Background Age cohort differences in haemoglobin concentrations and associations with physical and cognitive performance among populations of lower income and middle-income countries have not previously been described. We examined the association between these factors among older men and women in rural South Africa.Methods We analysed cross-sectional data from a population-based study of rural South African men and women aged 40 and over (n=4499), with data drawn from questionnaire responses, a cognitive battery, objective physical function tests and blood tests. Anaemia was defined as a haemoglobin concentration <12 g/dL for women and <13 g/dL for men. We related haemoglobin concentrations to each of age, grip strength, walk speed and a latent cognitive function z-score for men and women separately. We used unadjusted correlations and linear models to adjust for comorbidities and inflammation.Results In total, 1042 (43.0%) women and 833 (40.1%) men were anaemic. Haemoglobin concentrations were inversely correlated with age for men but not for women; in adjusted analyses, haemoglobin was 0.3 g/dL lower per decade older for men (95% CI 0.2 to 0.4 g/dL). In adjusted analyses, haemoglobin concentration was independently associated with grip strength in women (B=0.391, 95% CI 0.177 to 0.605), but this did not reach significance in men (B=0.266, 95% CI -0.019 to 0.552); no associations were observed between haemoglobin levels and walk speed or cognitive score.Conclusions Anaemia was prevalent in this study population of middle-aged and older, rural South African adults, but in contrast to high-income countries, it was not associated with poor physical or cognitive function. Our findings need to be replicated in other populations.
We aimed to estimate the relationship between height (a measure of early-life cumulative net nutrition) and later-life cognitive function among older rural South African adults, and whether education modified this relationship. Data were from baseline in-person interviews with 5059 adultsþinspace}≥þinspace}40 years in the population-based ``Health and Aging in Africa: A Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community in South Africa'' (HAALSI) study in Agincourt sub-district, South Africa, in 2015. Linear regression was used to estimate the relationship between height quintile and latent cognitive function z-score (representing episodic memory, time orientation, and numeracy), with adjustment for life course covariates and a height-by-education interaction. Mean (SD) height was 162.7 (8.9) cm. Nearly half the sample had no formal education (46%; 2307/5059). Mean age- and sex-adjusted cognitive z-scores increased from −þinspace}0.68 (95% CI: −þinspace}0.76 to −þinspace}0.61) in those with no education in the shortest height quintile to 0.62 (95% CI: 0.52–0.71) in those with at least 8 years of education in the tallest height quintile. There was a linear height disparity in cognitive z-scores for those with no formal education (adjusted $\beta$þinspace}=þinspace}0.10; 95% CI: 0.08–0.13 per height quintile), but no height disparity in cognitive z-scores in those with any level of education. Short stature is associated with poor cognitive function and may be a risk factor for cognitive impairment among older adults living in rural South Africa. The height disparity in cognitive function was negated for older adults who had any level of education.
Social network analysis depends on how social ties to others are elicited during interviews, a process easily affected by respondent and interviewer behaviors. We investigate how the number of self-reported important social contacts varied within a single data collection round. Our data come from Health and Aging in Africa: a Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH community (HAALSI), a comprehensive population-based survey of individuals aged 40 years and older conducted over 13 months at the Agincourt health and demographic surveillance site in rural South Africa. As part of HAALSI, interviewers elicited detailed egocentric network data. The average number of contacts reported by the 5,059 respondents both varied significantly across interviewers and fell over time as the data collection progressed, even after adjusting for respondent, interviewer, and respondent–interviewer dyad characteristics. Contact numbers rose substantially after a targeted interviewer intervention. We conclude that checking (and adjusting) for interviewer effects, even within one data collection round, is critical to valid and reliable social network analysis.
Abstract Personal social networks (SN) affect health and wellbeing. This study used a multidimensional approach of \SN\ and social determinants of health (SDH) to examine the association between \SN\ and self-reported physical health among the aging population of Agincourt, South Africa. We analyzed the composition of personal \SN\ and used a multiple linear regression analysis to examine both network dimensions and \SDH\ that correlate with physical health. Results highlight the complexity and nuances of social relationships. A few recommendations were also made.
Frailty is a key predictor of death and dependency, yet little is known about frailty in sub-Saharan Africa despite rapid population ageing. We describe the prevalence and correlates of phenotypic frailty using data from the Health and Aging in Africa: Longitudinal Studies of an INDEPTH Community cohort.
