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The Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS) started as a prospective panel study of health and aging in Mexico. MHAS is nationally representative of the 13 million Mexicans born prior to 1951. The survey has national and urban/rural representation. The baseline survey, in 2001, included a nationally representative sample of Mexicans aged 50 and over and their spouse/partners regardless of their age. A direct interview was sought with each individual and proxy interviews were obtained when poor health or temporary absence precluded a direct interview. The sample was distributed in all 32 states of the country in urban and rural areas. Households in the six states which account for 40% of all migrants to the U.S. were over-sampled. A sub-sample was selected to obtain anthropometric measures.