Lauren Schmitz Awarded NIA R01 grant as a part of Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health team

Congratulations to Lauren Schmitz (MPI) and the Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health (MLSFH) team for being awarded the National Insitute on Aging (NIA) R01 grant “Adversity, Aging and ADRD Risk among the Global Poor: A Biosocial Lifecourse Approach“! MLSFH is directed by Hans-Peter Kohler (PI), University of Pennsylvania.

“This will be the lowest-income country context for which population-based epigenetic and genetic data will be collected and available alongside detailed lifecourse social, contextual, and health data. To date, biosocial research severely underrepresents non-white populations and is almost exclusively in high-income countries, even though low- and middle-income countries comprise the vast majority of the global population. These data will allow us to investigate critical factors that are contributing to accelerated biological aging in low-income populations, and will yield generalizable evidence that can inform policy intervention for millions of older adults who live in similar contexts with mostly subsistence-agricultural economies and inadequate health systems” Schmitz stated.

Per the MLSFH website, it is one of very few long-standing publicly-available longitudinal cohort studies in a sub-Saharan African (SSA) context. It provides a rare record of more than a decade of demographic, socioeconomic and health conditions in one of the world’s poorest countries. With data collection rounds in 1998, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012 for up to 4,000 individuals, the MLSFH permits researchers to investigate the multiple influences that contribute to HIV risks in sexual partnerships, the variety of ways that people manage risk within and outside of marriage, the possible effects of HIV prevention policies and programs, and the mechanisms through which poor rural individuals, families, households, and communities cope with the impacts of high morbidity and mortality that are often—but not always—related to HIV/AIDS.