IAGG and WHO decided to join their forces to promote major worldwide Ageing issues. In this respect, a Memorandum of Understanding has been submitted to WHO’s Department of Ageing and Life Course, that will lay the foundations for mutual cooperation through different types of actions : workshops, networks etc.
The shifting demography of all nations has led to a marked increase in the older population globally both in relative and absolute terms. Yet, the majority of older persons now and into the future will reside in lower income countries where the evidence base is very limited. The World Health Organization's Multi-Country Studies unit has been working with the US National Institute on Aging's Behavioural and Social Research Program to address ageing and well-being through implementing multi-country ageing and adult health studies to fill data gaps and pursue cross-national comparisons. The WHO's Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE) has released preliminary datasets for six counties (China, Ghana, India, Mexico, Russian Federation and South Africa) and provides data on over 45,000 older respondents and a longitudinal data collection platform in lower income countries. The SAGE studies cover a broad range of topics, with a focus on health and risk factors, disability, happiness, well-being and health systems responsiveness and aim to: (a) obtain reliable data on people's health and wellbeing; (b) show how people's health and wellbeing changes as they age; (c) improve the reliability of self-reported measures of health; and, (d) provide data that can be used to monitor the effect of healthcare interventions.
In addition, SAGE data are also being compared to other studies within SAGE countries (such as the China Health, Aging, Retirement and Longevity Study (CHARLS) and the Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI)) and to prominent high income country studies, such as the US Health and Retirement Study (HRS), the English Longitudinal Study on Ageing (ELSA). These collaborations provide the evidence base to examine the impacts of ageing policy and planning across different countries. SAGE results were presented at a WHO Technical Meeting, "Aging and health: From evidence to policy" in Geneva, Switzerland on 2nd June 2010. Data sets are available at no cost through WHO (www.who.int/healthinfo/systems/sage/en/index.html).