What is driving the decline in life expectancy in the U.S., and what can be done about it?

Abandoned automobile factory

An op-ed on health policy published in JAMA explains why the healthcare sector can only skim the surface when it comes to addressing the deep structural drivers in declining life expectancy.  The authors —Atheendar S. Venkataramani, MD, PhD, former Harvard RWJF Health & Society Scholar Rourke O’Brien, PhD, and Harvard Pop Center faculty member Alexander C. Tsai, MD, PhD —make a strong case for why the U.S. needs to enact bold…

This time-series analysis shows state-level social distancing slows growth of U.S. COVID-19 epidemic

Harvard Pop Center faculty member Alexander Tsai, MD, PhD, is an author of an article that reports finding social distancing to be associated with a decrease  of 3,090 cases at 7 days, and 68,255 cases at 14 days, after these measures were implemented. Other authors of the article include Mark J. Siedner, Guy Harling, Zahra Reynolds, Rebecca F. Gilbert, and Atheendar Venkataramani.

Is there a link between opioid overdose mortality rates and automobile assembly plant closures in the U.S.?

Assembly workers work on a Chrysler car at a Michigan plant.

Researchers affiliated with the Harvard Pop Center have published a study that focuses on counties with a large share of the population employed in the manufacturing sector, finding a link between automobile assembly plant closures and deaths by opioid overdose among working-age adults. Study authors include faculty member (and former Harvard RWJF scholar) Alexander Tsai, MD, PhD, and Rourke O’Brien, PhD, also a former Harvard RWJF scholar. Other study authors…

Affirmative action bans linked to increased smoking among minority students in their teens (and beyond)

Affirmative action bans may do more damage to minority students than just negatively impact their educational and socioeconomic opportunities; a study has linked these bans with an increase in health risk behaviors, such as smoking, among those in the 11th and 12th grade. Authors include Harvard RWJF Health & Society Scholars program alumni Rourke O’Brien and Alexander Tsai (who is also a Harvard Pop Center faculty member) as well as…

Despite ART rapidly scaling up, level of knowledge of HIV among general population in sub-Saharan Africa has not

Alexander Tsai, MD, PhD, is co-author of a study published in the Journal of the International AIDS Society that indicates that has been a minimal increase in HIV knowledge across 33 sub-Saharan African countries over time, despite rapid antiretroviral therapy scale-up.

Study finds police killings of unarmed black Americans negatively impact mental health of black Americans in general population

Faculty members Alex Tsai and David R. Williams are among the authors on a study in The Lancet that utilizes novel data on police killings of black Americans to reveal the spillover effects on those living in the same state. Learn more in The New York Times and on the study website. Photo: Stephen Melkisethian on Flickr

Increase in HIV stigma linked to decreased use of skilled childbirth facilities in Uganda

Alexander Tsai, PhD, MD, a former RWJF Health & Society Scholar at Harvard, and currently a member of the Harvard Pop Center faculty, is co-author on a study published in Aids and Behavior that suggests that reducing the stigma of HIV could help to reduce maternal mortality and prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

Novel study shows link between economic opportunity and health, health behaviors and mortality

Three Harvard Pop Center faculty members are authors of a novel study published in the American Journal of Public Health that shows a link between economic opportunity – as measured by income differences between generations – and health behaviors (such as smoking and obesity), overall health and mortality. Learn more about the findings of this national study by Atheendar Venkataramani, MD, Ichiro Kawachi, MD, and Alexander Tsai, MD, in this piece…