Number of elderly age population to rise to 319 million in 2050: Dr Harsh Vradhan releases Longitudinal Ageing Study of India
"A unique feature of LASI is the coverage of comprehensive biomarkers," Dr harsh Vardhan said.
New Delhi: Union Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan recently released India REPORT on Longitudinal Ageing Study of India (LASI) Wave-1 on the virtual platform.
LASI is a full–scale national survey of scientific investigation of the health, economic, and social determinants and consequences of population ageing in India.
The National Programme for Health Care of Elderly, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has undertaken the Longitudinal Ageing Study of India, through International Institute for Population Sciences, (IIPS), Mumbai in collaboration with Harvard School of Public Health, University of Southern California,USA, Dte.GHS, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and National Institute on Ageing.
The LASI, Wave 1 covered a baseline sample of 72,250 individuals aged 45 and above and their spouses including 31,464 elderly persons aged 60 and above and 6,749 oldest-old persons aged 75 and above from all States and Union Territories (UTs) of India (excluding Sikkim).
The target population for the Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI) Wave 1 included all Indian adults and elderly men and women age 45 and above and their spouses who reside in the same household, irrespective of age. There is no upper age limit for the selection of LASI respondents, including the collection of biomarkers. The age of 45 is chosen to
(a) harmonize the survey with its sister studies, the worldwide Health and Retirement Study (HRS) surveys1 ;
(b) allow the measurement of pre-retirement behaviour, as people often begin to change their labour market, health, and consumption behaviours before they retire; and
(c) determine the early onset of chronic diseases among adults before they reach older ages. Non-communicable chronic diseases are typically present in individuals age 55 or older in many developed countries, but their onset occurs in India a decade earlier, at age 45 or older (Arokiasamy, 2018). The selection of age 45 in India is important to study ageing and health transition from prime adult ages.
Key Features of LASI:
• A nationally representative longitudinal survey of 72,250 older adults age 45 and above in all of India's states and union territories in Wave 1, 2017–19, includes 31,464 elderly age 60 and above
• World's largest and India's first longitudinal ageing study
• Biennial survey of all the LASI Wave 1 participants
• First two waves: 2016–21, long-term goal to continue the survey for 25 years
• Internationally harmonized, de-identified panel data
• Adopts state-of-the-art technology in sample management
• Lays the foundation for national- and state-level policies to address the challenges of increasing disease burden and population ageing in India and cross-national comparative research studies on ageing
The LASI's key objective is to provide credible and comprehensive scientific evidence based on demographics, household economic status, chronic health conditions, symptom-based health conditions, functional health, mental health (cognition and depression), biomarkers, health insurance and healthcare utilization, family and social networks, welfare programmes, work and employment, retirement, satisfaction, and life expectations.
Expressing his happiness on the release of the report, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, "It is India's first and the world's largest ever survey that provides a longitudinal database for designing policies and programmes for the older population in the broad domains of social, health, and economic well-being.The evidence from LASI will be used to further strengthen and broaden the scope of National Programme for Health Care of the Elderly and also help in establishing a range of preventive and health care programmes for older population and most vulnerable among them."
Highlighting the importance of the Longitudinal Aging Study in India (LASI), he said, "In 2011 census, the 60+ population accounted for 8.6% of India's population, accounting for 103 million elderly people. Growing at around 3% annually, the number of elderly age population will rise to 319 million in 2050.75% of the elderly people suffer from one or the other chronic disease. 40% of the elderly people have one or the other disability and 20% have issues related to mental health. This report will provide a base for national and state-level programs and policies for the elderly population.
Dr. HarshVardhan noted, "The LASI has embraced state-of-the-art large-scale survey protocols and field implementation strategies including representative sample of India and its States, socioeconomic spectrum, an expansive topical focus, a longitudinal design, and the use of Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing(CAPI) technology for data collection, quality control, and Geographic Information System (GIS). A unique feature of LASI is the coverage of comprehensive biomarkers. No other survey in India collects detailed data on health and biomarkers together with information on family and social network, income, assets, and consumption."
Restating the commitments of the Government to healthy ageing, Dr Vardhan said, "We should ensure that the elderly are provided with the best medical care. India has one of the ambitious programme of the world, Ayushman Bharat Yojana which focuses on expansion of the healthcare facilities.
The Minister affirmed that the LASI data shall assist in addressing the broad aims of the Decade of Healthy Ageing and will lead to convergence within various national health programs and also promote inter-sectoral coordination with other line Departments/Ministries.
Dr. K.S. James, Director IIPS, Ms.VandanaGurnani, AS & MD-NHM, Prof. (Dr.) Rajiv Garg, Professor of Excellence, Sh. Vishal ChauhanJoint Secretary-NCD, Dr.Gowri N. Sengupta, ADG- NPHCE were also present at the event.