Mexican Health and Aging Study

Mexican Health and Aging Study

The Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS) was the first panel study of health and aging in Mexico. MHAS was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging (AG 18016, BJ Soldo, PI). The study was a collaborative effort among researchers from the Universities of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Wisconsin in the U.S., and the Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografia e Informática (INEGI) in Mexico. The study is known also as its name in Spanish, Estudio Nacional de Salud y Envejecimiento en México, ENASEM.

The baseline survey was conducted in the summer of 2001. It included a nationally representative sample of Mexicans 50 years and older and their spouse or partners regardless of age. A direct interview was sought with each individual, and proxy interviews obtained when poor health or temporary absence precluded a direct interview. The survey was nationally representative of the target population, 13 millions Mexicans born prior to 1951; it also had national and urban representation. To select the subject in rural and urban areas, MHAS respondents were identified in conjunction with the 2000 National Employment Survey (ENE, Encuesta Nacional de Empleo).

In 2001, 11,000 households with at least one person of eligible age were selected for the study. A follow-up survey was carried out in the summer of 2003; all age-eligible subjects from the 2001 wave were targeted even if they had moved. If the subject had died, a different interview was conducted with an informed respondent.

The MHAS was a high quality study, with excellent response and follow-up rates.

The study website has a platform in both English and in Spanish. Databases and study documents can be accessed from the website, including:

  • Questionnaires
  • Interviewer and Coder Manuals
  • Codebooks with variables’ codes and frequencies
  • Follow-up master file to link study subjects through the two waves
  • Field reports: duration of interviews, response rates


Study goals

The overall goal of the study was to examine the aging process and its disease and disability burden in a large representative panel of older Mexicans from a wide socioeconomic spectrum. The MHAS design was motivated by several research questions related to the dynamics of health and aging in Mexico; the consequences on the multiple domains of health of early- and mid-life health behaviors, migration, transfers, and socio-economic status; and health selectivity among migrants to the U.S. and among those returning to Mexico.

Survey contents

Health Measures: self-reports of conditions, symptoms, functional status, lifestyle behaviors (e.g., smoking and drinking history), use/source/costs of health care services, depression, pain, reading and cognitive performance tests;

Background: Childhood health and living conditions, education, ability to read/write and count, migration history, marital history;

Family: rosters of all children (including deceased children); for each, demographic attributes, summary indicators of childhood and current health, education, current work status, migration. Parent and sibling migration experiences;

Transfers: financial and time help given to and received by respondent from children, indexed to specific child; time and financial help to parent;

Economic: sources and amounts of income, including wages, pensions, and government subsidies; type and value of assets. All non-response in amount questions were followed by bracketed amounts to reduce non-response;

Housing Environment: type, location, building materials, other indicators of quality, and ownership of consumer durables;

Anthropometric: interviewers measured weight, height; waist, hip, and calf circumference, knee length, and timed one-leg stands for a random subsample (20%) of respondents.


Publications using the MHAS data represent a broad diversity of disciplinary publications, including demography, microeconomics, labor economics, public health, epidemiology and health care policy. Published papers have appeared in diverse peer review journals of multiple disciplines related to aging and health, both in the U.S. and abroad.

A list of publications and research projects related to the MHAS 2001 and 2003 can be found at [1].

Representative publications

Angel RJ, Angel JL & Hill TD. 2008. "A comparison of the health of older Hispanics in the United States and Mexico - Methodological challenges." Journal of Aging and Health, 20(1):3-31.

Angel RJ, Angel JL & Hill TD. 2009. "Subjective Control and Health among Mexican-Origin Elders in Mexico and the United States: Structural Considerations in Comparative Research." The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 64B(3):390-401.

Crimmins EM, Soldo BJ, Kim JK & Alley DE. 2005. "Using anthropometric indicators for Mexicans in the United States and Mexico to understand the selection of migrants and the "Hispanic paradox." Social Biology, 52(3-4):164-177.

Dorantes-Mendoza G, Avila-Funes JA, Mejía-Arango S & Gutiérrez-Robledo LM. 2007. "Factors associated with functional dependence in older adults: a secondary analysis of the National Study on Health and Aging, Mexico, 2001” {original in Spanish}. Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública, 22(1):1-11.

