The Lerner Center is a national expert in population and community health research, outreach, and education focused on the social, spatial, and structural determinants of physical, mental, and behavioral health. The Center was established in 2011 with a gift from Sid and Helaine Lerner. nbsp; Launched in February 2019, our Population Health Research Brief Series describes findings from recent population health research conducted by our Center affiliates and presents our experts’ perspectives on pressing population health issues affecting us locally, regionally, and nationally. The series specifically focuses on social, spatial, and structural determinants of physical, mental, and behavioral health. Sign up to receive the Population Health Research Brief Series.

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2024

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Suicide Rates are Lower in Places with More Social Infrastructure, Xue Zhang, Danielle Rhubart, and Shannon M. Monnat

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States’ COVID-19 Restrictions were Associated with Increases in Drug Overdose Deaths in 2020, Douglas A. Wolf, Shannon M. Monnat, Jennifer Karas Montez, Emily E. Wiemers, and Elyse Grossman

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

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How Does Educational Attainment Influence the Perceived Need for Future Assistance with Activities of Daily Living?, Julia M. Finan

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Adopting the Standard Medical Deduction Increased State SNAP Enrollment and Benefits, Yuwei Zhang, Jun Li, Dongmei Zhu, and Colleen Heflin

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Spending Time Socializing in Bars Increases the Risk of Heavy Drinking, Danielle Rhubart, Jennifer Kowalkowski, and Yiping Li

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Older Adults are at Greater Risk of Opioid Use Disorder in Communities with High Social Vulnerability, Tse-Chuan Yang, Seulki Kim, Stephen A. Matthews, and Carla Shoff

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A Fork in the Road: Uncovering the Impact of Industrial Animal Agriculture on the Physical Health of Communities of Color, Mariana Zepeda

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Waiving SNAP Interviews during the COVID-19 Pandemic Increased SNAP Caseloads, Colleen Heflin, William Fannin, Leonard M. Lopoo, and Siobhan O'Keefe

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Cognitive Functioning is Higher among Older Adults in Walkable Neighborhoods that Have Low Economic Disadvantage, Tse-Chuan Yang, Seulki Kim, Seung-won Emily Choi, Shannon Halloway, Uchechi A. Mitchell, and Benjamin A. Shaw

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Infant Mortality Rates Vary Substantially across Regions of the United States, Marissa Merrifield

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What Factors Increase Risk of Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia?, Elizabeth Vásquez and Kai Zhang

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Black Women Have the Highest Maternal Mortality Rate in the United States, Tori-Ann Haywood

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Are We Accurately Counting the Disabled Population in the United States?, Nastassia Vaitsiakhovich, Scott D. Landes, and Bonnielin K. Swenor

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Pain Limits Family Caregivers’ Daily Activities, Shelbie G. Turner, Karl A. Pillemer, Jamie Robinson, and M. Cary Reid

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Why is Food Insecurity High among U.S. Grandparents who are Caring for Grandchildren?, Madonna Harrington Meyer and Anna Delapaz

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Asian Americans Have Relatively Low Anxiety but Experienced Large Increases in Anxiety between 2020 and 2022, Tianqi Zhou

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Cognitive Functioning among U.S. Older Adults Differs by Gender and Urbanicity, Elizabeth Lawrence, Samantha John, and Tirth Bhatta

2023

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The Federal Government Must Revise Public Housing Policies to Protect Vulnerable Populations from Evictions, Caroline Grabowski

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Bridging the Gap: Reducing Disparities in Reproductive Healthcare for Black and White Women, Emma Weiden

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Stronger Regulations on Air Pollution Could Reduce Cardiovascular Disease Mortality Rates, Yue Sun

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Behavioral Science Interventions Could Increase SNAP Comprehension and Awareness Among Military Families, Colleen Heflin, Hannah Patnaik, Leonard M. Lopoo, and Siobhan O'Keefe

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Serving Those Who Served: Renegotiating Support and Benefits for U.S. Military Veterans with Less than Honorable Discharges, Mariah Brennan and Emily Graham

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Sexual Minorities are More Depressed and Anxious than Heterosexuals in the U.S., Especially among Women, Joshua Grove

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COVID-19 Mortality Rates were Higher in States that Limited Governments from Enacting Public Health Emergency Orders, Xue Zhang, Mildred E. Warner, and Gen Meredith

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ACA Medicaid Expansions Did Not Significantly Improve Maternal Morbidity, Pinka Chatterji, Hanna Glenn, Sara Markowitz, and Jennifer Karas Montez

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Older Adults with a History of Psychiatric Conditions Experience More Cognitive Decline than Older Adults Without this History, Maria T. Brown and Miriam Mutambudzi

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Democratic Erosion Predicts Rising Deaths from Drug Poisoning and Infectious Disease, Jennifer Karas Montez, Kent Jason G. Cheng, and Jacob M. Grumbach

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Collegiate Recovery Programs are An Effective But Underused Resource on College Campuses, Emily Graham

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How Did Healthcare Affordability Change for U.S. Adults with Intellectual Disability After the Implementation of the Affordable Care Act?, Nastassia Vaitsiakhovich

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Medicaid-Insured Older Adults on SNAP May Have Stronger Medication Adherence, Colleen Heflin, Chinedum O. Ojinnaka, Irma A. Arteaga, Leslie Hodges, and Gabriella Alphonso

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Financial Rewards Tied to Quality Measures Lead Home Health Agencies to Exaggerate Their Improvements, Jun Li and Meher Chahal

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Opioid Treatment Programs Can Reduce Opioid-Related Emergency Department Visits and Foster Care Placements, Lindsey Rose Bullinger, Vivian Wang, and Kenneth A. Feder

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The Opioid Epidemic Has Disrupted Children’s Living Arrangements, Mónica L. Caudillo, Andres Villarreal, and Philip N. Cohen

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How has the Opioid Overdose Crisis Affected Child Maltreatment in the U.S.?, Alexander Chapman

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Over Two-Thirds of Opioid Overdose Victims in Canada were Employed Before They Died, Alexander Cheung, Joseph Marchand, and Patricia Mark

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U.S. Counties with Higher Drug Overdose Rates Have Lower School Test Scores, Rajeev Darolia, Sam Owens, and John Tyler

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Counties with Higher Prescription Opioid Presence Have Slower Student Learning Rates, Jessica Drescher and Carrie Townley-Flores

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The OxyContin® Reformulation in 2010 Increased States’ Food Insecurity Rates, Colleen Heflin and Xiaohan Sun

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How Has the Opioid Crisis Affected Health, Health Care Use, and Crime in the United States?, Johanna Catherine Maclean, Justine Mallatt, Christopher J. Ruhm, and Kosali Simon

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Which Demographic Groups and Which Places Have the Highest Drug Overdose Rates in the U.S.?, Shannon M. Monnat

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What is the Effect of Opioid Use During Pregnancy on Infant Health and Wellbeing at Birth?, Jessica Pac, Christine Durrance, Lawrence Berger, and Deborah Ehrenthal

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Federal Medication-Assisted Treatment Expansion Grants Do Not Reduce Homelessness, Andrew Sullivan and Changwe Park

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Children in Economically Disadvantaged Households Have Lower Early Literacy Skills than their Higher-Income Peers, Michah W. Rothbart, Colleen Heflin, and Gabriella Alphonso

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State COVID-19 Policies that Restricted In-Person Interaction and Provided Economic Support Saved Lives During the First Year of the Pandemic, Yue Sun and Erin Bisesti

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CDC Guidelines Hide the Alzheimer Disease Mortality Burden among Adults with Down Syndrome, Scott D. Landes

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Exposure to Free School Meals in Kindergarten Has Lasting Positive Effects on Students’ Attendance, Samantha Trajkovski, Amy Ellen Schwartz, and Michah W. Rothbart

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The U.S. Should Increase Access to Medication for Opioid Use Disorder Among Incarcerated Individuals, Cody Nagle

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The End of the “Chemical Imbalance” Theory of Depression - What Now?, Austin Brown

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Food Insecurity is a Common Problem for Military Service Members and their Families, Colleen Heflin and Gabriella Alphonso

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How Did COVID-19 School Closures Affect Adolescents with ADHD?, Nandini Jhawar, Ashley Schiros, Andrew S. London, and Kevin Antshel

2022

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Mothers of Disabled Children Faced Numerous Challenges During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Amy Lutz, Sujung (Crystal) Lee, and Baurzhan Bokayev

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Combating Social Isolation and Loneliness Among Veterans after Separation from Military Service, Emily Graham

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How Has Grandparenthood Changed in Rural China?, Merril D. Silverstein

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Older Adults on SNAP Experience Gaps in Benefits, Colleen Heflin, Leslie Hodges, Irma A. Arteaga, Chinedum O. Ojinnaka, and Gabriella Alphonso

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The Unequal Burden of Long COVID, Marc A. Garcia, Catherine Garcia, and Erin Bisesti

