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Dataset: Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging (KLoSA)

Basic Information
Dataset Full Name Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging
Dataset Acronym KLoSA

The Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging is an ongoing nationally representative longitudinal study of the South Korean household population 45 years and older. Sampling was based on a multistage stratified probability framework for each census district. 

The first survey was conducted in 2006 and participants are followed every 2 years. The primary purpose of the study is to collect data that will assist in implementing social and economic policies for the aging population.

Key Terms
  • Aging, Longitudinal, Health, Health care utilization, Disability
  • Social participation, Social networks, Diet
  • Health risk behaviors, Chronic diseases, Life expectancy
  • Cognitive and Mental health, Depression
  • Employment and Income
Study Design Longitudinal
Data Type(s) Survey
Sponsoring Agency/Entity

Korea Labor Institute

Health Conditions/Disability Measures
Health Condition(s)

Arthritis, Autism spectrum disorders, Body mass index (BMI)/obesity,, Cancer, Cardiovascular conditions, Depression, Diabetes, Eye diseases, Heart attack, Kidney/renal condition, Pulmonary disorders, Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Disability Measures

Functional limitations (ADLs and/or IADLs),  Hearing disability, Mental health disability, Physical disability, Visual disability, Work limitation

Speech disability, Grip strengthSelf-rated Health, K-MMSE (Korean Mini Mental State Exam), Korean version of CES-D, Subjective Life Expectancy (SLE), Cognitive function

Measures/Outcomes of Interest
  • Health risks, Life expectancy, Health trajectories
  • Cognitive and physical decline 
  • Social engagement and mental health 
  • Effects of socioeconomic disparities on health 
  • Subjective expectations and satisfaction
  • Employment,  and economic well-being
Sample Population

Community-dwelling adults over 45 years living in South Korea

Institutionalized persons, who were excluded from the first wave, will be included in the second wave of the main survey.

Sample Size/Notes
  • 10,254 at baseline (2006)
  • 7,000 in most recently released wave
Unit of Observation






Geographic Coverage

National, (not including Jeju Island)

Geographic Specificity


Special Population(s)

Aging/Older people

Data Collection
Data Collection Mode

Computer assisted personal interviews (CAPI)

Years Collected

2006-present (ongoing)

Data Collection Frequency

Every 2 years

Strengths and Limitations
  • Nationally representative sample of the South Korean population. 
  • Ideal for longitudinal analyses of health risk behaviors and self-perceived life expectancy on health and disability.
  • Some outcome measures are comparable with other national longitudinal aging studies including the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) See below for related datasets.
  • High retention rates (~80%) between waves.
  • Wave 7 includes a psychosocial section as well as data regarding binge drinking, usage of long-term care insurance, and cognition orientation to time and place (see Harmonized KLoSA)
  • A harmonized End of Life file is available that includes variables specific to the respondent's death and end of life, including health conditions, caregiving received, healthcare utilization, cognition, wealth, and employment status between the respondent's last interview and time of death.  (Harmonized KLoSA End of Life)
  • Health conditions and disability primarily self-reported .
  • Several outcome measures used cannot be directly compared with other studies, but are tailored to the Korean population.
  • Sample consists only of community-dwelling adults, limiting generalizability and introducing selection bias risk. 
  • Wave 1 documentation states that Wave 2 will include a sample of the institutionalized population, however such a sample is not obvious in codebooks or more recent documentation.
Data Details
Primary Website

Main site (note: site may not work with all browsers):


Gateway to Global Aging site also contains significant information on KLoSA including codebooks, harmonizing code and other useful resources:


Data Access

Data access requires registration on main site first :


Data download page (after main site registration) here:


Data Access Requirements

Data use agreement, No cost

Summary Tables/Reports

Basic Analysis Report of the Korea Labor and Income Panel Study (2006):


Data Components

Each individual wave includes both a main file and an imputation file

  • Wave 1
  • Wave 2
  • Wave 3
  • Wave 4
  • Wave 5
  • Wave 6
  • Wave 7

Similar/Related Dataset(s)

Other longitudinal aging studies:

Selected Papers
Other Papers

Publication list (select survey=KLoSA)


Gender-Specific Incidence and Predictors of Cognitive Impairment among Older Koreans: Findings from a 6-Year Prospective Cohort Study


Socioeconomic Disparity in Later-Year Group Trajectories of Depressive Symptoms: Role of Health and Social Engagement Change.



Codebook/survey (accessible without registration):


Gateway to Global Aging provides Stata creation code that can create a harmonized KLoSA dataset:

Access to documents below require registration:

User guide:




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The Rehabilitation Research Cross-dataset Variable Catalog has been developed through the Center for Large Data Research & Data Sharing in Rehabilitation (CLDR). The Center for Large Data Research and Data Sharing in Rehabilitation involves a consortium of investigators from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Cornell University's Yang Tan Institute (YTI), and the University of Michigan. The CLDR is funded by NIH - National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, through the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research, the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. (P2CHD065702).

Other CLDR supported resources and collaborative opportunities:

Acknowledgements: This tool was developed through the efforts of William Erickson and Arun Karpur, and web designers Jason Criss and Jeff Trondsen at Cornell University. Many thanks to graduate students Kyoung Jo Oh and Yeong Joon Yoon who developed much of the content used in this tool.

For questions or comments please contact disabilitystatistics@cornell.edu