The Longitudinal Aging Study in India (LASI) is designed to be a nationally representative longitudinal survey of the aging population in India. It is executed through partnership of Harvard University, the International Institute of Population Sciences (Mumbai, India), and the RAND Corporation. The National AIDS Research Institute (NARI) in Pune, India, and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) also collaborate on the biomarker component of the study. LASI collects rich data on demographics, economic activity, mental and physical health, and social networks to inform policy and research communities.

Data Collection
The pilot wave of the LASI survey was fielded in four states in India in the fall of 2010 among 950 households and 1,683 individuals at least 45 years of age and their spouses (regardless of age). Punjab, Rajasthan, Karnataka, and Kerala were chosen to participate in the pilot to capture the regional and socio-cultural diversity in India. The first full wave of data collection for the LASI baseline wave began in 2017, covering the largest 15 states in India, representing more than 90% of the population with a sample size of approximately 60,000 persons aged 45 and over. Subsequent waves will take place every two years. All interviews are conducted in the household, face-to-face, between the respondent and a survey team. Phase I of Wave I for LASI occurred in the states of Gujarat, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Haryana, the union territories of Delhi–National Capital Region, Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar HaveliĀ in April 2017. Phase II of Wave I is being administered in the remaining 18 Indian states.

LASI incorporates a biomarker module in the individual survey for all respondents 45 years or older. The pilot wave of the survey included biomarkers, as will each subsequent wave. Collected biomarkers are:

  • Anthropometry (height, weight, waist and hip circumferences)
  • Blood pressure
  • Pulse
  • Lung Function
  • Grip strength
  • Timed walk
  • Balance test (semi tandem, full tandem, side by side)
  • Vision Test

Additionally, LASI collects a dried blood specimen (DBS) from each consenting respondent. DBS assay on Hemoglobin (Hb), glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), C-reactive proteins (CRP) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) antibody levels for a sub-sample are funded and pilot study on Vitamin D and whole genome sequencing from DBS is also funded. The following biomarkers are proposed: Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Interleukin-6 (IL-6), Cystatin C, Vitamin D, and blood lead levels from DBS. The DBS collected during the planned full-scale LASI project will be analyzed by a research team at National AIDS Research Institute (NARI), Pune, India.

Use of IT-based Technologies: LASI used IT based technologies including Geographic Information System (GIS), for thematic mapping and community analysis of information at the community level. Barcode technology will be used for correct matching and anonymizing data.