Objective: To describe the third wave of the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS), completed in 2012, and present preliminary results.
Materials and methods: Descriptive analyses by gender and age group of demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, health conditions and health behaviors, as well as social support and life satisfaction measures are presented. In addition, external validations are presented by comparing MHAS 2012 indicators with other national data sources.
Results: For the panel of older adults in the sample, the rate of health care insurance coverage increased greatly between 2001 and 2012, a significantly higher change in rural compared to urban areas. The results for 2012 are consistent with the previous two waves for the main indicators of health and physical disability prevalence, risk factors,and behaviors.
Conclusions: The MHAS offers a unique opportunity to study aging in Mexico, as well as to complete cross-national comparisons. The cumulative number of deaths in the cohort should support the study of mortality and its association with health outcomes and behaviors over the life cycle. In addition, the sub-samples of objective markers will enable methodological research on self-reports and associations of biomarkers in old age with similar health outcomes and behaviors.