Antiretroviral therapy (and resulting increased viral suppression) linked to longer AND healthier lives for older adults in South Africa

HAALSI men and women

Researchers affiliated with the HAALSI study, including former Harvard Bell Fellows Collin Payne, PhD, and Lindsay Kobayashi, PhD, and faculty member Jennifer Manne-Goehler, PhD, are among the authors of a study published in The Lancet HIV that links increased viral suppression at the population level with not only increased life expectancy, but also with less disability, pointing to the value of ART to foster healthy aging. Learn more in this…

A closer look at the impact of social networks on well-being among an aging South African population

Two South African women wearing colorful clothes

A recent study based on data from the project “Health and Aging in Africa: a Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community in South Africa” (HAALSI) suggests that social capital theory (the concept that the higher socioeconomic status of your contacts can have positive health impacts as they are a type of interpersonal resource) applies not only in higher-income settings, but in a more resource-limited, rural setting in South Africa as…

Study of aging population in South Africa finds that HIV viral suppression through ART is leveling the field of healthy longevity

HAALSI men and women

Findings by HAALSI researchers published in The Lancet Healthy Longevity, a special issue of conference abstracts, point to similar levels of increased lifespan and “healthspan” among those HIV-positive individuals who achieved viral suppression through ART as observed among HIV-negative individuals.

What affects the mental health of a population that is now growing older in sub-Saharan Africa?

HAALSI men and women

Harvard Pop Center Director of Research & Research Scientist Elyse Jennings, recent Harvard Bell Fellow Leslie Adams, and senior data scientist at the University of Cape Town Chido Chinogurei have co-authored a study published in Social Science & Medicine – Mental Health (SSM-MH) that found that experiencing a marital dissolution was associated with more depressive symptoms than remaining married for both men and women, and men (but not women) reported greater…

Highlighting HAALSI, a longitudinal research study at Harvard that is fueling health discoveries in an aging, sub-Saharan African population

The letters "HAALSI" filled with images of South Africa

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…

Men (not women) found to receive more social support after losing spouse and when suffering from physical health issue in rural South Africa

Older man in South Africa sitting in a field

A study authored by Harvard Pop Center Research Scientist Elyse Jennings, PhD, and her colleagues Margaret Ralston and Enid Schatz, reveals the levels of social support experienced by older adults in rural South Africa after losing a spouse, and/or experiencing a physical limitation or chronic health issue.

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

Two older women walk on a dirt road in rural South Africa

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 the Journal of Aging and Health.

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

An older South African man and a healthcare worker do an intake sitting outside in rural South Africa

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 many high-income countries.

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

Multiple glasses of red wine

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?

Head shot of Elyse Jennings

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 were differences according to gender and marital status.