Lisa Berkman testifies before Senate subcommittee on economic status and mortality

Lisa Berkman of Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) testified on November 20, 2013 at a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing that called attention to life expectancy and health disparities based on socioeconomic status and where someone lives. The hearing was before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, chaired by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

At the hearing, titled “Dying Young: Why Your Social and Economic Status May Be a Death Sentence in America,” Berkman, Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy and Epidemiology at HSPH and director of the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, discussed her research in the areas of employment and mortality in the United States.

Berkman said that “employment is almost always associated with better health” and noted work policies that are linked to better health outcomes: the earned income tax credit program, maternity leave, and other work-family practices.

Watch a video of Berkman’s testimony