RATIONALE Little research has evaluated the life course drivers of cognitive aging in South Africa. OBJECTIVES We investigated the relationships of self-rated childhood health and father's occupation during childhood with later-life cognitive function score and whether educational attainment mediated these relationships among older South Africans living in a former region of Apartheid-era racial segregation. METHODS Data were from baseline assessments of “Health and Aging in Africa: A Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community” (HAALSI), a population-based study of 5059 men and women aged ≥40 years in 2015 in rural Agincourt sub-district, South Africa. Childhood health, father's occupation during childhood, and years of education were self-reported in study interviews. Cognitive measures assessed time orientation, numeracy, and word recall, which were included in a z-standardized latent cognitive function score variable. Linear regression models adjusted for age, sex, and country of birth were used to estimate the total and direct effects of each childhood risk factor, and the indirect effects mediated by years of education. RESULTS Poor childhood health predicted lower cognitive scores (total effect = −0.28; 95% CI = −0.35, −0.21, versus good); this effect was not mediated by educational attainment. Having a father in a professional job during childhood, while rare (3% of sample), predicted better cognitive scores (total effect = 0.25; 95% CI = 0.10, 0.40, versus unskilled manual labor, 29% of sample). Half of this effect was mediated by educational attainment. Education was linearly associated with later-life cognitive function score (0.09; 95% CI = 0.09, 0.10 per year achieved). CONCLUSION In this post-Apartheid, rural South African context, older adults with poor self-reported childhood health or whose father worked in unskilled manual labor had relatively poor cognitive outcomes. Educational attainment strongly predicted cognitive outcomes, and appeared to be, in part, a mechanism of social stratification in later-life cognitive health in this context.
Background: The prevalence of diabetes and hypertension has increased in HIV-positive populations, but there is limited understanding of the role that antiretroviral therapy (ART) programs play in the delivery of services for these conditions. The aim of this study is to assess the relationship between ART use and utilization of health care services for diabetes and hypertension.Methods: Health and Aging in Africa: A Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community in South Africa is a cohort of 5059 adults. The baseline study collects biomarker-based data on HIV, ART, diabetes, and hypertension and self-reported data on health care utilization. We calculated differences in care utilization for diabetes and hypertension by HIV and ART status and used multivariable logistic regressions to estimate the relationship between ART use and utilization of services for these conditions, controlling for age, sex, body mass index, education, and household wealth quintile.
Dyslipidemia is a primary driver for chronic cardiovascular conditions and there is no comprehensive literature about its management in South Africa. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of dyslipidemia in rural South Africa and how they are impacted by different behaviors and non-modifiable factors. To fulfill this objective we recruited for this cohort study adults aged ≥40 years residing in the Agincourt sub-district of Mpumalanga Province. Data collection included socioeconomic and clinical data, anthropometric measures, blood pressure (BP), HIV-status, point-of-care glucose and lipid levels. Framingham CVD Risk Score was ascribed to patients based upon categories for 10 year cardiovascular risk of low (<3%), moderate (≥3% and <15%), high (≥15% and <30%), and very high (≥30%).LDL cholesterol control by risk category was defined according to South African Guidelines. Multivariable logistic regression models were built to identify factors that were significantly associated with dyslipidemia and awareness of dyslipidemia From 5,059 respondents a total of 4247 subjects (83.9%) had their cholesterol levels measured and were included in our analysis. Overall, 67.3% (2860) of these met criteria for dyslipidemia, only 30 (1.05%) were aware of their condition, and only 21 subjects (0.73%) were on treatment. The majority have abnormalities in triglycerides (59.3%). As cardiovascular risk increased the rates of lipid control according to LDL level dropped. Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that being overweight was predictive of dyslipidemia (OR 1.76; 95%CI 1.51–2.05, p<0.001) and dyslipidemia awareness (OR 2.58; 95%CI 1.19–5.58; p = 0.017). In conclusion, the very low awareness and treatment of dyslipidemia in this cohort indicate a greater need for systematic screening and education within the population and demonstrate that there are multiple opportunities to allay this burden.
BACKGROUND: A consequence of the widespread uptake of anti-retroviral therapy (ART) is that the older South African population will experience an increase in life expectancy, increasing their risk for cardiometabolic diseases (CMD), and its risk factors. The long-term interactions between HIV infection, treatment, and CMD remain to be elucidated in the African population. The HAALSI cohort was established to investigate the impact of these interactions on CMD morbidity and mortality among middle-aged and older adults.
METHODS: We recruited randomly selected adults aged 40 or older residing in the rural Agincourt sub-district in Mpumalanga Province. In-person interviews were conducted to collect baseline household and socioeconomic data, self-reported health, anthropometric measures, blood pressure, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), HbA1c, HIV-status, and point-of-care glucose and lipid levels.
