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High and Rising Mortality Rates Among Working-Age Adults (2021)

Chapter: Appendix C: Biographical Sketches

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Biographical Sketches." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. High and Rising Mortality Rates Among Working-Age Adults. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25976.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Biographical Sketches." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. High and Rising Mortality Rates Among Working-Age Adults. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25976.
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Page 451
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Biographical Sketches." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. High and Rising Mortality Rates Among Working-Age Adults. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25976.
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Page 452
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Biographical Sketches." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. High and Rising Mortality Rates Among Working-Age Adults. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25976.
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Page 453
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Biographical Sketches." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. High and Rising Mortality Rates Among Working-Age Adults. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25976.
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Appendix C Biographical Sketches KATHLEEN MULLAN HARRIS (Chair) is James E. Haar distinguished professor of sociology, adjunct professor of public policy, and Carolina Population Center faculty fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on social inequality and health with particular interests in health disparities, biodemography, sociogenomics, and life course processes. Dr. Harris has served as director and principal investigator of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) since 2004. She developed the integrative design in Add Health that links social, behavioral, and biological sciences for the study of developmental and health trajectories across the early life course. Dr. Harris leads the research team of scholars from sociology, epidemiology, nutrition, economics, cardiology, genetics, and survey methodology in analysis of the multidisciplinary, multilevel Add Health data. Her work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health for the last 30 years, and she has published over 150 articles in more than 80 different disciplinary journals. She was awarded the Golden Goose Award from the U.S. Congress in 2016 for major breakthroughs in medicine, social behavior, and technological research. Dr. Harris is past president of the Population Association of America and an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She holds a Ph.D. in demography from the University of Pennsylvania. TARA BECKER (Program Officer) is a Program Officer for the Committees on National Statistics and Population in the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education at the National Academy of Sciences. In addition to this study, she serves as the Study Director for a study examining the older workforce and employment at older ages and while the second and another focused on developing guidelines for the collection of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation data. Before joining the National Academies, she was a Senior Public Administration Analyst and Senior Statistician for the California Health Interview Survey at the Center for Health Policy Research at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she conducted research on disparities in health insurance coverage and access to health care, as well as on survey data quality and methodology. Prior to this, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the University of California, Los Angeles and a Biostatistician at the University of Wisconsin, Madison Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics. She has a B.A. in sociology and mathematics, an M.S. in sociology, an M.S. in statistics, and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. MICHAEL E. CHERNEW is Leonard D. Schaeffer professor of health care policy and director of the Healthcare Markets and Regulation Lab in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School. His research interests are focused on innovations in payment reform and benefit design. Dr. Chernew is a member of the Congressional Budget Office’s Panel of Health Advisors and a member of the Committee on National Statistics at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. He also serves as vice chair of the Massachusetts Health Connector Board of Directors, research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, coeditor of the American Journal of Managed Care, and editor of the C-1 Prepublication copy, uncorrected proofs 

Journal of Health Economics. In 2010, he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Chernew holds a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University. DAVID M. CUTLER is Otto Eckstein professor of applied economics in the Department of Economics at Harvard University. He examines how population health is changing over time; the importance of medical and nonmedical factors in improved health; and the value of increased medical spending, arguing that medical care is more productive than current statistics indicate and that the medical care cost problem is overstated. Dr. Cutler is also interested in the economics of health insurance and the effects of managed care on the medical system. In 2001, he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, and he serves as a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Dr. Cutler has authored two books, several chapters in edited books, and many published papers on health care and other public policy topics. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ANA V. DIEZ ROUX is dean and distinguished university professor of epidemiology in the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University. Her research is focused on the social determinants of population health and the study of how neighborhoods, particularly urban neighborhoods, affect health; her work has been highly influential in the policy debate on population health and its determinants. With funding from the National Institutes of Health and foundations, Dr. Diez Roux has led large research and training programs in the United States and in collaboration with international partners. Most recently, she convened the Network for Urban Health in Latin America and the Caribbean, which focuses on promoting research, training, and policies to promote urban health throughout the region. Dr. Diez Roux was awarded the Wade Hampton Frost Award by the American Public Health Association for her contributions to public health. She is an elected member of the American Epidemiological Society, the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, and the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Diez Roux holds an M.D. from the University of Buenos Aires, an M.P.H. from The Johns Hopkins University, and a Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. IRMA T. ELO is chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, and is research associate of the university’s Population Aging Research Center and Population Studies Center. She has served as a member and/or chair of several national and international committees, including the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Center for Health Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau’s Scientific Advisory Committee the sociology section on population for the American Sociological Association, the Population Association of America’s (PAA’s) board of directors, PAA’s Committee on Population Statistics, and the International Advisory Board of the Swedish Initiative for Research on Microdata in the Social and Medical Sciences. Dr. Elo’s main research interests are focused on socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in health and mortality across the life course and demographic estimation of mortality, including health and mortality among racial/ethnic immigrant subgroups. She is currently principal investigator of the study, funded by the National Institute on Aging, titled Causes of Geographic Divergence in American Mortality Between 1990 and 2015: Health Behaviors, Health Care Access and Migration. Dr. Elo holds a Ph.D. in public affairs and demography from Princeton University. C-2 Prepublication copy, uncorrected proofs 

