SHDH 260: Aging, Lifecourse Social Conditions & Public Health
Dr. Maria Glymour
This course will introduce students to a range of issues related to human aging, with a focus on aging in the United States. One primary thread in the course will be the consideration of how social conditions across the lifecourse, from infancy to old age, affect health in old age. The second important theme will be the methodological challenges in such research. To understand how such social conditions might translate into the health of current cohorts of elderly, we will discuss examples of major social changes in the 20th century, and evidence about the health consequences of these trends. Topics for consideration will include: demography of aging; health trends and health disparities in US elderly; how factors such as retirement policies, poverty, education, and social networks affect the health and functioning of the elderly; selective survival and survivor bias; studying patient populations.
SHDH 504: Substance Abuse and Public Health
*NEW COURSE – Spring I
Dr. Vaughan Rees
Substance abuse is major public health problem which impacts society on multiple levels. The purpose of this course is to develop an understanding of factors that contribute to substance abuse, and its consequences. The course will cover the biological, psychological and social underpinnings of substance abuse behavior, and the nature and scope of this public health problem. Mechanisms of action, prevalence of use and health outcomes, treatment and prevention approaches, and public policyapproaches, will be contrasted for major licit and illicit abused substances. Students will use this background to critically evaluate scientific evidence relating to national and international drug policies. This new course is designed to equip students with a broad knowledge of the public health implications of both licit and illicit substance misuse. Students will learn how a rational public substance abuse policy can be developed, based on integration of knowledge of drug dependence phenomena, health and social outcome data, and cultural factors.