Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE): South Africa, Baseline (Wave 0), 2002-2004
Investigators: World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO)'s Multi-Country Studies unit developed the Study on Global AGEing and Adult Health (SAGE) as part of a Longitudinal Survey Program to compile comprehensive longitudinal information on the health and well being of older adult populations.
The primary objectives of the SAGE survey program are:

  • To obtain reliable, valid, and comparable health, health-related, and well-being data over a range of key domains for adult and older adult populations in nationally representative samples;
  • To examine patterns and dynamics of age-related changes in health and well-being using longitudinal follow-up of a cohort as they age, and to investigate socioeconomic consequences of these health changes;
  • To supplement and cross-validate self-reported measures of health and the anchoring vignette approach to improving comparability of self-reported measures, through measured performance tests for selected health domains; and
  • To collect health examination and biomarker data that improves reliability of morbidity and risk factor data and to objectively monitor the effect of interventions.
Additional objectives include:
  • To generate large cohorts of older adult populations and comparison cohorts of younger populations for following-up intermediate outcomes, monitoring trends, examining transitions and life events, and addressing relationships between determinants and health, well-being, and health-related outcomes;
  • To develop a mechanism to link survey data to demographic surveillance site data;
  • To build linkages with other national and multi-country aging studies;
  • To improve the methodologies to enhance the reliability and validity of health outcomes and determinants data; and
  • To provide a public-access information base to engage all stakeholders, including national policy makers and health systems planners, in planning and decision-making processes about the health and well-being of older adults.
The SAGE study collects data on respondents ages 18 years and older, with an emphasis on individuals ages 50 years and older, from nationally representative samples in six countries: China, Ghana, India, Mexico, Russian Federation, and South Africa. The baseline cohort (Wave 0) was created during the 2002-2004 round of the World Health Survey (WHS).

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