CHDS faculty Thomas Gaziano, in collaboration with Harvard Chan researchers and colleagues in South Africa, received additional funding to continue and expand work in the HAALSA (Health and Aging in Africa: Longitudinal Studies in South Africa ) program. Plans for the next 5-year phase of HAALSA include administering the 4th and 5th surveys of a cohort of older adults in rural South Africa, and the launch of a nationally representative survey across South Africa.
Since 2013, HAALSA has been examining the demographic and epidemiologic transitions taking place among older South Africans in the context of increased life expectancy due to the successful scale up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV, among other factors. At the same time, South Africa is experiencing unprecedented levels of chronic and non-communicable diseases among its aging population, such as cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and dementia. By harmonizing specific data about the aging experience in South Africa with data from other global studies of aging in India, China, Brazil, the United Kingdon, and Europe, the HAALSA study provides an opportunity to compare the biological, social, and economic determinants of chronic diseases and their effects on functional and health outcomes on a global scale.
Gaziano is the co-Primary Investigator of the overall HAALSA program, a member of the core leadership and administration of HAALSA at Harvard Chan, co-PI of the Cardio-metabolic project, and core faculty on the Biomarker project.
“This significant grant unites experts from multiple disciplines, institutions, and countries, and allows us to look deeply into the changing patterns of healthy aging in Africa. It gives us the opportunity to explore the interactions between lived experience in harsh conditions, endemic HIV/AIDS, social policy, and chronic conditions of aging, especially dementia and cardiometabolic conditions,” states Gaziano.
Note: HAALSA was formerly known as HAALSI; the name change is not reflected on their website yet.
Learn more: Read about HAALSA (Health and Aging in Africa: Longitudinal Studies in South Africa )