Ham-Chande R & Gutiérrez-Robledo LM. 2007. "Health and aging in the 20th century” {original in Spanish}. Salud Pública de México, 49(Suppl. 4): 433-435.

Montes de Oca V & Hebrero-Martínez M. 2006. "Turning points and advanced family cycles: aging effect in Mexican homes." Papeles de Población, 50:97-116.

Monteverde Malena NK, & Palloni A. 2009. "Effect of early conditions on disability among the elderly in Latin America and the Caribbean." Population Studies, 63(1):21-35.

Palloni A & Arias E. 2004. "Paradox lost: Explaining the Hispanic adult mortality advantage". Demography, 41(3):385-415.

Ruiz-Pantoja TE & Ham-Chande R. 2007. "Childhood health and social factors associated to elderly morbidity” {original in spanish}. Salud Pública de México, 49 (Suppl. 4):495-504.

Salinas JJ, Eschbach KA & Markides KS. 2008. "The prevalence of hypertension in older Mexicans and Mexican Americans". Ethnicity and Disease, 18(3):294-298.

van Gameren E. 2008. "Labor force participation of Mexican elderly: The importance of health". Estudios Económicos, 23(1):89-127.

Wong R, Pelaez M, Palloni A & Markides K. 2006. "Survey Data for the Study of Aging in Latin America and the Caribbean: Selected Studies". Journal of Aging and Health, 18(2):157-179.

Wong R, Palloni A & Soldo BJ. 2007. "Wealth in middle and old age in Mexico: The role of international migration". International Migration Review, 41(1):127-151.

Wong R, Ofstedal MB, Yount K, & Agree EM. 2008. "Unhealthy lifestyles among older adults: exploring transitions in Mexico and the US". European Journal of Ageing, 5(4):311-326.


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Health and Retirement Study — The [ Health and Retirement Study] (HRS) [National Institute on Aging, [ Growing Older in America: The Health and… …   Wikipedia

  • Health and Disease — ▪ 2009 Introduction Food and Drug Safety.       In 2008 the contamination of infant formula and related dairy products with melamine in China led to widespread health problems in children, including urinary problems and possible renal tube… …   Universalium

  • United States Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services — Deputy Secretary, Bill Corr The Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services (formerly the Under Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1953–1979, and the Under Secretary of Health and Human Services, 1979–1990) is the chief operating… …   Wikipedia

  • Health care reform debate in the United States — See also: Health care reform in the United States, Health care in the United States, and Uninsured in the United States Health care in the United States Public health care Federal Employees Health Benefits Program Indian Health Service… …   Wikipedia

  • Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe — Institut Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA), Max Planck Institute for …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Middle Eastern Mental Health Issues & Syndromes — Psychology, Multiculturalism, and the study of Middle Eastern Mental Health Syndromes,[1][2]is an area of research that continues to grow in its scope and content in the United States and throughout the World today. Because the Internet is such a …   Wikipedia

  • Comparison of the health care systems in Canada and the United States — Health spending per capita, in U.S. dollars PPP adjusted, with the U.S. and Canada compared amongst other first world nations. Comparison of the health care systems in Canada and the United States are often made by government, public health and… …   Wikipedia

  • Business and Industry Review — ▪ 1999 Introduction Overview        Annual Average Rates of Growth of Manufacturing Output, 1980 97, Table Pattern of Output, 1994 97, Table Index Numbers of Production, Employment, and Productivity in Manufacturing Industries, Table (For Annual… …   Universalium

  • Law, Crime, and Law Enforcement — ▪ 2006 Introduction Trials of former heads of state, U.S. Supreme Court rulings on eminent domain and the death penalty, and high profile cases against former executives of large corporations were leading legal and criminal issues in 2005.… …   Universalium

  • Media and Publishing — ▪ 2007 Introduction The Frankfurt Book Fair enjoyed a record number of exhibitors, and the distribution of free newspapers surged. TV broadcasters experimented with ways of engaging their audience via the Internet; mobile TV grew; magazine… …   Universalium