Monthly Archives: March 2014

Media coverage of SV Subramanian’s work

Last week we featured a new study co-authored by Pop Center faculty member SV Subramanian, which found that economic growth has little to no effect on the nutritional status of the world’s poorest children. The study was subsequently discussed on NPR’s health news site, Shots, and in  The New York Times, where Paul Krugman quoted Subramanian in a blog post on economic growth and income distribution.

Gary King looks at Google Flu Trends

Its information-gathering abilities are no doubt impressive, but how good is Google at tracking cases of influenza? Pop Center faculty member Gary King, who recently co-authored a paper critiquing the accuracy of Google Flu Trends. A subsequent  New York Times article discussed King’s paper and raised interesting questions about the strengths and limitations of big data.

A reason to reduce anxiety, and an opportunity to do so!

We’ve long known that anxiety puts people at risk for coronary heart disease, but now a nationally representative longitudinal study of the US population has shown that anxiety also increases the risk of stroke. Pop Center faculty member Laura Kubzansky and RWJF alum Rebecca Thurston co-authored the study, which was published in Stroke.

And speaking of reducing anxiety, please join us for a cup of tea on April 28th, when we kick off our 50th Anniversary celebration with an Open House and Reception. All are welcome!

Economic growth no cure for child undernutrition

As reported in this HSPH release, an article in the Harvard Gazette and this NPR blog, a large study published in The Lancet Global Health, co-authored by Pop Center faculty member S V Subramanian and former PGDA Fellow Sebastian Vollmer, finds that, contrary to widely held beliefs, economic growth has little to no effect on the nutritional status of the world’s poorest children. “They [the findings] emphasize,” said Subramanian, “that focusing on improving economic growth does not necessarily translate to child health gains.” Pop Center research scientist and director of  research core Jocelyn Finlay also contributed to the study.

Do differences in social policy underlie an important part of the US health disadvantage?

A paper co-authored by  Ichiro Kawachi, MD, PhD, titled “Why Do Americans Have Shorter Life Expectancy and Worse Health Than Do People in Other High-Income Countries?” published in the Annual Review of Public Health examines whether crucial differences in social policy may play an important role in why US Americans lead shorter and less healthy lives than do people in other high-income countries.

Pande quoted in The Times of India article on high level of air pollution in Ludhiana

Rohini Pande, Ph.D., Mohammed Kamal Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and a Pop Center faculty member, was quoted in this article in The Times of India on the health worries associated with the air pollution being twice as high in the city of Ludhiana as recommended by the World Health Organization.

As population health improves, what happens to health inequalities?

Given that health is improving at a greater rate among the better off than among those of lower socioeconomic status, will health inequities become greater over time? Pop Center faculty members Nancy Krieger and Jason Beckfield were part of a team that  looked at 50 years of data on socioeconomic health inequities in the US. The study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, found that health inequities need not rise as population health improves.

Almost half of nonsmoking pregnant women studied in NYC show signs of secondhand smoke

Former Pop Center RWJF Scholar Summer Hawkins, PhD, has co-authored a paper indicating that nearly half of nonsmoking pregnant women studied in NYC had elevated cotinine levels despite living in a city with comprehensive tobacco control policies. Study results suggest that “health professionals need to assess sources of SHS exposure during pregnancy and promote smoke-free environments to improve maternal and fetal health.”