5th Annual State of Global Health Symposium

“Global Health and Aging”

Thursday, March 29, 2018
Joseph B. Martin Center
77 Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA
2:00 PM

Welcome, Opening Remarks, and Introductions

Michelle Williams, Dean of the Faculty, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Wafaie Fawzi, Richard Saltonstall Professor of Population Sciences, and Professor of Nutrition, Epidemiology, and Global Health
Chair, Department of Global Health and Population

Keynote Address: Global Action to Foster Healthy Aging

John Beard, Director of Aging and Life Course, World Health Organization

Panel Discussion: The Physical and Cognitive Effects of Aging

Moderator: Goodarz Danaei, Associate Professor of Global Health

Lindsay Jaacks, Assistant Professor of Global Health

Arthur Kleinman, Professor of Medical Anthropology, Department of Social Medicine, HMS

Walter Willett, Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition

Panel Discussion: Impact of Aging on Health Systems

Moderator: David Canning, Richard Saltonstall Professor of Population Sciences, and Professor of Economics and International Health

Rifat Atun, Professor of Global Health Systems

Uwe Sunde, Professor of Economics, University of Munich

Winnie Yip, Professor of the Practice of international Health Policy and Economics

Reception and Poster Session, Awards Presentation

Background: Population aging around the world presents an unprecedented set of challenges. One key issue is if we are seeing, along with longer life spans, a compression of morbidity and a delay in the onset of chronic disease, frailty, and disability.  The implications of population aging for human welfare, economic progress, and health care, all turn on this central question: is the aging we are seeing healthy aging?

Healthy aging involves the prevention and treatment of chronic disease and the maintenance of high levels of physical functioning but also the maintenance of cognitive functioning and emotional well being. The pattern of aging may differ around the world, with particular issues of aging in low-income settings, where there remains a high burden of infectious disease.  Understanding how, and why, these patterns are evolving is an important first step in understanding how to address the issue of population aging.

Population aging has large implications for health care. The diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases and provision of long-term care for the elderly are increasing the resource burdens on health care systems, particularly when long run low fertility means a declining working age population.  In many countries, people are growing old before either they or their countries have had an opportunity to save for their old age. This raises important questions of setting priorities between the unfinished agenda of combating infections disease, the prevention and treatment of illness in mothers and children, and the new demands on the system from population aging. Even within the area of non-infectious disease, prevention may be a more important factor than treatment in promoting health aging, with a need for public health measures outside the traditional health care system.

The symposium will aim to address both these sets of issues, addressing what we need to know about the patterns of population aging and health in different regions of the world and the health system responses that are required to address the emerging question of population aging and population health.

Faculty Steering Committee:

David Canning, Richard Saltonstall Professor of Population Sciences, and Professor of Economics and International Health

 

 

Lisa Berkman, Director of the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy, Epidemiology, and Global Health and Population

 

 

David Bloom, Clarence James Gamble of Economics and Demography

Barry Bloom, Joan L. and Julius H. Jacobson Research Professor of Public Health

Goodarz Danaei, Associate Professor of Global Health and Population

 

 

 

Wafaie Fawzi, Richard Saltonstall Professor of Population Sciences, Professor of Nutrition, Epidemiology, and Global Health; Chair, Department of Global Health and Population

 

 

Lindsay Jaacks, Assistant Professor of Global Health

 

 

Arthur Kleinman, Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor of Anthropology; Professor of Medical Anthropology in Social Medicine, Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School