Economic downturns negatively impact future cognitive functioning of older U.S. workers

A study published in The Journals of Gerontology Series B by recent Harvard Bell Fellow Philipp Hessel, Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman, and faculty member Mauricio Avendano has found exposure to economic downturns among U.S. workers approaching retirement age to be associated with decreased cognitive functioning later in life. Longer periods of exposure to downturns were found to be associated with lower levels of functioning.

Working single mothers may be at slightly higher risk of heart disease, stroke & smoking

Learn more about the findings of a study published in the American Journal of Public Health by Harvard Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman, PhD, Research Associate Iván Mejía-Guevara, PhD, Faculty Member Mauricio Avendano, PhD, former Pop Center Fellow Erika Sabbath, ScD and colleagues, in this Reuters article.

Europeans exposed to economic downturn during their 40s may face poorer health later in life

A study published in the European Journal of Public Health by Harvard Pop Center Bell Fellow Philipp Hessel, PhD, and former Bell Fellow and current faculty member Mauricio Avendano, PhD, examines the impact of economic downturns experienced during early and mid adulthood on late-life (55-80) health.

Israel National Institute for Health Policy Research to hold international health policy conference

The 6th International Jerusalem Conference on Health Policy will be held May 23-25, 2016 in Jerusalem. Harvard Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman and faculty member Mauricio Avendano will be speaking at the conference. There is also a Call for Papers with a submission deadline of December 17, 2015. Learn more!

Participation in religious organizations may offer mental health benefits beyond those offered by other forms of social participation

Pop Center Faculty member Mauricio Avendano has co-authored a cross-national study examining whether changes in different forms of social participation were associated with changes in depressive symptoms in older Europeans. Findings show that increased participation in religious organizations predicted a decline in depressive symptoms, while participation in political/community organizations was associated with an increase in depressive symptoms. The study was published in American Journal of Epidemiology and was also referenced…

Single motherhood before age 50 linked to poorer health later in life

Harvard Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman, PhD, is lead author on a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health that found that single motherhood before the age of 50 was associated with poorer health in later life. The association was stronger in England, the US, Denmark, and Sweden than in some of the other countries, such as those in Southern Europe, suggesting that social supports (e.g., a…

Is education a factor in mortality gap between U.S. & Europe?

Harvard Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman, PhD, and faculty member Mauricio Avendano, PhD, are co-authors on a study published in the American Journal of Public Health that suggests that the larger educational disparities in mortality in the United States partly explain why US adults have higher mortality than their European counterparts. Although more evidence is needed, the study suggests that policies to reduce mortality among the lower educated could be…