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Jane D. Kvalsvig 1 Article
The Asenze Cohort Study in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: protocol and cohort profile
Chris Desmond, Gabriella A. Norwitz, Jane D. Kvalsvig, Rachel S. Gruver, Shuaib Kauchali, Kathryn G. Watt, Nonhlanhla P. Myeza, Adele Munsami, Leslie L. Davidson
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022037.   Published online April 5, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022037
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Abstract
The Asenze cohort is set in South Africa, a middle-income country impacted by one of the highest global rates of people living with HIV/AIDS and high levels of socioeconomic inequality. This longitudinal population-based cohort of children and their primary caregivers assesses household and caregiver functioning, child health, social well-being, and neuro-development from childhood through adolescence. Almost 1,600 children born at the peak of the human immunodeficiency virus epidemic (2003-2005) were followed (with their primary caregivers) in 3 waves, between 2008 and 2021, at average ages of 5, 7, and 16. Wave 3 is currently underway, having assessed over 1,100 of the original wave 1 children. Wave 4 begins in 2022. The study, with a dyadic structure, uses a broad range of measures, validated in South Africa or recommended for global use, that address physical, social and neuro-development in childhood and adolescence, and the social, health, and psychological status of children’s primary caregivers. The Asenze study deepens our understanding of childhood physical, cognitive, and social abilities and/or disabilities, including risk-taking behaviors, and biological, environmental, and social determinants of health. We anticipate the findings will contribute to the development of community-informed interventions to promote well-being in this South African population and elsewhere.
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Key Message
The Asenze Cohort Study, one of a limited number of population-based studies set in low- and middle-income countries, with a high level of retention, provides an understanding of neuro-developmental, psychosocial, home environmental and economic exposures and outcomes of over 1100 adolescents and their primary caregivers in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health