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Biomarkers Study Goes on...SAGE - a WHO Project - SAGE, a World Health Organization project, began the study in April. It involves longitudinal study spanning around 10 to 15 years and also a multi-country study involving India, China, Ghana, South Africa, Russia and Mexico
Biomarkers Study Goes on...SAGE - a WHO Project

 

NewswireToday - /newswire/ - Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India, 2008/07/19 - SAGE, a World Health Organization project, began the study in April. It involves longitudinal study spanning around 10 to 15 years and also a multi-country study involving India, China, Ghana, South Africa, Russia and Mexico.

   
 
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"We are conducting study in six states with a total sample of 10,600 persons of which 6000 people are above 50 yrs of age while the rest between 18 and 49 yrs," principal investigator SAGE (India) Dr Arokiasamy of International Institute of Population Sciences (IIPS) said. Although the study will include the same households that participated in WHS-2003 which was completed last year, the uniqueness of this study is, "We will be assessing the mental alertness along with physical fitness using various biomarkers," he said.

He said, "In fact, this is the first kind of study where clinical assessment of mobility prevalence will be done. The biomarkers include anthropometric measurements including head, waist and hip circumference in addition to height and weight. Other tests include blood pressure, vismesion, lung function test, timed walk, grip strength, cognitive and blood tests".

SAGE assumes significance with United Nations Population division's projection that by 2025, the global population of 50 years and above will have exceeded the number of persons younger than 15 years. In India, the percentage of persons aged 50 and above is more than 15 per cent of the total population in 2001, which is expected to grow beyond 30 per cent by 2025.

On the blood test, Arokiasamy said, although the blood will not be screened for HIV/AIDS, the blood samples will be sent to National AIDS Research Institute (NARI), Pune to test for anaemia, diabetes, hepatitis-B, C-protein (for heart disease). He said, "Unlike other studies conducted by WHO where 'morbidity' (disease condition) is asked to the candidates, this is the first time, the health status (wellbeing) is asked. Also the experience during the healthcare (taking good care) and treatment (during illness) in their life time and knowledge gained will also be registered for the final analysis".

After all the tests are conducted, the participating candidates will be given a four-page card and if any one shows any problem in the health parameters, they are referred to the local doctors or specialists.

Asked whether the study in all the six countries will be uniform, Arokiasamy said, "All the equipment used for the clinical assessment (biomarkers) are standardized and supplied by WHO and this is to maintain uniformity in the study. The clinical assessment began in April and will be finished by the end of this month but the detailed analysis will be made public by December this year".

Nearly 200 trained staff (investigators) spread in 24 teams are in the field and the funding for the project is done by WHO. This study will be a baseline study for future and will also reflect on regional and socio-economic factors. Earlier, IIPS was designated in 2003 by the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry for the WHO's World Health Survey and India was the first of the 70 countries that participated to submit a detailed report in September 2006.

 
 
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Biomarkers Study Goes on...SAGE - a WHO Project

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