Inflammation, Chronic Diseases and Aging in a Developing Country Context: Evidence from a Biomarker Data Collection in Malawi

Iliana V. Kohler, University of Pennsylvania

Virtually no large-scale socioeconomic survey data exist in sub-Saharan Africa that also provides a comprehensive biomarker-based assessment of respondents’ health. In this paper, we present analysis of newly collected biomarker-based health indicators from rural Malawi that have been integrated into the Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health (MLSFH). Our data includes the following biomarkers: high-sensitivity C-Reactive Protein, cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglycerides, circulating glucose, urea, albumin, creatinine, total protein, uric acid, and HbA1c. For the first time in a sub-Saharan context, we will be able to study the factors associated with the distribution of biological markers for cardiovascular and/or metabolic risk factors, inflammation and aging and/or disease progression. We use these biomarkers to evaluate overall health status, estimate aging-related morbidity and mortality of the rural Malawian population, and examine the association of health with poverty, malnutrition and exposure to infectious diseases such as malaria, TB, HIV/AIDS, and other infectious/parasitic diseases.

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Presented in Poster Session 6