The Health and Aging in Africa: Longitudinal Studies in South Africa – Health, Aging & Retirement Panel Study (HAALSA-HARPS) is a new South African study on health and aging whose implementation is being led by SALDRU.

HAALSA-HARPS is part of a larger portfolio of HAALSA research studies, including HAALSA-Indepth (HAALSI) a longitudinal cohort study on health and aging in Agincourt which began in 2014. The HAALSA studies are funded by United States’ National Institute on Aging (NIA).

The studies’ design is finely tuned to capture characteristics specific to the aging process in South Africa, as well as to harmonize with the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and sister studies in India, China, Brazil, Europe, and the United States. HAALSA-HARPS will join these studies as the first national HRS sister study in Africa.

The first round of HAALSA-HARPS data collection is due to start in 2025 with a nationally representative longitudinal cohort of 4500 people aged 40 years and older (and their partners). This data will allow for the studying of healthy aging and cognition in South Africa. Thereafter, a detailed Harmonized Cognitive Assessment Protocol (HCAP) battery is due to be administered to a sub-cohort, which will allow for the derivation of predictive algorithms for ascertaining mild cognitive impairment and dementia in the full HAALSA-HARPS cohort.


Collaborators on HAALSA

The HAALSA program, of which HAALSA-HARPS is one sub-study, is led by an interdisciplinary team of collaborators from the following institutions: