Do Chronic Disease Biomarkers Predict Mortality in Less-Developed Countries With a High Infectious Disease Burden? Evidence From the Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health

Megan Todd , Princeton University
Hans-Peter Kohler, University of Pennsylvania
Iliana V. Kohler, University of Pennsylvania

Large-scale demographic surveys have recently begun incorporating biological measures, providing valuable information on health and mortality. However, these biodemographic studies have been limited in less developed regions like sub-Saharan Africa. In this study, we examine the relationship between biomarkers of cardiovascular disease, metabolic function, immune function and renal function and subsequent mortality in a population of adults in rural Malawi. We use data from the Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health (MLSFH), a representative survey of adults in rural Malawi. The MLSFH collected biomarker information on approximately 900 participants in 2009; mortality follow-up is ongoing. This study will provide insight into the ability of biomarkers to predict mortality in an understudied population with a high burden of infectious disease, and relatively short life expectancy.

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 Presented in Session 34. Biodemography, Health, and Mortality