RESULTS: Five thousand fifty nine persons (46.4% male) were enrolled with a mean age of 61.7 ± 13.06 years. Waist-to-hip ratio was high for men and women (0.92 ± 0.08 vs. 0.89 ± 0.08), with 70% of women and 44% of men being overweight or obese. Blood pressure was similar for men and women with a combined hypertension prevalence of 58.4% and statistically significant increases were observed with increasing age. High total cholesterol prevalence in women was twice that observed for men (8.5 vs. 4.1%). The prevalence of self-reported CMD conditions was higher among women, except for myocardial infarction, and women had a statistically significantly higher prevalence of angina (10.82 vs. 6.97%) using Rose Criteria. The HIV(-) persons were significantly more likely to have hypertension, diabetes, or be overweight or obese than HIV(+) persons. Approximately 56% of the cohort had at least 2 measured or self-reported clinical co-morbidities, with HIV(+) persons having a consistently lower prevalence of co-morbidities compared to those without HIV. Absolute 10-year risk cardiovascular risk scores ranged from 7.7-9.7% for women and from 12.5-15.3% for men, depending on the risk score equations used.
CONCLUSIONS: This cohort has high CMD risk based on both traditional risk factors and novel markers like hsCRP. Longitudinal follow-up of the cohort will allow us to determine the long-term impact of increased lifespan in a population with both high HIV infection and CMD risk.
BACKGROUND: Optimal secondary prevention is critical for the reduction of repeated cardiovascular events, and the control of cardiovascular risk factors in this context is essential. Data on secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in sub-Saharan Africa are needed to inform intervention strategies with a particular focus on local disparities. The aim of this study was to assess CVD management in a rural community in northeast South Africa.
METHODS AND RESULTS: We recruited adults aged ≥40 years residing in the Agincourt subdistrict of Mpumalanga province. Data collection included socioeconomic and clinical data, anthropometric measures, blood pressure, human immunodeficiency virus status, and point-of-care glucose and lipid levels. CVD was defined as self-report of myocardial infarction and stroke or angina diagnosed by Rose Criteria. A linear regression model was built to identify variables independently associated with the number of cardiovascular risk factors controlled. Of 5059 subjects, 592 (11.7%) met CVD diagnostic criteria. Angina was reported in 77.0% of these subjects, stroke in 25.2%, and myocardial infarction in 3.7%. Percent controlled of the 5 individual risk factors assessed were as follows: tobacco 92.9%; blood pressure 51.2%; body mass index 33.8%; low-density lipoprotein 31.4%; and waist-to-hip ratio 29.7%. Only 4.4% had all 5 risk factors controlled and 42.4% had ≥3 risk factors controlled. Male sex (β coefficient=0.44; 95% confidence interval, 0.25-0.63; P<0.001), absence of physical disability (β coefficient=0.40; 95% confidence interval, 0.16-0.65; P=0.001), and socioeconomic status (β coefficient=0.10; 95% confidence interval, 0.01-0.19; P=0.035) were directly associated with the number of risk factors controlled.
CONCLUSIONS: Currently, CVD is not being optimally managed in this rural area of South Africa. There are significant disparities in control of CVD risk factors by sex, socioeconomic status, and level of disability. Efforts to improve secondary prevention in this population should be focused on females, subjects from lower socioeconomic status, and those with physical disabilities.
OBJECTIVE: Assess awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension, as an indication of its management, in rural South Africa, especially regarding modifiers of these variables.
METHODS: A population-representative sample of adults aged at least 40 years residing in the rural Agincourt subdistrict (Mpumalanga Province) covered by a long-term health and sociodemographic surveillance system was recruited. In-person interviews, physical exams, and dried blood spots were collected. Hypertension awareness, treatment, and control rates were assessed. A regression model was built to identify predictors of those outcomes.
RESULTS: The mean age of the 2884 hypertensive participants was 64.1 ± 12.7 years. Hypertension awareness rate was 64.4%, treatment among those aware was 89.3 and 45.8% of those treated were controlled. Considering aware and unaware hypertensives, treatment rate was 49.7% and control 22.8%. In the multivariable regression model, awareness was predicted by female sex, age at least 60 years, higher social economic status, prior cardiovascular disease (CVD), nonimmigrant status, literacy, and physical limitation. Improved control among those treated was predicted by age at least 60 years. Blood pressure control among all hypertensive study participants was predicted by female sex, being HIV-negative, age at least 60 years, nonimmigrant status, and prior CVD.
CONCLUSION: High rates of awareness and treatment of hypertension as well as good levels of control were found in this population, probably explained by the long-term surveillance program conducted in the area. Considering the predictors of hypertension management, particular attention should be given to men, residents younger than 60 years, immigrants, and study participants without CVD as these characteristics were predictors of poor outcome.
