Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS), 1998-2012 (ICPSR 36179)

Version Date: Sep 16, 2015 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Yi Zeng, Duke University, and Peking University; James Vaupel, Max Planck Institutes, and Duke University; Zhenyu Xiao, China National Research Center on Aging; Yuzhi Liu, Peking University; Chunyuan Zhang, Peking University


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The Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS) provides information on health status and quality of life of the elderly aged 65 and older in 22 provinces of China in the period 1998 to 2012. The study was conducted to shed light on the determinants of healthy human longevity and oldest-old mortality. To this end, data were collected on a large percent of the oldest population, including centenarian and nonagenarian; the CLHLS provides information on the health, socioeconomic characteristics, family, lifestyle, and demographic profile of this aged population. Data are provided on respondents' health conditions, daily functioning, self-perceptions of health status and quality of life, life satisfaction, mental attitude, and feelings about aging. Respondents were asked about their diet and nutrition, use of medical services, and drinking and smoking habits, including how long ago they quit either or both. They were also asked about their physical activities, reading habits, television viewing, and religious activities, and were tested for motor skills, memory, and visual functioning. In order to ascertain their current state of health, respondents were asked if they suffered from such health conditions as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, emphysema, asthma, tuberculosis, cataracts, glaucoma, gastric or duodenal ulcer, arthritis, Parkinson's disease, bedsores, or other chronic diseases. They were also asked if they needed assistance with bathing, dressing, toileting, or feeding, and who provided help in times of illness. Other questions focused on siblings, parents, and children, the frequency of family visits, and the distance lived from each other. Demographic and background variables include age, sex, ethnicity, place of birth, marital history and status, history of childbirth, living arrangements, education, main occupation before age 60, and sources of financial support.

Zeng, Yi, Vaupel, James, Xiao, Zhenyu, Liu, Yuzhi, and Zhang, Chunyuan. Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS), 1998-2012. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-09-16.

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United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Aging (R01 AG023627), National Natural Science Foundation of China (71233001), National Basic Research Program of China (2013CB530700)


Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

1998 -- 2012
1998-01-15 -- 2012-09-26
  1. ICPSR removed variables throughout this collection to protect respondent anonymity. Please refer to the ICPSR Codebooks for further information.

  2. Additional information about the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey as well as study design can be found at the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development Web site.


All centenarians from the randomly selected counties and cities of 22 provinces in China who agreed to participate in the study. For each centenarian, one octogenarian aged 80-89 living nearby, one nearby nonagenarian aged 90-99, and one nearby younger elder aged 65-79 of predesignated age and sex were interviewed.

Longitudinal, Cross-sectional

The most elderly population in the counties and cities of 22 provinces in China during the period 1998-2012. Additionally, for the time period of 2002-2012, the younger elderly population of the same provinces were interviewed.


The response rate was 97.7 percent.

The following scales were used in this collection: Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Activities of Daily Living (ADL).



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:
  • Zeng, Yi, James Vaupel, Zhenyu Xiao, Yuzhi Liu, and Chunyuan Zhang. Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS), 1998-2012. ICPSR36179-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-09-16.

2015-09-16 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.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

The data are not weighted. This collection contains the following weights which should be used in any analysis: W_1998 (Dataset 1), W_2000 (Dataset 2), W_2002 (Dataset 3), W_2005 (Dataset 4), W_2008 (Dataset 5) and W_2011 (Dataset 6). The weight is estimated based on the estimated numbers of elderly persons by age, sex, and rural/urban residence in 2011-2012 derived from the 6th census conducted in 2010 for the 22 provinces of China where the 2011-2012 follow-up survey was conducted. The total number of the weighted individual cases of the survey is equal to the total sample size.



  • 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.