The Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS)

  • Wong, Rebeca (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


The Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS) is a longitudinal study using a national sample of community- dwelling adults aged 50 and older in urban and rural Mexico. Six waves of data collection over 20 years have been completed. Since its inception, the protocols and survey instruments are highly comparable to the U.S. Health and Retirement Study (HRS). A key ancillary study of the MHAS is the Mex-Cog, part of the Harmonized Cognitive Aging Protocol (HCAP), conducted in several countries to study Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) around the globe using population-based surveys like the MHAS. Two waves of the Mex-Cog have been completed. The long-term goal is to create new knowledge on aging and ADRD for Mexican older adults using a population-based life course perspective. The MHAS is uniquely positioned to sustain research on emerging themes such as COVID-19 and the related social inequities it revealed, providing a strong rationale for adding follow-ups of the MHAS and Mex-Cog, and incorporating new themes to address these knowledge gaps. The specific aims are to: 1) Support further research on the dynamics of aging in Mexico, by extending and improving an existing national panel study, the MHAS. 2) Support further research on the dynamics of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias around the globe, by extending an existing panel of Mex-Cog, an ancillary study of the MHAS; and 3) Foster research on the dynamics of Mexican aging by expanding the knowledge about and promoting the use of the databases and its related products. We will carry out waves 7 and 8 of the MHAS and Wave 3 of the Mex-Cog. We will add a rural over-sample, and incorporate new themes: COVID-19, discrimination, use of languages, and use of technology for health care. We will collect saliva samples in Mex-Cog 3 to support research on genetics of Alzheimer's disease. We will continue the user-friendly web-based platforms and launch a new virtual data enclave to enhance global public access to the data and project documentation. The analytical significance of the new MHAS data will be exceptional, producing a national longitudinal study of aging that spans over twenty-six years, which is unique for a low or middle-income country. The data platform will enhance research on aging in general and ADRD more specifically, and related changes of physical and mental health; physical and cognitive functionality; COVID-19 and other environmental risks; health behaviors and health care use; family support; aging and the life course; wealth, income, labor and retirement; Mexico-U.S. migration; and mortality in a country aging fast with limited institutional support for individuals in old age, and with close social and economic ties to the United States. The data will enable cross-period and cross cohort analyses, as well as short- and long-run effects on health and aging, and will continue to be highly comparable with similar studies in other countries.
Effective start/end date5/1/231/31/28


  • National Inst on Aging: $1,498,467.00


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