This study is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA), the aging program within ICPSR. NACDA is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Heath (NIH).

CRELES-2: Costa Rican Longevity and Healthy Aging Study - Wave 2, 2006-2008 (Costa Rica Estudio de Longevidad y Envejecimiento Saludable, Ronda 2) (ICPSR 31263)

Principal Investigator(s):


The Costa Rican Longevity and Healthy Aging Study (CRELES, or Costa Rica Estudio de Longevidad y Envejecimiento Saludable) is a nationally representative longitudinal survey of health and lifecourse experiences of 2,827 Costa Ricans ages 60 and over in 2005, the baseline collection. CRELES-2 refers to the second wave of visits in this longitudinal study, and includes the results from these visits. The first wave of interviews, or baseline, of CRELES is also available at The second wave fieldwork was conducted from October 2006 to July 2008, with 2,364 surviving and contacted participants. The original sample was drawn from Costa Rican residents in the 2000 population census who were born in 1945 or before, with an over-sample of the oldest-old (ages 95 and over). Vital statistics indicate that Costa Rica has an unusually high life expectancy for a middle-income country, even higher than that of the United States, but CRELES is the first nationally representative survey to investigate adult health levels in Costa Rica. CRELES public use data files contain information on a broad range of topics including self-reported physical health, psychological health, living conditions, health behaviors, health care utilization, social support, and socioeconomic status. Objective health indicators include anthropometrics, observed mobility, and biomarkers from fasting blood samples (such as cholesterol, glycosylated hemoglobin, and C-reactive protein). Mortality events are tracked and conditions surrounding death are measured in a surviving family interview.

Series: CRELES: Costa Rican Longevity and Healthy Aging Study (Costa Rica Estudio de Longevidad y Envejecimiento Saludable) Series

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS4:  Household Members - Download All Files (5.9 MB)
DS5:  Non-resident Children - Download All Files (6.5 MB)
DS6:  Insurance - Download All Files (4.5 MB)
DS7:  Pensions - Download All Files (4.5 MB)
DS8:  Medications - Download All Files (7.8 MB)
DS9:  Biomarkers - Download All Files (7.2 MB)
DS10:  Recoded Variables - Download All Files (10.4 MB)

Study Description


Rosero-Bixby, Luis, Xinia Fernández, and William H. Dow. CRELES-2: Costa Rican Longevity and Healthy Aging Study - Wave 2, 2006-2008 (Costa Rica Estudio de Longevidad y Envejecimiento Saludable, Ronda 2). ICPSR31263-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2013-10-23.

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

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This study was funded by:

  • Wellcome Trust (United Kingdom) (072406 /Z/03/Z)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   aging, biomarkers, diet, health behavior, health insurance, health services utilization, Hispanic or Latino origins, life expectancy, living conditions, medications, mental health, mortality rates, older adults, pensions, physical condition, population, population characteristics, social networks, social support, socioeconomic status

Geographic Coverage:   Costa Rica, Global

Time Period:  

  • 2006-10--2008-07

Date of Collection:  

  • 2006-10--2008-07

Unit of Observation:   individual

Universe:   Costa Rican residents aged 60 years and older in 2005, at baseline.

Data Types:   clinical data, survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Interviewer's names have been blanked due to confidentiality concerns.


Study Purpose:   The main study objective was to determine the length and quality of life, and its contributing factors in the elderly of Costa Rica.

Study Design:   The study consists of baseline data collection and two-year household follow-up surveys. The second wave was conducted during 2007. It includes a structured interview, an exit interview mainly of relatives of deceased participants, anthropometric measurements, physical functioning tests and the draw of blood samples. All the data and specimens were gathered in the homes of the participants, generally in two visits. In the first visit the participants granted their informed consent by means of their signature, they answered a main questionnaire of around 90 minutes, they answered a short (about 10 minute) diet questionnaire, blood pressure was measured twice during the survey, and in the evening participants began fasting. In the second visit to the participant's home early the following day, fasting blood samples were drawn, the anthropometric measurements were taken, and the physical functionality tests were performed (including hand-strength and maximum peak of breathing flow). At the beginning of the main interview a cognitive evaluation was included that, together with the interviewer's criteria, established whether or not a "Proxy" informant for the participant was needed to help respond to the survey. Of the interviews, 25 percent were conducted with the help of a Proxy.

Sample:   In the first stage of the design model, a random selection was made from the database of the Population Census of the year 2000, totaling 9,600 individuals 55 years of age or older, after a stratification by five-year age groups that assures a sufficiently large number of observations for advanced ages. The sampling fraction in this selection varies between 1 percent for the ones born in 1941-1945 and 100 percent for the ones born before 1905. For the detailed longitudinal follow-up, a sub-sample was selected consisting of 60 "Areas of Health" (from a total of 102 in the whole country) aggregated into sub-regions. The sample covers 59 percent of the national territory.

Time Method:   Longitudinal

Mode of Data Collection:   face-to-face interview, on-site questionnaire

Response Rates:   95 percent provided blood samples; 95 percent provided urine samples; 91 percent completed anthropometry module; 25 percent use of proxy respondent for interview and questionnaire.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:  



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