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The Mexican Health and Aging Study will Extend over 26 Years

Jun 29, 2023, 17:46 PM by SCOA
The National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health (NIA/NIH) has renewed the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS) grant for five more years (2023-2028). This additional round of funding will extend the public use databases over 26 years, which is unique for a low- or middle-income country. MHAS receives binational funding from the NIA/NIH (R01AG018016, R Wong, PI) and the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI) in Mexico.

MHAS was designed to be highly comparable to the US Health and Retirement Study (HRS). The longitudinal study uses a national sample of 15,000 community-dwelling adults aged 50 and older in urban and rural Mexico. Six waves of data collection have been completed over 20 years. A key ancillary study of MHAS is Mex-Cog, part of the Harmonized Cognitive Aging Protocol (HCAP) conducted in several countries to study Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Two waves of Mex-Cog have also been completed. The renewal will allow the conduct of waves 7 and 8 of MHAS and wave 3 of Mex-Cog, adding a rural over-sample to the study and incorporating new themes, including COVID-19, perceived discrimination, use of languages, and use of technology for health care. These additions will allow enhanced research on aging, Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, health, and mortality in a rapidly developing country with limited institutional support for older adults and long-lived health, economic, and social ties to the United States.

MHAS is led by Dr. Rebeca Wong, Associate Director of the Sealy Center on Aging and Director of the WHO/PAHO Collaborating Center on Aging and Health at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB). Under Dr. Wong’s leadership, MHAS has evolved into a nationally recognized longitudinal survey that encompasses multiple dimensions of health and aging among middle-aged and older adults in Mexico. The study has positioned Mexico’s health dynamics within a broader socioeconomic context, offering valuable insights for policymakers, healthcare professionals, and researchers. To date, the scientific community has used MHAS data to produce 395 publications, including 282 journal publications, 49 book chapters, and 64 theses/dissertations. The MHAS team of collaborators represent institutions in the United States and Mexico.

To access more information about MHAS and explore its publications, visit the official bilingual website at