Study Introduction: The Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI)
Written by: Jinkook Lee
Published on: Feb 19, 2021
The Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI) is a nationwide panel survey that aims to scientifically investigate the health, economic, and social determinants and consequences of population ageing in India. LASI will provide internationally harmonized longitudinal high-quality data to inform policies and programs targeted toward the overall wellbeing of the older adult population in India.
LASI is India’s first and the world’s largest longitudinal ageing study, in terms of its sample size. The baseline (Wave 1) round of LASI is representative of India and all of its states/union territories (excluding Sikkim), covering a sample of over 72,000 individuals aged 45 and above (including their spouses regardless of age). Furthermore, the sample is inclusive of over 30,000 elderly aged 60.
With this nationally representative sample, researchers set out to address the need for data on health, social support, and economic security of India’s growing elderly population. LASI provides data on a comprehensive set of health, social, and economic indicators at household, individual, and community levels. Detailed data is collected on topics that include:
- housing & environment
- household economic condition
- household health insurance
- chronic health conditions
- symptom-based health conditions
- functional health
- mental health (cognition and depression)
- health insurance & healthcare utilization
- family & social networks
- welfare programmes
- work & employment
- retirement & pension
- life expectations
LASI also collects physical and biological biomarkers that will help in direct measurement of key health conditions and symptoms. With this wealth of information collected from the population, LASI provides an opportunity to understand health and social wellbeing outcomes by the socioeconomic spectrum of the country.
Another significant element of LASI is the ability to make cross-country comparisons with other aging studies. To make this possible, LASI has been harmonized with 46 other health and retirement studies around the world. If interested in learning more about the global expansion of the HRS Family of Surveys, read our blog here.
We are also pleased to announce that data dissemination efforts are underway. The microdata for Wave 1 of LASI are publicly available at lasi-india.org & g2aging.org. We also recently hosted a webinar discussing the study design and data structure of the newly released LASI data. A recording of the session is available here and the presentation slides can be found here.
LASI offers an exciting opportunity to study aging in India and better understand aging globally. We hope this introduction and the resources provided allow researchers to start exploring the rich data and gain insight into the aging population in India.
- Jinkook Lee is the Principal Investigator of the LASI project & the Director of the Program on Global Health, Aging and Policy at the Center for Economic and Social Research (University of Southern California).