Lisa Berkman on the “rectangularization” of the demographic pyramid in The Harvard Gazette

Lisa Berkman sitting in Harvard Yard with colorful chairs

With more people living longer and healthier lives, along with a simultaneous decline in fertility rates, societies are facing a challenge to adapt to this “rectangularization” of the demographic pyramid. In this piece on the increase in life expectancy and “health span” in The Harvard Gazette, Harvard Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman explains how this trend could improve our work force, and how it may be contributing to our national…

Retiring at a later age may require a boost in healthy life expectency

Person walking with a cane

Working longer and later in the lifespan is more possible if it is paired with the “compression of morbidity” — a delayed onset of disability or illness. Center Director Lisa Berkman and her colleague John Rowe have published an article in Nature Aging in which they review recent findings that suggest that while life expectancy may be increasing, the period of life in which functional impairments and disabilities are experienced…

Are those Americans living longer also living healthier?

Person walking with a cane

It is commonly thought that those who live the longest typically experience a condensed period of illness (compression of morbidity) as opposed to many years of chronic illness. However, a recent study published in Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health by former Harvard Pop Center Bell Fellow Hiram Beltrán-Sánchez, PhD, and faculty member SV Subramanian, PhD, suggests that older adults in the U.S. are experiencing a greater disease burden in…

In assessing whether those living longer are also living healthier, broader view of morbidity needed

In the current volume of Global Health Action, three researchers affiliated with the Harvard Pop Center — former Bell Fellow Hiram Beltran-Sanchez, PhD, current Bell Fellow Fahad Razak, MD, and faculty member SV Subramanian (Subu), PhD — have authored a study that challenges the widely accepted, disability based definition of morbidity in the compression of morbidity framework.