To obtain reliable, valid and comparable health, health-related and well-being data over a range of key domains for adult and older adult populations in nationally representative samples
To examine patterns and dynamics of age-related changes in health and well-being using longitudinal follow-up of a cohort as they age, and to investigate socio-economic consequences of these health changes
To supplement and cross-validate self-reported measures of health and the anchoring vignette approach to improving comparability of self-reported measures, through measured performance tests for selected health domains
To collect health examination and biomarker data that improves reliability of morbidity and risk factor data and to objectively monitor the effect of interventions
To generate large cohorts of older adult populations and comparison cohorts of younger populations for following-up intermediate outcomes, monitoring trends, examining transitions and life events, and addressing relationships between determinants and health, well-being and health-related outcomes
To develop a mechanism to link survey data to demographic surveillance site data
To build linkages with other national and multi-country ageing studies
To improve the methodologies to enhance the reliability and validity of health outcomes and determinants data
To provide a public-access information base to engage all stakeholders, including national policy makers and health systems planners, in planning and decision-making processes about the health and well-being of older adults
SAGE's first full round of data collection included both follow-up and new respondents in most participating countries. The goal of the sampling design was to obtain a nationally representative cohort of persons aged 50 years and older, with a smaller cohort of persons aged 18 to 49 for comparison purposes. In the older households, all persons aged 50+ years (for example, spouses and siblings) were invited to participate. Proxy respondents were identified for respondents who were unable to respond for themselves. Standardized SAGE survey instruments were used in all countries consisting of five main parts: 1) household questionnaire; 2) individual questionnaire; 3) proxy questionnaire; 4) verbal autopsy questionnaire; and, 5) appendices including showcards. A VAQ was completed for deaths in the household over the last 24 months. The procedures for including country-specific adaptations to the standardized questionnaire and translations into local languages from English follow those developed by and used for the World Health Survey.
0100 Sampling Information
0200 Geocoding and GPS Information
0300 Recontact Information
0350 Contact Record
0400 Household Roster
0450 Kish Tables and Household Consent
0600 Household and Family Support Networks and Transfers
0700 Assets and Household Income
0800 Household Expenditures
0900 Interviewer Observations
1000 Socio-Demographic Characteristics
1500 Work History and Benefits
2000 Health State Descriptions and Vignettes
2500 Anthropometrics, Performance Tests and Biomarkers
3000 Risk Factors and Preventive Health Behaviours
4000 Chronic Conditions and Health Services Coverage
5000 Health Care Utilization
6000 Social Cohesion
7000 Subjective Well-Being and Quality of Life (WHOQoL-8 and Day Reconstruction Method)
9000 Interviewer Assessment
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
households and individuals
v01: Edited, anonymous dataset for public distribution.
Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE)
Ageing, Alcohol, Asthma, Blindness, Cancer, Cataract, Cervical cancer, Chronic diseases, COPD, Depression, Diabetes, Diet, Disabilities, Epidemiology, Health financing, Health services, Health surveys, Health systems, Heart disease, Indoor air pollution, Injuries traffic, Mapping, Noncommunicable diseases, Nutrition, Obesity, Oral Health, Passive smoking, Physical activity, Poverty, Primary health care, Risk factors, Sanitation, Social determinants of health, Statistics, Stroke, Suicide, Tobacco, Visual impairment, Water
WHO Health topics
Unit of Analysis
households and individuals
The household section of the survey covered all households in the People's Republic of China. Two special administrative regions Hong Kong and Macau are excluded. Institutionalised populations are also excluded. The individual section covered all persons aged 18 years and older residing within individual households. As the focus of SAGE is older adults, a much larger sample of respondents aged 50 years and older were selected with a smaller comparative sample of respondents aged 18-49 years
Producers and sponsors
Authoring entity/Primary investigators
Dr. Wu Fan
Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention
US National Institute on Aging
Financial support through Interagency Agreements (OGHA 04034785; YA1323-08-CN-0020; Y1-AG-1005-01) and Grants (R01-AG034479; IR21-AG034263-0182)
Dr Richard Suzman
The National Institute on Aging's Division of Behavioral and Social Research
Dr Suzman was Instrumental in providing continuous intellectual and other technical support to SAGE and has made the entire endeavour possible
The People's Republic of China(PRC) administers 22 provinces. These were grouped into Eastern, Central and Western provinces based on geographical location and economic status.PRC used a stratified multistage cluster sample design. Eight provinces were sampled. Strata were defined by the eight province(Guangdong,Hubei,Jilin,Shaanxi,Shandong,Shanghai,Yunnan,Zhejiang) and locality (urban or rural), there were 16 strata in total.
One district(urban) and one county(rural) was randomly selected from each province.
From each district/county 4 communities/townships were selected probability proportional to size; the measure of size being the number of households in the community/township.
From each community/township 2 residential blocks/villages were selected probability proportional to size; the measure of size being the number of households in the residential blocks/villages.
In each selected residential block/village 84 households were randomly selected:70 50 plus households and 14 18-49 households.
All 50 plus members of the 50 plus households were eligible for the individual interview. One person aged 18-49 was eligible for the individual interview, and the individual to be included was selected using a Kish Grid.
Household weights for analysis at household level and individual weights for analysis at person level were calculated. These were based on the selection probability at each stage of selection. Household weights are post-stratified by province and locality according to the 2008 household projections provided by China CDC and weight up to the total number of households in the eight provinces. Individual weights are post-stratified by province, sex and age groups (18-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+) according to the 2008 population projections provided by China CDC and weight up to the total number of persons aged 18+. A second set of household and individual weights are available which are post stratified to weight up to the entire household and 18+ populations respectively in the PRC (nationally representative of these populations). Hong Kong and Macau are excluded from national totals. Weights are not normalized
Dates of Data Collection (YYYY/MM/DD)
Mode of data collection
Type of Research Instrument
The questionnaires were based on the WHS Model Questionnaire with some modification and many new additions. A household questionnaire was administered to all households eligible for the study. An Individual questionniare was administered to eligible respondents identified from the household roster. A Proxy questionnaire was administered to individual respondents who had cognitive limitations. The questionnaires were developed in English and were piloted as part of the SAGE pretest in 2005. All documents were translated into Chinese. All SAGE generic questionnaires are available as external resources.
China Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Ministry of Health
Data editing took place at a number of stages including:
(1) office editing and coding
(2) during data entry
(3) structural checking of the CSPro files
(4) range and consistency secondary edits in Stata
Nirmala Naidoo, Health Statistics and Information Systems
The user undertakes:
(1) to keep confidential any information concerning individual persons or households.
(2) not to distribute the data to any other user.
(3) to use the data for scientific research only.
(4) to share any planned publications with WHO prior to publication.
Publications based on SAGE data should use the following acknowledgement:
“This paper uses data from WHO's Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE). SAGE is supported by the US National Institute on Aging through Interagency Agreements OGHA 04034785; YA1323-08-CN-0020; Y1-AG-1005-0) and through research grants R01-AG034479 and R21-AG034263 “.
Disclaimer and copyrights
The data is being distributed without warranty of any kind. The responsibility for the use of the data lies with the user. In no event shall the World Health Organization be liable for damages arising from its use.