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America is Unprepared to Meet the Needs of its Growing Older Adult Population

Sierra Kaplan
This brief describes health and aging care service gaps for U.S. older adults, including how Medicare limitations lead to high health care costs, and encourages the federal government to shore up Medicare, long-term care services, and the supply of aging care specialists to better support America’s growing older adult population.
July 9, 2024

Which Types of People Were Least Likely to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Xue Zhang and Shannon M. Monnat
This brief summarizes the findings from a study that used data from the 2022 National Wellbeing Survey on 7,612 U.S. adults aged 18-64 to identify characteristics of adults who were least likely to get the COVID-19 vaccine and the characteristics associated with different types of vaccine hesitancy.
July 2, 2024

How Did Cognitive Status Impact Health Care Use Among Older Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Katarina A. Sako and Janet M. Wilmoth
This brief presents findings from research that used data from the 2021 Health and Retirement Study to examine differences in health care delays and health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic among a nationally representative sample of U.S. older adults (ages 50+) with versus without cognitive decline. 
June 25, 2024

Suicide Rates are Lower in Places with More Social Infrastructure

Xue Zhang, Danielle Rhubart, and Shannon M. Monnat
This data slice shows that suicide rates among working-age adults in 2016-2019 were significantly lower in counties with more SI, even after accounting for county-level differences in demographic composition (e.g., age, race/ethnicity, education), health care availability, and metropolitan status.
May 7, 2024

States’ COVID-19 Restrictions were Associated with Increases in Drug Overdose Deaths in 2020

Douglas A. Wolf, Shannon M. Monnat, Jennifer Karas Montez, Emily Wiemers, and Elyse Grossman
This brief summarizes the findings of a paper that used national data to identify how states’ COVID-19 policies affected drug overdose rates among U.S. adults ages 25-64 during the first year of the pandemic.
May 2, 2024

The U.S. Military Does Not Adequately Prepare Members for Transition from Service

Emily Graham
This issue brief highlights the shortcomings of veteran transition programs, like TAP, and provides recommendations for improving transition outcomes through more holistic programs.
April 23, 2024

How Does Educational Attainment Influence the Perceived Need for Future Assistance with ADLs?

Julia M. Finan
This brief summarizes the results of a recent study that used data from the 2011-2014 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to examine educational differences in perceived need for future ADL assistance among 54,946 adults aged 40 to 65 years in the United States. 
April 16, 2024

Adopting the Standard Medical Deduction Increased State SNAP Enrollment and Benefits

Yuwei Zhang, Jun Li, Dongmei Zuo, and Colleen M. Heflin
This brief summarizes findings from a study that examined the associations between state SMD adoption and SNAP participation and benefits from 2004 to 2019.
April 9, 2024

Spending Time Socializing in Bars Increases the Risk of Heavy Drinking

Danielle Rhubart, Jennifer Kowalkowski, and Yiping Li
This brief uses data from the 2022 Rural Health and Engagement Survey to examine relationships between time spent in bars and heavy drinking. 
April 2, 2024

Older Adults are at Greater Risk of OUD in Communities with High Social Vulnerability

Tse-Chuan Yang, Seulki Kim, Stephen A. Matthews, and Carla Shoff
This brief summarizes findings from a study that used data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to examine how county characteristics contributed to the prevalence of OUD among Medicare beneficiaries age 65+ in U.S. counties in 2021.
March 26, 2024

The Impact of Industrial Animal Agriculture on the Physical Health of Communities of Color

Mariana Zepeda
This brief summarizes the health risks for communities located near CAFOs. Additionally, it calls for government regulations that improve transparency, management, and consumer empowerment.
March 19, 2024

Waiving SNAP Interviews during the COVID19 Pandemic Increased SNAP Caseloads

Colleen Heflin, William Clay Fannin, Leonard Lopoo, and Siobhan O’Keefe
This brief summarizes findings from a recent study that used data from SNAP offices across 10 states to examine the impact of SNAP interview waivers on SNAP caseloads from January 5th to April 30th of 2021. 
March 12, 2024

Cognitive Functioning is Higher among Older Adults in Walkable Neighborhoods

Tse-Chuan Yang, Seulki Kim, Seung-won Emily Choi, Shannon Halloway, Uchechi A. Mitchell, and Benjamin A. Shaw
This brief summarizes findings from a study that aims to understand how U.S. older adults’ (age 65+) exposures to residential neighborhood environments – specifically walkability and concentrated socioeconomic disadvantage – are associated with their cognitive functioning between 2010 and 2018.
March 5, 2024

Infant Mortality Rates Vary Substantially across Regions of the United States

Marissa Merrifield
This data slice uses data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to compare infant mortality rates by geographic region in the U.S. between 2017-2021.
February 27, 2024

What Factors Increase Risk of Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia?

Elizabeth Vásquez and Kai Zhang
This data slice uses nationwide data from 3,155 counties in the U.S. to identify the factors that best predict county-level rates of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRDs) in 2018. 
February 20, 2024

Black Women Have the Highest Maternal Mortality Rate in the United States

Tori-Ann Haywood
This data slice uses data from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics to describe U.S. maternity mortality rates for women ages 15-45 across different ethnoracial groups between 2018-2022.
February 13, 2024

Are We Accurately Counting the Disabled Population in the United States?

Nastassia Vaitsiakhovich, Scott D. Landes, and Bonnielin K. Swenor

This brief summarizes findings from a recent study that used the 2011-2012 NHIS data to compare the prevalence of the disabled population estimated in the NHIS by using two sets of questions on disability – those from the American Community Survey vs. those from the Washington Group Short Set (WG-SS). Results show that the WG-SS undercounted more than half of adult respondents aged 18 and over who reported being disabled in the ACS questions.

February 6, 2024

Pain Limits Family Caregivers’ Daily Activities

Shelbie G. Turner, Karl A. Pillemer, Jamie R.M. Robinson, and M. Cary Reid
This brief summarizes findings from a recent study that estimated the prevalence of arthritis and activity-limiting pain among family caregivers to older adults. Over half of all caregivers reported bothersome pain in the previous month, 24% of whom had pain that limited their activities on most or every day.

January 30, 2024

Why is Food Insecurity High among U.S. Grandparents who are Caring for Grandchildren?

Madonna Harrington Meyer and Anna Delapaz
This brief draws on interviews with U.S. adults ages 60 and older who are caring for their grandchildren to summarize the factors contributing to food insecurity among grandparents.
January 23, 2024

Asian Americans Experienced Large Increases in Anxiety between 2020 and 2022

Tianqi Zhou
This data slice shows that while Asian adults in the United States have lower average anxiety levels than other ethnoracial groups, they experienced the largest increase in average anxiety between 2020 and 2022. 
January 16, 2024

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Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion and Population Health