DARRELL J. GASKIN is William C. and Nancy F. Richardson professor in health policy and director of the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is a health services researcher and health economist with a focus on health and health care disparities. Dr. Gaskin has published in the leading health services and public health research journals, including the American Journal of Public Health, Health Services Research, Health Affairs, Inquiry, Medical Care, Medical Care Research and Review, and Social Science and Medicine. He is a member the National Advisory Committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Systems for Action program and serves on the board of directors of the American Society of Health Economists. Dr. Gaskin has also served as chair of the board of directors of AcademyHealth and has served on the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Center for Health Statistics. He is a 2019 recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Dr. Gaskin holds an M.A. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in health economics from The Johns Hopkins University. ROBERT A. HUMMER is Howard W. Odum distinguished professor of sociology and fellow of the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is president of the Population Association of America (PAA) and director of Wave VI of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Dr. Hummer’s research is focused on the accurate description and more complete understanding of population health and mortality patterns and trends in the United States. His most recent book is Population Health in America (with Erin R. Hamilton, published by the University of California Press, 2019). Dr. Hummer’s work has been funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute on Aging, and the National Science Foundation. In 2010, he was presented with the Clifford Clogg Award for Early Career Achievement by PAA and in 2019 was presented with the Mentoring Award by the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Florida State University. MALAY K. MAJMUNDAR (Study Director) directs the Committee on Population (CPOP). In addition to serving as study director for this report, he is currently overseeing CPOP activities on family planning and women’s empowerment, climate change and human health, forced migration and refugee movements, the workplace and aging, and sexual and gender diverse populations. He is also developing a future research portfolio for CPOP. While at the National Academies, he has worked on studies on demography, criminal justice, immigration enforcement and statistics, and the federal budget. He has a B.A. in political science from Duke University, a J.D. from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Chicago. RYAN K. MASTERS is assistant professor of sociology and faculty associate of the Population Program and the Health and Society Program at the Institute of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. His interests include the examination of long-term trends in U.S. morbidity; chronic diseases; and mortality rates, including the health consequences of the U.S. obesity epidemic, especially as it relates to premature mortality among the U.S. adult population. Dr. Masters has been involved in advancing and testing new methodological approaches to studying period-based factors, such as health-promoting policies and new medical technologies, and cohort-based factors, such as early-life disease exposure, related to adult health. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology and demography from the University of Texas at Austin. C-3 Prepublication copy, uncorrected proofs 

