Three cheers for transformative potential of randomized controlled trials and natural experiments to help us better understand how social exposures impact health!

Word cloud about social epi

In honor of the American Journal of Public Health’s 100th anniversary, a commentary by HCPDS Director Lisa Berkman, faculty member Mauricio Avendano, and former Bell Fellow Emilie Courtin spreads enthusiasm about how the implementation of social randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and natural experiments that utilize observational data can help to advance the field of social epidemiology, and to illustrate… “…how credible social policy reforms may be instrumental to address health…

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…

Throwback Thursday: Taking another look at social investment policies and gender health equity (2019 study)

Throwback Thursday news post

Our Associate Director Jason Beckfield, along with then Harvard Pop Center Graduate Student Affiliate Katherine Morris and their colleague Clare Bambra, published a study in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health that found that while European government spending on social investment policies was linked to lower levels of mortality related to cardiovascular disease across the genders, there was variation between the genders depending on the nature of the specific policies.

More generous maternity leave benefits linked to better mental health for women into older age

Harvard Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman, PhD, is co-author of a study published in Social Science & Medicine that explores the relationship between comprehensive maternity leave benefits and women’s mental health in later life, based on evidence from European countries.  The researchers, including Pop Center faculty member and former Bell Fellow Mauricio Avendano, PhD, who is lead author on the study, along with Giacomo Pasini, PhD, who was a visiting…