Category Archives: News

Being Socially Well-Integrated Reduces Risk of Suicide

Tsai_AlexanderA 24-year prospective cohort study authored by Harvard RWJF Health & Societies Scholar Program Alum Alexander Tsai and Harvard Pop Center affiliated faculty member Ichiro Kawachi indicates that middle-aged men who are well-integrated socially have more than a 2-fold reduced risk for suicide. Being married, having a larger social network, and attending religious services on a regular basis showed the strongest protective associations. This study was published online July 14 in the Annals of Internal Medicine and received some press on dailyRx.

David Cutler’s Earlier Optimism on Increasing Efficiency of Healthcare System May Have Been Right, say New Republic

Harvard Pop Center affiliated faculty member David Cutler is referenced in this article in New Republic on some recently released statistics on healthcare spending, indicating that the healthcare system may be becoming more efficient and services more widely utilized.

Older American workers more likely to be depressed after job loss than their European counterparts

In support of a recent study on job loss and depression in the USA and Europe published in the International Journal of Epidemiology and reported by CBS News, Harvard Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman has written a commentary. The HSPH researchers and their colleagues found that older American workers (aged 50-64) are more likely to experience depression after job loss than their European counterparts. In Berkman’s commentary, The hidden and not so hidden benefits of work: identity, income and interaction, she discusses three kinds of loss that may be central to affecting health and well-being.

Harvard Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman is appointed president of APC

berkman.resizedHarvard Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman has recently been appointed president of The Association of Population Centers (APC). The organization, an independent group of universities and research groups whose mission is to foster collaborative demographic research and data sharing, translate basic population research for public policy decision-makers, and provide educational and training opportunities in population studies, was founded in 1991, and is open to any organization with a primary interest in population research and training.

Harvard Pop Center Bell Fellow Ian Salas Receives Prestigious Award

Salas_headshotJ.M. Ian Salas, PhD, one of our current Bell Fellows, was recently presented with the prestigious Dorothy S. Thomas Award by the Population Association of America (PAA) at their annual meeting in Boston. This award, which recognizes research focused on the interrelationships among social, economic and demographic variables, was given to Salas for a paper that was published while he was a doctoral student at the University of California Irvine on the consequences of funding disruptions on family planning programs in the Philippines. Currently, at the Harvard Pop Center, his research continues as he investigates the behavioral mechanisms behind the persistence of fertility differentials by socioeconomic status, and the effects of recurring natural disasters on fertility and health at birth and early childhood, including its ramifications for later life outcomes.

Study shows link between lack of sleep and increased body fat in children

As reported on the Harvard Medical School’s website, a new study by Pop Center affiliated faculty members Elsie M. Taveras, MD, MPH and Matthew W. Gillman, MD, SM published in Pediatrics shows a strong link between chronic lack sleep (from infancy through mid-childhood) and increased body fat.

Maybe not everything gets better with time; a first long-term study of lifetime exposure to solvents and cognitive functioning

As reported in Time and Reuters, Harvard Pop Center fellow Erika Sabbath, ScD, and Harvard Pop Center affiliated faculty member Cassandra A. Okechukwu, ScD, have published a study in Neurology that examines the effects of lifetime solvent exposure among retired French utility workers. Those at greatest risk for cognitive deficits had experienced long-term exposure, even though the exposure might have ceased as long as 30 years prior.