SHANNON M. MONNAT is Lerner chair for public health promotion; associate professor of sociology; and codirector of the Policy, Place, and Population Health Lab in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Her research is focused on trends and geographic differences in health and mortality, with a special interest in rural health. Dr. Monnat is a national expert on social, structural, and spatial determinants of opioid and other drug use and overdose. Her most recent research has focused on understanding why overdose rates are higher in some places than others. Dr. Monnat has consulted about causes and solutions for addressing the overdose crisis with several national and international organizations, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. She has been the principal or coprincipal investigator on several large federal agency and foundation grants, including through NIH, USDA, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Institute for New Economic Thinking. Dr. Monnat has published over 70 peer-reviewed academic journal articles, book chapters, research briefs, and reports, and has presented her research to numerous public, academic, and policy audiences. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the State University of New York at Albany. BHRAMAR MUKHERJEE is John D. Kalbfleisch collegiate professor and chair of biostatistics, professor of epidemiology, and professor of global public health at the University of Michigan (UM). She is also founding director of UM’s Big Data Summer Institute, research professor at the Michigan Institute of Data Science, and associate director of cancer control and population sciences at the UM Rogel Cancer Center. Dr. Mukherjee’s research interests include statistical methods for analysis of electronic health records, studies of gene–environment interaction, Bayesian methods, shrinkage estimation, and analysis of multiple pollutants. She has coauthored more than 260 publications in statistics, biostatistics, medicine, and public health, and she leads methodological studies supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Murkherjee serves as a fellow of the American Statistical Association and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is the recipient of many awards for her scholarship, service, and teaching at the University of Michigan and elsewhere. Dr. Mukherjee holds an M.Stat. in applied statistics and data analysis from the Indian Statistical Institute and an M.S. in mathematical statistics and a Ph.D. in statistics from Purdue University. ROBERT B. WALLACE is Irene Ensminger Stecher emeritus professor of epidemiology and internal medicine at the University of Iowa Colleges of Public Health and Medicine. He has conducted many population health studies and clinical trials focusing on the prevention and control of chronic illnesses and other disabling conditions of older persons. Dr. Wallace works with community interventions related to the prevention of falls and motor vehicle injuries in older persons. He was a member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and of the National Advisory Council on Aging of the National Institute on Aging. Dr. Wallace is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and has served on many of its studies and panels. He is currently involved in several active research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health and is a fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine. Dr. Wallace holds an M.D. in medicine from Northwestern University and an M.Sc. in epidemiology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. C-4 Prepublication copy, uncorrected proofs 

STEVEN H. WOOLF is director emeritus and senior advisor of the Center on Society and Health and professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he holds the university’s C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright distinguished chair in population health and health equity. He has edited three books and published more than 200 articles in a career focused on raising public awareness about the social, economic, and environmental conditions that shape health and produce inequities. Beyond research, Dr. Woolf works to address these issues through outreach to policy makers and the public, including testimony before Congress, consulting, editorials in major newspapers and social media, and speaking engagements. Dr. Woolf served on the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2001. He holds an M.P.H. from The Johns Hopkins University and an M.D. from Emory University School of Medicine. C-5 Prepublication copy, uncorrected proofs 

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The past century has witnessed remarkable advances in life expectancy in the United States and throughout the world. In 2010, however, progress in life expectancy in the United States began to stall, despite continuing to increase in other high-income countries. Alarmingly, U.S. life expectancy fell between 2014 and 2015 and continued to decline through 2017, the longest sustained decline in life expectancy in a century (since the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919). The recent decline in U.S. life expectancy appears to have been the product of two trends: (1) an increase in mortality among middle-aged and younger adults, defined as those aged 25-64 years (i.e., "working age"), which began in the 1990s for several specific causes of death (e.g., drug- and alcohol-related causes and suicide); and (2) a slowing of declines in working-age mortality due to other causes of death (mainly cardiovascular diseases) after 2010.

High and Rising Mortality Rates among Working Age Adults highlights the crisis of rising premature mortality that threatens the future of the nation's families, communities, and national wellbeing. This report identifies the key drivers of increasing death rates and disparities in working-age mortality over the period 1990 to 2017; elucidates modifiable risk factors that could alleviate poor health in the working-age population, as well as widening health inequalities; identifies key knowledge gaps and make recommendations for future research and data collection to fill those gaps; and explores potential policy implications. After a comprehensive analysis of the trends in working-age mortality by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and geography using the most up-to-date data, this report then looks upstream to the macrostructural factors (e.g., public policies, macroeconomic trends, social and economic inequality, technology) and social determinants (e.g., socioeconomic status, environment, social networks) that may affect the health of working-age Americans in multiple ways and through multiple pathways.

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