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).

Social Environment and Biomarkers of Aging Study (SEBAS) in Taiwan, 2000 and 2006 (ICPSR 3792) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):


The Social Environment and Biomarkers of Aging Study (SEBAS) in Taiwan, 2000 and 2006, provides information regarding the health and well-being of older persons in Taiwan. Taiwan has undergone rapid demographic, social, and economic changes, becoming a highly urbanized and industrial society with a growing population of persons age 65 or older. SEBAS explores the relationship between life challenges and mental and physical health, the impact of social environment on the health and well-being of the elderly, and biological markers of health and stress. The study collected self-reports of physical, psychological, and social well-being, plus extensive clinical data based on medical examinations and laboratory analyses. Examination of health outcomes included chronic illnesses, functional status, psychological well-being, and cognitive function. Questions regarding life challenges focused on perceived stress, economic difficulties, security and safety, and the consequences of a major earthquake. Biological markers were used to identify cardiovascular risk factors, metabolic process measures, immune-system activity, the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis, and sympathetic nervous system activity. Two rounds of biomarker data collected in 2000 and 2006 are complemented by face-to-face interviews with the participants.

The purpose of this study is to examine the antecedents, correlates, and consequences of change in biological measures and health. Specifically, the principal investigators aimed to examine three questions:

  1. What individual and environmental factors contribute to our understanding of downstream health and survival?

    The principal investigators focused on links between health and stressful experience, SES, psychosocial vulnerability and emotional well-being.

  2. What factors predict change in bioindicators?

    The principal investigators examined demographic and psychosocial factors along with environmental exposures to determine how prior experience is associated with change in biomarkers. They focused on the effects of socioeconomic status (SES), emotional well-being, and chronic and acute stressors. They examined change across the full array of biomarkers.

  3. Do changes in bioindicators predict health outcomes and survival?

    The principal investigators used a life course framework to explore how change in bioindicators and trajectories of prior experience and exposures are associated with subsequent health, physical and cognitive function, and survival. Of particular interest are several high-profile bioindicators (telomere length, 5-HTTLPR genotype, and inflammatory markers), new data on factors that may modify these associations (trauma, caregiving, sleep quality, chronic pain, and optimism), and gene-environment interactions.

Access Notes

  • One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions; consult the restrictions note to learn more. Additional information can also be found in the Use Agreement.

    Users are advised that the data in this collection are restricted and available only by special arrangement with the staff of the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA) at ICPSR. These requirements are part of the arrangements governing the release of data assembled under this project which stipulate that the data must be used solely for social and behavioral science research. The data and other materials are to be used only for statistical analysis and reporting of aggregated information, and not for the investigation of specific individuals or organizations. Users interested in obtaining and using these data must request and complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement form indicating that: (1) she/he understands the need to protect the data, and (2) she/he will use the data for research purposes only. A copy of this form can be obtained by contacting ICPSR User Support (734-647-2200). Users can also download this form from the download page associated with this dataset. Completed forms with original signature(s) should be mailed to: Director, National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging, Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, Institute for Social Research, P.O. Box 1248, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248.


Study Description


Goldman, Noreen, Maxine Weinstein, Ming-Cheng Chang, Hui-Sheng Lin, Yi-Li Chuang, Shio-Jean Lin, and Shiow-Ing Wu. Social Environment and Biomarkers of Aging Study (SEBAS) in Taiwan, 2000 and 2006. ICPSR03792-v5. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2012-01-06. doi:10.3886/ICPSR03792.v5

Persistent URL:

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Aging (R01 AG16790)
  • Taiwan Department of Health. Bureau of Health Promotion (R01 AG16661)
  • National Health Research Institutes (Taiwan) (DD01-861x-GR601S)
  • Taiwan Provincial Government

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   aging, biomarkers, cognitive functioning, diet, disease, health behavior, health status, illness, leisure, life events, life satisfaction, medical evaluation, medical history, medications, mental health, older adults, physical condition, physical limitations, psychological wellbeing, social environment, stress, urinalysis

Geographic Coverage:   Global, Taiwan

Time Period:  

  • 2000
  • 2006

Date of Collection:  

  • 2000-06--2000-12
  • 2006-08--2007-01

Unit of Observation:   individual

Universe:   All individuals in Taiwan aged 54 and older in 2000. A younger refresher cohort was added in 2006 of those aged 53-60.

Data Types:   clinical data, medical records, survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The data include multiple missing data designations. For character (string) variables, a blank response indicates missing data. Data users should consult the User Guide regarding the coding of missing data before performing analysis.

All study documentation has been made publicly available for this study.


Study Design:   For detailed information regarding the design of this study, please consult the User Guide.

Sample:   The Social Environment and Biomarkers of Aging Study (SEBAS) in Taiwan, 2000 and 2006 is an extension of the Taiwan Longitudinal Study of Aging (TLSA) in Taiwan. The sample was drawn as a nationally representative, multi-stage probability sample. For further and more detailed information regarding the sampling for this study, please consult the User Guide.

Weight:   The SEBAS 2000 and SEBAS 2006 Longitudinal Public Use data each have their own set of weights. SEBAS 2000 has a cross-sectional weight only. SEBAS 2006 has two cross-sectional weights and two longitudinal weights. For further information regarding the weights for this study, please consult the User Guide.

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

Response Rates:   For further information regarding the response rates for this study, please consult the response rate tables within the User Guide.

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.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2012-01-06 2012-01-06 All data and documentation for the study have been updated. The data collection from 2000 has been revised, and an additional data collection from 2006 has been added to this study.
  • 2007-03-06 Documentation has been updated.
  • 2007-01-30 The setup files and documentation have been updated.
  • 2006-11-21 Stata files have been added.

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