Genomes and Genes
Health and Retirement Survey for India
Principal Investigator: David Bloom
Abstract: DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The long-term goals of this research are (a) to develop a nationally representative, longitudinal survey of aging, health, and retirement in India;(b) to provide the foundation for new, rigorous, multidisciplinary studies of aging that will inform policy making and advance scientific knowledge;and (c) to provide internationally harmonized data for cross-national comparative studies on aging to advance understanding of how different institutions, cultures, and policies influence aging. As the first step toward these long-term goals, the objectives of this application are to design and conduct a pilot survey for the Longitudinal Aging Study in India (LASI). A survey instrument will be designed to collect information that is conceptually comparable to that of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and its sister surveys in Asia (i.e., the Chinese Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study, the Japanese Health and Retirement Study, and the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging), but that will also capture characteristics specific to India. To this end, LASI survey protocols will be tailored toward India's institutional and cultural characteristics. The survey instrument will be pilot tested in four states (Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, and Rajasthan) so that the sample design and instrument can be revised for subsequent use in a nationally representative, longitudinal study. The target sample for the pilot study is non-institutionalized Indian residents aged 45 and older. Two thousand age-qualifying individuals will be drawn from a stratified, multistage area probability sampling design. The internationally harmonized survey instrument will include the following core areas: demographics;family structure and transfers;health (diseases, functional health, mental health, and anchoring vignettes);diet and health behavior;health insurance and health care utilization;employment, retirement, and pension;income and consumption;housing and assets;survival expectations;and biomeasures (anthropometry, functional assessment, and biomarkers). The instrument will be developed in English and translated into local languages. After a series of focus group studies designed to test the instrument and the key ideas behind it, pilot data will be collected through face-to-face interviews. Descriptive analyses of the data will be performed. In addition, the pilot survey results will be analyzed with respect to the lessons they hold for a follow-on, full-scale LASI, which will provide much-needed data for scientific research and policy making related to aging in India. Because LASI will be developed to be consistent with parallel international studies, it will contribute to scientific insights and policy development in other countries through comparative studies. In particular, LASI will provide new research opportunities for researchers in the United States and in Asian countries such as China, Japan, and Korea that have comparable HRS-type surveys. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The proposed pilot survey will prepare the way for increased scientific investigation of the economic, social, and biological determinants and consequences of population aging in India. Internationally harmonized data will be disseminated over the Internet to the global research community, enabling further coordinated research on the health and well-being of the elderly in India in comparative perspective. This research has the potential to inform policy in India and other Asian countries, including China, Japan, and South Korea.
Funding Period: 2008-09-15 - 2010-08-31
more information: NIH RePORT
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