Eminent social scientists explore RCTs & evidence-based policy in special issue of research journal

In a special issue of the journal Social Science & Medicine, 26 social scientists comment on the usefulness of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) when it comes to evaluating health interventions. This interdisciplinary discussion—inspired by an article by Angus Deaton and Nancy Cartwright— includes articles by Harvard Pop Center faculty members, including Ichiro Kawachi, and  S V Subramanian (who, along with a colleague, authored the preface), Robert J. Sampson, and postdoctoral fellow Rockli Kim.

Self-perceived obesity/weight linked to increased cardiometabolic risks

A study by three faculty members—S. Bryn Austin, SV Subramanian, and Ichiro Kawachi—and their colleague found that Koreans who merely perceived themselves to be overweight or obese faced increased cardiometabolic risks, such as high blood pressure and elevated triglycerides.

Long-term effects on sleep of older natural disaster victims

Ichiro Kawachi, MD, PhD, and Orfeu Buxton, PhD, are authors on a study that evaluated the sleep of those aged 65 and older who were impacted by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Two and a half years after the event, those who experienced material loss, such as financial and home, were still at greater risk of sleep problems. Photo: Tex Texin on Flickr

Can a good marriage help fight the battle of the (midlife) bulge?

Researchers have found that those who feel supported in their marriages were more likely to be at a healthier weight in the midlife years. Harvard Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman, and faculty members Ichiro Kawachi and Laura Kubzansky are authors on the study published in Health Psychology.

Focusing on BMI: A novel study to better understand variations in individual health within a given population

Harvard Pop Center research fellow Rockli Kim, ScD, is lead author on a study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology that aims to help reduce health disparities by comprehensively examining individual heterogeneity in women’s BMI using data  from 57 low- and middle-income countries.

Can having a sense of purpose later in life help you function better physically?

A novel study published in JAMA Psychiatry by Ichiro Kawachi, MD, and Laura Kubzansky, PhD, and colleagues has found an association between having a sense of purpose and better physical functioning, such as grip strength and walking speed, in older adults in the U.S.  

Does timing of socioeconomic status (SES) impact late-life memory function and decline differently?

Researchers have found that early- and later-life SES has an impact on late-life memory in differing ways. The study is published in the American Journal of Epidemiology by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health doctoral student Jessica Marden, along with Harvard Pop Center faculty members Ichiro Kawachi and M. Maria Glymour. Image credit: Nazrul Islam Ripon on Wikimedia Commons