News and Announcements

Team of Harvard Pop Center researchers publish paper on impact of unemployment on smoking and drinking

A team of Harvard Pop Center researchers, including current Yerby Fellow Mariana Arcaya, and Pop Center-affiliated faculty members Maria Glymour, Ichiro Kawachi, and SV Subramanian, have published a paper in Social Science & Medicine that looks at individual and spousal unemployment as predictors of smoking and drinking behavior.

Thurston examines link between MetS and subclinical atherosclerosis

Rebecca Thurston,  a former RWJF scholar at the Harvard Pop Center, has co-authored a study (based on participants in The Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation) recently published in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association, that examines the association between MetS  (the metabolic syndrome) and subclinical atherosclerosis, and the role that race/ethnicity in midlife women may play.

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.