James S. House

Network on Life Course Health Dynamics and Disparities in 21st Century America

Research Project Description

This project brings together a network of scientists and institutions at the forefront of research on the social determinants of US population health that can develop needed human and technical infrastructure to understand trends and disparities. Three of the most salient recent trends are (1) a decline in the rate of increase in life expectancy among American women, (2) an increase in socioeconomic differences in health and mortality, especially by education, and (3) a decrease in black-white differences in life expectancy. Network meetings, working groups, and the research agenda are be guided by three related aims: to better understand the social, economic, and behavioral causes of these health trends and their implications for the future; to determine the likelihood that these trends and disparities will characterize future cohorts; and to identify the factors that can contribute most to improving the health of disadvantaged groups, thus bringing America's levels of population health and spending on health closer to comparably wealthy nations.

The network is composed of a multidisciplinary group of scholars who work across data sets, methodological approaches, and theoretical traditions. It focuses on development of the most pressing research questions, as well as on sharing and using the most promising data and methods to yield analytical results of the greatest importance to science and policy. The network and its infrastructure serve to enhance the productivity of individual researchers, create a multidisciplinary team to develop new interdisciplinary approaches and findings, and, by including established and early career scholars, contribute to developing the next generation of population health scientists. Three sites will lead the network: University of Michigan, University of Southern California, and University of Texas.

Funding: National Institute on Aging (1 R24 AG 045061 01 A1)

Funding Period: 9/15/2014 to 6/30/2019

International Focus: United States of America

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