Online Data Archive

The Puerto Rican Elderly: Health Conditions (PREHCO)

Principal Investigators:
Alberto Palloni, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Ana Luisa Dávila, PhD, University of Puerto Rico
Melba Sánchez-Ayéndez, University of Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rican Elderly: Health Conditions (PREHCO) project provides quality data for researchers and policy makers about issues affecting the elderly population in Puerto Rico. Its topics include self-reported health conditions, physical and mental impairment, housing arrangements, functional status, transfers, labor history, migration, income, childhood conditions, health insurance and use of health services, marital history, mistreat, sexuality, kin networks, intergenerational support, etc. PREHCO is unique in these five areas of innovation: (1) the design and test of a new tool for assessing cognition among Spanish speaking elderly of low levels of education, (2) a symptoms section to assess the validity of selected self reported conditions, (3) a modification of the Cantrill's Ladder Scale, (4) protocols for physical measurements to assess current, as well as past, conditions, and (5) the use of GIS and GPS in the fieldwork supervision and to geocoding the survey data. PREHCO project was funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and it is developed through a collaboration agreement between the Center for Demography and Ecology of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Graduate School of Public Health of the Medical Sciences Campus of the University of Puerto Rico.

For those interested in reading more about the early life conditions of PREHCO respondents during the 20th century based on historical data, please contact Dr. Mary McEniry at

This zip file, contains 6 Rockefeller Foundation Annual Reports (1917, 1920, 1930, 1935, 1940, and 1945) on its works in public health through its International Health Division. They provide background information on the environments of PREHCO respondents when they were growing up.