CRELES-3: Costa Rican Longevity and Healthy Aging Study - Wave 3, 2009 (Costa Rica Estudio de Longevidad y Envejecimiento Saludable, Ronda 3) (ICPSR 35250)

Principal Investigator(s): Rosero-Bixby, Luis, Universidad de Costa Rica; Brenes, Gilbert, Universidad de Costa Rica; Dow, William H, University of California-Berkeley


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. CRELES-3 refers to the third wave of visits in this longitudinal study. The first two waves are available as ICPSR 26681 and ICPSR 31263. The original sample (Wave 1) 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 age range (ages 95 and over). A total of 2,827 Costa Ricans ages 60 and over participated in 2005. The second wave revisited the same participant group. The data presented here represent the third wave of fieldwork that was conducted from February 2009 to January 2010, with 1,855 surviving and contacted participants. CRELES data include factors contributing to older adults' length and quality of life. Among these data are self-reported physical health, psychological health, living conditions, health behaviors, health care utilization, social support, and socioeconomic status. Objective health indicators typically included in this series are anthropometrics, observed mobility, and biomarkers from fasting blood (such as cholesterol, glycosylated hemoglobin, and C-reactive protein). However, the third wave did not collect blood. Data regarding participants' deaths and conditions surrounding death were collected from interviews of surviving family members and are included in Wave 2 and Wave 3 data files. The collection includes a tracking file (Dataset 13) which links participants across the three waves and includes sampling weights. Demographic data included in the study include age during each wave, sex, marital status, education, number of children, type of housing, and geographic region in Costa Rica. Some elements of the demographic data are found only in Wave 1 and require linking the CRELES-3 data files with ICPSR 26681.

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

Access Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Elderly People Dataset - Download All Files (16.539 MB)
DS2:  Anthropometry and Mobility Dataset - Download All Files (4.625 MB)
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ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
DS3:  Diet Dataset - Download All Files (6.549 MB)
SAS    SPSS    Stata    R    ASCII    Excel/TSV
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
DS4:  Household Members Dataset - Download All Files (5.2 MB)
DS5:  Nonresident Children Dataset - Download All Files (5.828 MB)
DS6:  Insurance Dataset - Download All Files (3.786 MB)
DS7:  Pensions Dataset - Download All Files (3.852 MB)
DS8:  Medications Dataset - Download All Files (5.76 MB)
DS9:  Deceased Household Members Dataset - Download All Files (3.024 MB)
DS10:  Deceased Non-resident Children Dataset - Download All Files (3.047 MB)
DS11:  Deceased Elderly Dataset - Download All Files (4.6 MB)
DS12:  Recoded Variables Dataset - Download All Files (5.834 MB)
SAS    SPSS    Stata    R    ASCII    Excel/TSV
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
DS13:  TrackCRELES Public Dataset - Download All Files (3.727 MB)
SAS    SPSS    Stata    R    ASCII    Excel/TSV
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   

Study Description


Rosero-Bixby, Luis, Gilbert Brenes, and William H Dow. CRELES-3: Costa Rican Longevity and Healthy Aging Study - Wave 3, 2009 (Costa Rica Estudio de Longevidad y Envejecimiento Saludable, Ronda 3). ICPSR35250-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-03-20.

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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, 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, psychological wellbeing, quality of life, social networks, social support, socioeconomic status

Smallest Geographic Unit:    Province

Geographic Coverage:    Central America, Costa Rica, Global, Latin America

Time Period:   

  • 2009-02--2010-01

Date of Collection:   

  • 2009-02--2010-01

Unit of Observation:    Individual

Universe:    Costa Rica population born in or before 1945 and alive in 2009.

Data Type(s):    observational data, survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Please note that this study was conducted in Spanish. While most of the data and documentation have been translated into English, many variables in the datasets have variable names, variable labels, values, and/or value labels written in Spanish. Some characters in the codebooks, setup files, and data files include diacritical marks.

The data files for Waves 2 and 3 do not include characteristics that are fixed over time, such as education, number of children, and childhood conditions. These characteristics were collected during the first wave of interviews and were not investigated in the re-interviews. Further information about the baseline characteristics is available in the Wave 1 data files (ICPSR 26681).

Additional information about CRELES can be found at the CRELES Web site.


Study Purpose:    The purpose of the study was to determine the length and quality of life as well as to identify the factors contributing to these in the elderly of Costa Rica.

