Cohort Profile: The Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health (MLSFH)

Hans Peter Kohler, Susan C. Watkins, Jere R. Behrman, Philip Anglewicz, Iliana V. Kohler, Rebecca L. Thornton, James Mkandawire, Hastings Honde, Augustine Hawara, Ben Chilima, Chiwoza Bandawe, Victor Mwapasa, Peter Fleming, Linda Kalilani-Phiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health (MLSFH) is one of very few long-standing, publicly available longitudinal cohort studies in a sub-Saharan African (SSA) context. It provides a rare record of more than a decade of demographic, socioeconomic and health conditions in one of the world's poorest countries. The MLSFH was initially established in 1998 to study social network influences on fertility behaviours and HIV risk perceptions, and over time the focus of the study expanded to include health, sexual behaviours, intergenerational relations and family/household dynamics. The currently available data include MLSFH rounds collected in 1998, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012 for up to 4000 individuals, providing information about socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, sexual behaviours, marriage, household/family structure, risk perceptions, social networks and social capital, intergenerational relations, HIV/AIDS and other dimensions of health. The MLSFH public use data can be requested on the project website:

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-404
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 27 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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