Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Stanford University


For immediate release November 20, 2009 - CHP/PCOR Press Release

For more information contact
Teal Pennebaker

Demography & Aging Center Receives Renewed NIA Funding to Support Series of Workshops on Demography Research

Stanford, CA-- Stanford Health Policy has received five years of renewed support for its Center on the Demography and Economics of Health and Aging (CDEHA). The National Institute on Aging funding will help expand the center's initiative to inform the academic community about demography and economic research in the area of health and aging.

"Thanks to NIA's continued support, CDEHA will be able to convene a series of training workshops at Stanford on demography research," Stanford Health Policy director and CDEHA principal investigator Alan Garber said. "Demography underpins research in many disciplines.  CDEHA's efforts will help the Stanford research community gain a deeper understanding of population science and enable investigators to learn how demographic analyses can be included in their research."

Co-principal investigator Shripad Tuljapurkar is creating and leading the workshop series, which will take place at Stanford over the next several years. Tuljapurkar is planning four workshops over the next three years-two on formal demography and two on biodemography (including genetic and phenotypic dynamics as they relate to health).

The NIA money will also go towards administrative needs and new project development. Two projects have been selected for 2009-2010 support, and in subsequent years new project funding will be awarded to at least two junior level Stanford investigators who are interested in the demography and economics of aging-in any part of the world.

"The Quantitative Genetic Architecture of Sex Differences in Longevity" is one of the projects receiving funding this year. Using statistical analyses and modeling, the project will investigate the heritability of longevity and the sex-specific selective effects (e.g. menopause) on human life-cycles.

The second CDEHA-supported project for 2009-2010 is "How and Why Do US Counties and UK Registration Areas Differ in the Distribution of Age at Death?" The pilot project looks at mortality data from counties in the US and local areas in the UK to illuminate the age variances in adult deaths. This research will be the building blocks for future international comparisons of the nature and sources of mortality inequalities across nations.

A seed grant program at Stanford since 1999, CDEHA has done research on the needs of the rapidly expanding elderly populations in the United States and abroad. NIA's funding ensures CDEHA's continued presence at Stanford through 2014.

CDEHA is one of fourteen NIA-supported centers across the country. Housed in academic communities, the centers are all charged with improving the public's and policymakers' information on how best to address population aging issues.

 "The NIA Demography Centers have played a key role in helping create the new fields of demography and economics of aging, and are crucial to understanding population aging in America and around the world," said Richard Suzman, Ph.D., director of NIA's Division of Behavioral and Social Research, which funds the Centers. "By studying how population dynamics, economics, health and societal programs relate to each other, the Centers have provided significant new insights that are highly relevant to policy makers."

To date, CDEHA's publications have assessed how the well-being of older populations is affected by trends in demography, economics, medicine and health care. Stanford Health Policy core faculty Jay Bhattacharya is the center's data resource director, and SHP executive director Kathryn McDonald is CDEHA's associate director.

Topics: Aging | Economics | Health and Medicine | Health policy | United States