News and Announcements

When it comes to risk factors for COVID-19 mortality, simulation study finds social determinants of health on par with diabetes

To compensate for there being little data available on the relationship between COVID-19 deaths and social determinants of health, Harvard Pop Center faculty members Ben Seligman and David Bloom, along with their colleague Maddalena Ferranna, have published a simulation study in PLOS Medicine that finds that individual-level social determinants of health (e.g., nonwhite race/ethnicity, income below … Continue reading “When it comes to risk factors for COVID-19 mortality, simulation study finds social determinants of health on par with diabetes”

Children with complicated births found to be at increased risk of eviction

A study finds that babies who were low-birth weight, experienced a lengthy hospital stay, or were born prematurely were at increased risk of experiencing eviction later in childhood. Harvard Pop Center Director Lisa F. Berkman and Visiting Scientist Mariana Arcaya are authors, as well as Gabriel L Schwartz, Kathryn M Leifheit, and Jarvis T Chen. … Continue reading “Children with complicated births found to be at increased risk of eviction”

Sara Bleich named as senior advisor for COVID-19 in the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Harvard Pop Center faculty member Sara Bleich, a researcher committed to providing evidence to help shape and drive policies aimed at preventing obesity and diet-related diseases, will now serve as part of the Biden-Harris administration. Learn more about her staff appointment with the USDA. Congratulations, Dr. Bleich!

Does alcohol consumption play a role in the spread of HIV among older adults in South Africa?

A study by HAALSI researchers finds that increased and more frequent alcohol consumption among older adults in South Africa is linked with higher levels of sexual risk taking, patterns of behavior that could contribute to the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Claudia Goldin is first woman to receive Nemmers Prize in Economics

Harvard Pop Center faculty member Claudia Goldin, PhD, has been awarded the 2020 Nemmers Prize in Economics by Northwestern University. Dr. Goldin was selected to receive this prize “for her groundbreaking insights into the history of the American economy, the evolution of gender roles and the interplay of technology, human capital and labor markets.” Congratulations, … Continue reading “Claudia Goldin is first woman to receive Nemmers Prize in Economics”

Synthesizing hope: How to mitigate health disparities after natural disaster strikes

Researchers affiliated with the RISK study have published a study in the journal Health Affairs that summarizes the findings of the 15-year study that followed low-income parents who survived Hurricane Katrina. The lessons learned inform these key priorities: Prevention (improve climate resilience and evacuation planning); uninterrupted health care; less administrative work for survivors; strong community … Continue reading “Synthesizing hope: How to mitigate health disparities after natural disaster strikes”

Today.com reports: “Women who work for pay have slower memory loss as they age”

A study with former postdoctoral fellow Erika Sabbath, ScD, and Harvard Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman, PhD (on sabbatical 2020-2021) among the authors reports that women who worked for pay during early adulthood and later in life (even if they left the workforce to raise children but later returned) have slower rates of memory decline … Continue reading “Today.com reports: “Women who work for pay have slower memory loss as they age””

Is depression a barrier to receiving social support among aging adults in rural South Africa?

A study by researchers affiliated with the population-based study Health and Aging in Africa: A Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community in South Africa (HAALSI), including Harvard Pop Center Research Scientist Elyse Jennings, PhD, finds that those study participants reporting symptoms of depression were less likely to receive some types of social support, and there … Continue reading “Is depression a barrier to receiving social support among aging adults in rural South Africa?”

Providing a foundation for older American workers to stay in labor force longer

Keeping older Americans in the labor force longer (a financial necessity for many; also good for the economy) may very well depend on improving the quality of their jobs when they are much younger, according to a report authored by Beth Truesdale, PhD, our former Sloan Fellow on Aging and Work, and current research associate. … Continue reading “Providing a foundation for older American workers to stay in labor force longer”

Warning against basing equitable COVID-19 vaccine distribution on static county-level social & economic data

A Harvard Pop Center Working paper warns against basing equitable COVID-19 vaccine allocation throughout the U.S. on static county-level social and economic data, as researchers find “enormous” variation (time and region) in the relationship between community characteristics and COVID-19 case and death rates per capita over the last 9 months.