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The Harmonized Longitudinal Aging Study in India (LASI) Public Data Release

Written by: Jinkook Lee

Published on: Aug 26, 2021

#Aging-Research #LASI #Data-Harmonization

THE Harmonized LASI public data release is set to facilitate further analysis of rich data from the world’s second most populous country, India. The Longitudinal Aging Study in India (LASI) is a prospective study of the health, social, and economic circumstances of a representative sample of over 72,000 people aged 45 years and older. The data were collected during 2017-19 and released to the public earlier this year. Led by Professors David E. Bloom of the Harvard School of Public Health, T.V. Sekher of the International Institute for Population Sciences, and Jinkook Lee of the University of Southern California, this ground-breaking study provides scientists and policymakers the in–depth information needed to understand the current circumstances of and to plan for the future needs of older people. 

While the initial data released earlier this year provided the original data from the field after careful cleaning, rich and complex data require high-caliber efforts to deal with item missingness and other measurement issues before generating reliable results. Considering the complexity of the data, including the household-level interviews on economic resources and the physical environment, the individual-level interviews and biomarker collection, and the community-level survey of facilities, prices, and circumstances, the merging of data at different levels also requires careful consideration. 

The Harmonized LASI data is designed to save time and effort for interested data users, providing research-ready variables after careful measurement studies,  imputation for economic and cognition variables, and population weights based on the most current population projections. Further, as LASI has been purposefully designed for comparative analysis with other population aging surveys, including the Health and Retirement Study and its international network of studies, the Harmonized LASI data also includes a set of harmonized variables ready for cross-country analysis. The Harmonized LASI is a valuable investment made by the Gateway to Global Aging Data team for all interested scientists. 

The Harmonized LASI data can be accessed on both the LASI and the Gateway to Global Aging Data websites. It can be linked to the raw LASI data file and its dementia study’s, LASI-DAD, datafiles. In addition, all codes used for creating the Harmonized LASI and a detailed codebook are available for any scientist wanting to know about the assumptions we have made in creating this data file. 

Interested in learning more? Register here for our upcoming webinar scheduled on September 2, 2021 to learn more about the Harmonized LASI and to better understand its data structure. 

LASI offers an exciting opportunity to study aging in India and to better understand aging globally. We hope this introduction to the Harmonized LASI and the resources provided allow researchers to start exploring the rich data and to gain valuable insight into the aging population in India.

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