TIAA Institute Insights Report: “Policy solutions that implicitly expect almost everyone to delay retirement will leave many Americans behind”

Overtime book cover and TIAA Institute logo

Lisa F. Berkman, PhD, and Beth C. Truesdale, PhD, have published a TIAA Institute Insights Report that pulls from book that they co-edited, “Overtime: America’s Aging Workforce and the Future of Working Longer,” to help answer the question: “Should women just delay retirement and work longer?” The report is part of the TIAA Institute’s Women’s Voices of Expertise & Experience: Insights to Help Retire Inequality series.

Caregiving responsibilities at home may impact working mothers’ intentions to expand family

Woman cooking in kitchen

A study published in the European Sociological Review by former HCPDS Graduate Student Affiliate Sinn Won Han, current HCPDS Graduate Student Affiliate Ohjae Gowen, and HCPDS faculty member Mary Brinton expands recent research that shows an increase in both female labor force participation and fertility rates (a change signaling possible greater gender equality within the household) by looking at the impact of the persistent “gender-role ideology” that continues to prioritize…

Decade-long research project that explores aging in South Africa receives NIH/NIA funding for new waves & national expansion, with special focus on cognitive health

HAALSI letters with images from project

Researchers from The Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies (HCPDS), the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the University of the Witwatersrand, and the University of Cape Town have been awarded 27 million dollars from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to further the collaborative program project Health and Aging in Africa: A Longitudinal Study in South Africa (HAALSI). This is the largest grant to be administered through…

What is the association between social integration and mortality risk among African Americans?

Profiles of people cut out in paper

This examination followed over 5,000 African-Americans (until 2018) from the Jackson Heart Study who completed the Berkman-Syme Social Network Index (2000–2004). Watch this 90-second summary of a paper that was published in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology with HCPDS faculty member Laura Kubzansky, PhD, and incoming Harvard Bell Postdoctoral Fellow Hayami Koga, MD, MPH, PhD, among its authors.

Gut check: Study deepens understanding of link between gut bacteria and emotions

Gut microbiome

HCPDS faculty member Laura Kubzansky, PhD, is a co-corresponding author of a study published in Psychological Medicine that contributes to “gut-brain axis” research by tracking over 200 women, and evaluating their self-reported feelings (as well as how they handled these emotions) along with stool samples. “The analysis found that people who suppressed their emotions had a less diverse gut microbiome. The investigators also found that people who reported happier feelings…

Analysis streamlines measurement of physiological ‘wear and tear’

Tables of biomarkers from study

The measurement of allostatic load (cumulative biological dysregulation related to life course stressors) varies widely across studies, making it difficult to rely on the measurement to help predict mortality. An analysis published in Psychoneuroendocrinology has pinpointed five biomarkers that predict mortality as accurately as more elaborate batteries of tests, enabling the researchers, including Harvard Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman, to offer recommendations for more efficient biomarker collection in future allostatic…

Review of existing racism and housing discrimination research sheds light on how racism impacts population health

Brittney Francis head shot

Harvard Bell Fellow Brittney Francis, PhD, is an author on a paper that reviews and synthesizes the population health scientific literature examining racial discrimination in housing, which is less commonly studied than segregation. Findings point to studies using survey data, as opposed to administrative data, as more likely to reveal an association between exposure to housing discrimination with negative health outcomes.

Diagnosing dementia in rural South Africa using online consensus; cash transfers at earlier age in South Africa to support cognitive health later on; paving the way with promise for genomic studies on cognition in Africa

HAALSI men and women

Three studies by HAALSI researchers based on a rapidly aging population in rural South Africa are contributing to the much-needed scientific literature on global cognitive aging. A study published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring found that a multidisciplinary, web-based consensus conference approach for diagnosing cognitive impairment and dementia in rural South Africa was feasible, and identified the key factors responsible for diagnostic variability among raters. In…