The Study of Aging and Vision in America (SAVA)

Principal Investigator

(NIH/NEI: R01EY034479)

The Study of Aging and Vision in America (SAVA) focuses on providing up-to-date estimates of the number of older adults in the U.S. with vision impairment and blindness, as well as key insights on the associations between vision impairment and blindness, social determinants of health (e.g., economic stability, healthcare access) and late-life outcomes like dementia, long-term care placement, and mortality. This study employs newly collected vision data from the NIH-funded National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) to conduct longitudinal analyses that are nationally representative of older adults aged ≥65 in the U.S.

Principal Investigator (MPIs Joshua Ehrlich, Anthony Ngugi, NIH/NIA: R21AG077042)

Supplemental funding provided by: Harmonized Cognitive Assessment Protocol Network: U24AG065182; MiCDA’s HRS Partner Studies Network: P30AG012846; Center for Global Health Equity

The Longitudinal Study of Health and Ageing in Kenya (LOSHAK) aims to collect and disseminate national data to characterize and respond to economic and health-related challenges associated with an ageing population. Through informing public health and policy, LOSHAK aims to improve health, economic circumstances, and wellbeing, while serving as a model for studying population ageing in Sub-Saharan Africa. LOSHAK is a joint collaboration between the Department of Population Health at Aga Khan University, Kenya, and the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at University of Michigan, USA. It is modeled on the U.S.- based Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and its measures are harmonized with the HRS its family of studies in more than 45 countries across the globe. LOSHAK is a population-based longitudinal survey that plans to survey adults over the age of 45 in Kenya.

LASI-DAD is a nationally-representative panel study of adults age 60 years and older in India. It is a member of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) Harmonized Cognitive Assessment Protocol (HCAP) family of studies, focused on identifying risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia. As a LASI-DAD Co-Investigator, our team is implementing collection of ocular biomarker data in order to study the impact of vision impairment and retinal imaging-based oculomics on cognitive aging and the development of dementia in India.

(MiCDA/NIH: P30AG012846)

The SENSE Network is an international network supporting research examining the role of sensory functioning - vision, hearing, olfaction, touch, and taste - on health and aging. This network aims to build infrastructure that supports the crosscutting, interinstitutional, and innovative research that is needed to catalyze sensory aging research efforts and achieve advances in this field at a faster pace. This network will accelerate sensory aging research via new collaborations, the creation of novel resources (including a sensory meta-databank), and the generation of transformative scientific findings

Secondary Data Analyses

Principal Investigator

Our team regularly conducts analyses using population-based secondary data sources (e.g., NHIS, BRFSS, HRS, NHATS, etc.) in order to study the epidemiology of vision impairment and blindness; the impact of vision and multisensory impairments on health, disability, and well-being; and health services utilization and delivery. Our team shares resources for data analysis and statistical code on our page at the Open Science Framework. We have received pilot funding from the NIA-funded Michigan Center on the Demography of Aging (MiCDA, P30AG012846) and the Center to Accelerate Population Research in Alzheimer's (CAPRA, P30AG066582) for this work.

ENGINE: Eyecare Nurtures Good-health, Innovation, driviNg-safety and Education

(PI: Nathan Congdon, Rohit Khanna; Welcome Trust: 222490/Z/21/Z)

ENGINE is designed to leverage high-quality research from four component studies to drive lasting policy change and achieve improved quality of life for people in low and middle-income countries. It examines how an affordable, effective, and widely-available treatment, glasses, can help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Our group is working on the randomized controlled trial, CLEVER (Cognitive Level Enhancement through Vision Exams and Refraction), to assess the effect of glasses provision on the rate of cognitive decline in older adults in South India.

The Vision Loss Expert Group is a technical advisory group to the World Health Organization and the Global Burden of Disease Project. The Lancet Global Health Commission is an international group of experts that seeks to synthesize evidence and provide recommendations to governments, communities, and other stakeholders in order to combat avoidable blindness and vision impairment globally beyond the year 2020. More information is available here.