Health Disparities in Aging

Health Disparities in Aging includes the analyses of socioeconomic, racial/ethnic, nativity, geographic, and gender inequalities in health and mortality, including period/cohort risks and their underlying social/biological causes. The study of Health Disparities in Aging has been a core area of study at PARC from Year 1. It incorporates socioeconomic inequalities, racial/ethnic and gender differences, and variation in health outcomes by nativity and place of residence, including period and cohort risks and their underlying social and biological mechanisms.

Early-Life Conditions and Older Adult Health, Behavior and Well-Being

Early Life-Conditions and Older Adult Health, Behavior and Well-Being includes the exploration of early developmental circumstances that may be crucial for shaping how we age, including nutrition, infectious disease, social support, education, and gene-environment interactions prenatally and during childhood. This theme is firmly rooted in understanding aging as a process, rather than a discrete stage. Many of us use a life-course framework, relating current status to earlier life decisions.

Global Aging and Health

Global Health and Aging focuses on studies of sociocultural, economic, and environmental circumstances impacting the well-being of older individuals around the world, and analyses of physical, mental and cognitive aging trajectories in diverse and understudied populations across a wide spectrum of socioeconomic development.

Health Care and Long-Term Care in Older Adults

Health Care and Long-Term Care in Older Adults, Investigates the strain that aging societies place on the health care system, both acute care and long-term services and support (LTSS), how to best meet the needs of older and disabled adults, and how to measure and finance the medical burden of aging societies. PARC priorities and the domestic and global need for evidence to inform policy-responses to population and the increasing need for research to inform health care services, especially among individuals with long-term care needs is explicitly reflected in this theme.

Cognition and Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia (ADRD)

Cognition and Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia (ADRD) examines the precursors of cognitive decline and the effects of cognitive decline, including ADRD, on patients, caregivers, and health care systems, both domestically and around the globe. This research theme integrates previously disjointed Penn research on one of the most vexing challenges in preparing for an aging society: preventing ADRDs, and coping with their consequences at the individual and societal level. ADRD currently affects more than 5.5 million Americans, and close to 50 million people worldwide.

COVID-19 and Aging

COVID-19 will have lasting impacts on society and aging research. Marriage rates, fertility rates, savings, employment, caregiving, schooling, and health care have all been impacted, domestically and internationally. COVID-19 will for the foreseeable future be an important aspect in aging research.