Ichiro Kawachi recently published a study in BMC Public Health revealing that higher level of neighborhood social capital was associated with higher probability of participating in the health check phase of a population-based lifestyle intervention, suggesting that activating social relations in the community may be an avenue for boosting participation rates in population-based health checks.
Timing is everything. A study by David Cutler confirms that graduates who enter the labor market during bad economic times experience lower income, lower life satisfaction, greater obesity, more smoking and drinking later in life. The study also noted that education plays a protective role for these outcomes, as educated individuals, even when entering the market at times of high unemployment, have a much lower incidence of these outcomes than their uneducated counterparts. The study was published in Social Science and Medicine.
A 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.
Harvard RWJF Alum Reanne Frank is quoted in an article in The Columbus Dispatch on the growth of the Hispanic population. Frank, currently an associate professor of sociology at Ohio State University, explains that nationally Hispanic population is growing faster than non-Hispanic because more US-born Hispanics are reaching adulthood and having families, as opposed to the growth being driven by immigration.
Harvard Pop Center affiliated faculty member Orfeu Buxton served as PI on a recently published paper in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine that investigated the effect of work-related stress, sleep deficiency, and physical activity on 10-year cardiometabolic risk among an all-female worker population.
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.