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

Published: Mar 20, 2015 View help for published

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


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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.

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

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


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

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
2009-02 -- 2010-01
2009-02 -- 2010-01

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.

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.

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."

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."


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

observational data, survey data

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).



2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • 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.

2015-03-20 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.

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."


  • 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.

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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).