Development of the Longitudinal Study of Health and Ageing in Kenya (LOSHAK)

Document Type



Population Health (East Africa); Pathology (East Africa)


In Kenya, the number of adults aged ≥60 is expected to nearly quadruple by 2050, making it one of the most rapidly aging countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Accordingly, we designed the Longitudinal Study of Health and Ageing in Kenya (LOSHAK) to generate novel data to address the health and economic consequences of this demographic transition. Specifically, LOSHAK will investigate the social, economic, environmental, biological, and policy processes that shape late-life health and economic wellbeing in Kenya. Modeled on the U.S. Health and Retirement Study (HRS), LOSHAK joins a network of harmonized studies on aging in >45 countries worldwide; however, LOSHAK will be only the second such study in SSA. The current feasibility and pilot phase of LOSHAK will validate measures and data collection procedures in a purposive sample of Kenyan adults aged ≥45 years. We have linguistically and culturally translated instruments, while aiming to maintain harmonization with both existing HRS network studies and the ongoing Kenya Life Panel Survey. The current phase of LOSHAK is nested within the Kaloleni/Rabai Community Health and Demographic Surveillance System on the coast of Kenya. LOSHAK will advance population aging research in low- and middle-income countries through the study of: (1) biomarkers and physiological measures; (2) the impacts of air pollution and climate vulnerability; (3) Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, mental health, disability, caregiving, and psychosocial wellbeing; and (4) economic security, including the impact of social welfare. LOSHAK will inform future public health and economic policy to address challenges related to rapid aging in Kenya and throughout SSA. Accordingly, this paper aims to introduce and provide a description of LOSHAK and its aims and objectives, as well as to inform the scientific community of current study activities being used to build toward the full population-representative study.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Innovation in Aging