J.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.
Harvard Pop Center affiliated faculty member David Cutler spoke about his book The Quality Cure: How Focusing on Health Care Quality Can Save Your Life and Lower Spending Too on healthinsurance.org’s Curbside Consult.
A first look at maternal self-confidence after experiencing a nuclear power accident co-authored by former Harvard Pop Center director and current affiliated faculty member Michael R. Reich suggests that such disasters do lower maternal self-confidence, which can lead to an increase in interpersonal problems and depression.
Although it is commonly thought that older sexual partners are a major risk factor for HIV for young women in sub-Saharan Africa (and there have been public health campaigns launched to discourage these relationships) in a recent study co-authored by Harvard Pop Center affiliated faculty members Ichiro Kawachi, SV Subramanian, and Till Bärnighausen partner age-disparity did not predict HIV acquisition amongst young women.
Harvard Pop Center affiliated faculty Kathleen Kahn and Stephen Tollman have co-authored a study that finds that in the Agincourt sub-district of northeast South Africa, temporary migration (migrants relocating mainly for work purposes and remaining linked to the rural household) is more important than age and gender in explaining variations in mortality, whatever the cause. The study suggests that public health policies should account for population mobility, and that the rural health care system should be strengthened, because migrants tend to return to rural households when they need health care.
It is well documented that recently bereaved spouses are exposed to an increased mortality risk (known as the “widowhood effect”). Harvard Pop Center affiliated faculty members SV Subramanian (Subu), PhD, and Maria Glymour, ScD, have co-authored a study published in The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry that reveals that spousal health actually starts to decline prior to the death of the loved one, suggesting that interventions designed to mitigate the “widowhood effect” should begin prior to bereavement.
In honor of its 50th anniversary, the Harvard Pop Center recently held a symposium titled Reimagining Societies in the Face of Demographic Change that featured presentations by Julio Frenk, Lisa Berkman, Babatunde Osotimehin, Jack Rowe, and Sir Michael Marmot, as well as a panel discussion including Pop Center Associate Director David Canning and faculty members Amitabh Chandra, SV Subramanian (Subu), and Mary Waters. Video recordings of these presentations and discussions are now available on our website.
Harvard Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman, PhD, and affiliated researchers Kathleen Kahn, PhD, and Stephen Tollman, PhD, have co-authored a study published in the International Journal of Social Epidemiology that examines the social conditions and disability related to the mortality of older people in rural South Africa.