Introduction : In South Africa, older adults make up a growing proportion of people living with HIV. HIV programmes are likely to reach older South Africans in home-based interventions where testing is not always feasible. We evaluate the accuracy of self-reported HIV status, which may provide useful information for targeting interventions or offer an alternative to biomarker testing. Methods : Data were taken from the Health and Aging in Africa: A Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community in South Africa (HAALSI) baseline survey, which was conducted in rural Mpumalanga province, South Africa. A total of 5059 participants aged ≥40 years were interviewed from 2014 to 2015. Self-reported HIV status and dried bloodspots for HIV biomarker testing were obtained during at-home interviews. We calculated sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) for self-reported status compared to “gold standard” biomarker results. Log-binomial regression explored associations between demographic characteristics, antiretroviral therapy (ART) status and sensitivity of self-report. Results : Most participants (93%) consented to biomarker testing. Of those with biomarker results, 50.9% reported knowing their HIV status and accurately reported it. PPV of self-report was 94.1% (95% confidence interval (CI): 92.0–96.0), NPV was 87.2% (95% CI: 86.2–88.2), sensitivity was 51.2% (95% CI: 48.2–54.3) and specificity was 99.0% (95% CI: 98.7–99.4). Participants on ART were more likely to report their HIV-positive status, and participants reporting false-negatives were more likely to have older HIV tests. Conclusions : The majority of participants were willing to share their HIV status. False-negative reports were largely explained by lack of testing, suggesting HIV stigma is retreating in this setting, and that expansion of HIV testing and retesting is still needed in this population. In HIV interventions where testing is not possible, self-reported status should be considered as a routine first step to establish HIV status. Keywords Validation study; South Africa; HIV status; self-report; older adults; public health To access the supplementary material to this article please see Supplementary Files under Article Tools online. (Published: 18 July 2017) Rohr J et al. Journal of the International AIDS Society 2017, 20 :21691 http://www.jiasociety.org/index.php/jias/article/view/21691 | http://dx.doi.org/10.7448/IAS.20.1.21691
Objectives: We use recently-collected data from the Health and Aging in Africa: a Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community in South Africa (HAALSI) cohort from Agincourt, South Africa, to describe physical functioning in this aging population, and place the overall level and age-trajectories of physical health in the context of other Health and Retirement Study (HRS) sister studies in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
Method: We conduct multiple regression to estimate associations of physical functioning assessed from both self-report (activities of daily living [ADL] limitation, self-reported health) and performance (grip strength, gait speed) with socio-demographic and health characteristics in HAALSI, and use fully-interacted regression models to compare age-patterns of physical functioning outcomes cross-nationally.
Results: Gender differences in self-reported health are minimal, and men had 30% higher odds of being ADL limited controlling for socio-demographic and health characteristics. Measured physical performance is closely tied with socioeconomic conditions, but self-reported measures have a much smaller or weaker socioeconomic gradient. In international age-adjusted comparisons, the HAALSI sample had lower physical performance outcomes than most comparison populations.
Discussion: As the first HRS sister study undertaken in Africa, HAALSI adds vital information on population aging and health in the region. Continuing waves of HAALSI data will be a key resource for understanding differences in the complex processes of disability across LMIC contexts.
Objective: To identify whether older adults in rural South Africa have unmet needs for HIV prevention.Methods: We analyzed data from a population-based sample of 5059 men and women aged 40 and older from Health and Aging in Africa: Longitudinal Studies of INDEPTH Communities (HAALSI) undertaken in the Agincourt sub-district of Mpumalanga Province, underpinned by the Agincourt health and socio-demographic surveillance system. We estimated the prevalence of HIV (laboratory-confirmed and self-reported) and key sexual behaviors by age and sex. We compared sexual behavior profiles across HIV status categories with and without age-sex-standardization.
Objectives: 1. Assess validity of the Oxford Cognitive Screen (OCS-Plus), a domain-specific cognitive assessment designed for low-literacy settings, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC); 2. Advance theoretical contributions in cognitive neuroscience in domain-specific cognitive function and cognitive reserve, especially related to dementia.Method: In a cross-sectional study of a sample of 1,402 men and women aged 40–79 in the Health and Aging in Africa: A Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community in South Africa (HAALSI), we administered OCS-Plus along with health and sociodemographic assessments. HAALSI is a representative sample of older adults in Agincourt, South Africa contributing to normative understanding of cognition in LMIC. We report measure distributions, construct and external validity of the OCS-Plus.Results: OCS-Plus has excellent construct and external validity. Intra-class correlations between similar basic measures of orientation in OCS-Plus and in HAALSI assessments was 0.79, and groups of people performing well on the OCS-Plus verbal memory also showed superior performance on HAALSI verbal memory. The OCS-Plus scores showed consistent associations with age and education and domain-specific associations with alcohol and depression. Younger respondents and the more educated did better on all assessments.Discussion: The OCS-Plus represents a major methodological advance in dementia studies in LMICs, and enhances understanding of cognitive aging.