Study Design:    The study consists of baseline data collection and two household follow-up surveys. The third wave was conducted during 2009-10. It includes a structured interview, an exit interview mainly of relatives of deceased participants, anthropometric measurements, and physical functioning tests. All the data and specimens were gathered in the homes of participants. In the first wave, participants granted their informed consent by means of their signature. The main questionnaire took about 60 minutes to administer during the third wave. Participants also answered a short (10 minute) questionnaire about the frequency of consumption of 30 foods. Blood pressure was measured twice during the main interview. A separate form was used to collect data on anthropometric measurements and mobility and grip strength tests. At the beginning of the main interview a cognitive evaluation was conducted, which, together with the interviewer's criteria, established whether or not a proxy informant was needed to help the participant respond to the survey. In Wave 3, 26 percent of the interviews were conducted with the help of a proxy. For additional information on study design, please refer to the study manual entitled "Sampling and Methods."

Sample:    CRELES is a nationally-representative longitudinal survey of elderly Costa Ricans. CRELES-3 is the third wave of interviews. The baseline (Wave 1) sample was drawn from Costa Rican residents in the 2000 population census who were born in 1945 or before. It was stratified by 5-year age groups in order to have similar sample sizes in each age group, which implies over sampling of older people. All centenarians were included in the sample. Wave 1 includes data collected from 2,827 participants between November 2004 and September 2006. Wave 2 took place from October 2006 to July 2008, collecting interviews from 2,364 participants, plus 269 interviews of family members of deceased participants. Loss of follow-up between Waves 1 and 2 thus represented 7 percent. Wave 3 interviews took place from February 2009 to January 2010 with 1,855 complete interviews plus 255 interviews of family members of deceased participants. The loss of follow-up between Waves 2 and 3 thus represented 9 percent of the baseline sample. For additional information on sampling, please refer to the study manual entitled "Sampling and Methods."

Time Method:    Longitudinal

Weight:    The variable "ponderador" contains baseline-sampling weights that must be used to obtain nationally representative estimates of population averages, percentages and the likes. Analyses controlling for age, sex, urban residence, and education, such as multiple regressions, do not need to use these weights. The baseline-sampling weights were normalized in such a way that the un-weighted sampling size (N=2,827) is reproduced with weighted estimates. Weights also replicate the structure by sex, age, urban residence, and education of the population of Costa Rica born in 1945 or before and alive at 2005. The weights range from a minimum of 0.07 for men 95 years of age and older with low education, to a maximum of 3.85 for men age 60-64, high education and rural residence These sampling weights were meant to correct two facts: (1) The over-sampling of oldest old individuals included purposely in the sampling design to have enough statistical power to analyze advanced ages. (2) The higher no-response rates that occurred in the fieldwork among younger men, high SES and urban settings. In addition, sampling weights were established for Waves 2 and 3 (variables "ponde_r2" and "ponde_r3," respectively) following an analogous procedure as for the baseline sampling; i. e. forcing the weighted sample to reproduce the Costa Rican population in 2009 by 5-year age groups, sex, two educational groups, and residence in the great metropolitan area of San Jose (GAM). The weights were normalized so they reproduce the sample size of each wave--1,855 observations in Wave 3. The Wave 3 weights varied from a minimum of 0.06, for participants aged 95 years or more with low education and residence out of the GAM, to a maximum of 3.5 for participants aged 64-69 with secondary education and residence in the GAM. The sampling weights specific for Waves 2 and 3 (variables "ponde_r2" and "ponde_r3") must be used when computing population estimates for 2007 with Wave 2 or 2009 with Wave 3 data. In prospective longitudinal analyses, however, is advisable to use the sampling weights provided for the baseline-Wave 1 survey. The sampling weights are available in the tracking data file named "TrackCRELES Public" (Dataset 13). For additional information on weights, please refer to the study manual entitled "Sampling and Methods."

Mode of Data Collection:    computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI), cognitive assessment test, face-to-face interview, on-site questionnaire

Response Rates:    The number of participants lost between Wave 2 and 3 was 241 (i.e., 8.5 percent attrition rate of the baseline sample or 10 percent attrition of the Wave 2 sample).

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:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Restrictions: Names of interviewers and proxies as well as exact dates and times of survey administration have been removed to protect participant confidentiality.


Original ICPSR Release:   2015-03-20

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