence of HIV among older South Africans, less is known about the risks of older people acquiring HIV. Research from the Health and Aging in Africa: A Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community in South Africa (HAALSI) project published in JAIDS finds that there is some … Continue reading “HAALSI study takes closer look at HIV incidence among older adults in South Africa”