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Refugee Gardening: An Opportunity to Improve Economic Conditions, Food Security, and Mental Health, Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern, Rashmi Gangamma, Bhavneet Walia, and Anna Zoodsma

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Limited Cognitive Ability May Reduce SNAP Participation among Older Adults, Colleen Heflin, Dongmei Zuo, and Gabriella Alphonso

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Conservative State Policies Contribute to Higher Mortality Rates among Working-age Americans, Jennifer Karas Montez, Nader Mehri, and Shannon M. Monnat

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The Cost of Being a Woman: How Race and Education Affect the Gender Pay Gap, Erin Bisesti and Marc A. Garcia

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Older Immigrants Are More Likely Than Older Nonimmigrants to Experience Loneliness, Stephanie Zemba and Janet Wilmoth

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Does COVID-19 Infection Increase Blood Pressure?, Kevin Heffernan and Andrew Heckel

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Sociocultural and Demographic Drivers of Latino Population Health in New York State, Marc A. Garcia, Mara G. Sheftel, Adriana M. Reyes, and Catherine Garcia

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Allowing Cities to Mandate Employer Paid Sick Leave Could Reduce Deaths among Working-Age Adults, Douglas A. Wolf, Jennifer Karas Montez, and Shannon M. Monnat

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In Rural America, Older Adult Vaccination Rates were Higher in Counties with More Aging and Disability Services, Yue Sun and Danielle Rhubart

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Native American Mental Health: Adding Culture to the Conversation, Margaret Rose

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Social Support Protected Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Jennifer Kowalkowski and Danielle C. Rhubart

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Expansions in the U.S. Child Care and Development Block Grant Improved Program Stability, Hyojeong Kim, Colleen Heflin, and Taryn Morrissey

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The Chances of Dying Young Differ Dramatically Across U.S. States, Nader Mehri and Jennifer Karas Montez

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Resilience is Low among Both Military and Non-Military Populations with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Kelsey Roberts, Janet Wilmoth, and Shannon M. Monnat

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COVID-19 Negatively Impacted Health and Social Relationships among Working-Age Adults with Disabilities, Claire Pendergrast and Shannon M. Monnat

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Plant-Centered Diets Among Older Adults: The Need for Improved Nutritional Health Messaging, Margaret Rose

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Nine Ways Grandparenting is Changing with the COVID-19 Pandemic, Madonna Harrington Meyer

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COVID-19 Has Reduced the Latino Mortality Advantage among Older Adults, Marc A. Garcia and Rogelio Sáenz

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Civil Rights, Firearm Safety, and Environmental Protection Policies Predict Better Health among U.S. Midlife Adults, Blakelee R. Kemp, Jacob M. Grumbach, and Jennifer Karas Montez

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Social Infrastructure (“Third Places”) is Not Distributed Equally Across the U.S., Danielle Rhubart, Yue Sun, Claire Pendergrast, and Shannon M. Monnat

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White COVID-19 Deaths Increased More in Red States Than in Blue States in 2021, Rogelio Sáenz and Marc A. Garcia

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Mental Health After Injury: How Neighborhoods Impact Recovery, Bryce Hruska, Maria Pacella-Labarbara, Ivan E. Castro, Richard L. George, and Douglas L. Delahanty

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Safe Consumption Sites are Critical to Reducing Drug Overdoses, Alexandra Punch

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Unhealthy Workplace Conditions Contribute to Physician Suicide, Mariah Brennan Nanni and Alexandra Punch

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Medical Visits Related to Firearm Injuries Increased During COVID-19, Rachel Chernet and Margaret K. Formica

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Rural Adults Report Worse COVID-19 Impacts than Urban Adults, Shannon M. Monnat

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COVID-19 Deaths Soared among U.S. Whites in 2021, Rogelio Saenz, Marc A. Garcia, and Claire Pendergrast

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Most Home-Delivered Meal Recipients with Dementia Receive Support from Friends and Family, but More Social Activity is Needed, Claire Pendergrast

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Aging and Disability Services are Unequally Distributed Across the United States, Claire Pendergrast and Danielle Rhubart

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Rural Working-Age Adults Report Worse Health than their Urban Peers, Shannon M. Monnat and Danielle Rhubart

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Fitness, Parks, and Active Transportation Organizations Support Community Recovery and Physical Activity After Disasters, Claire Pendergrast, Scott Miles, Youngjun Choe, and Nicole Errett

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Latinos Report Higher Rates of Cognitive Impairment than U.S.-Born Whites, But Rates Vary Between Latino Subgroups, Claire Pendergrast, Marc A. Garcia, and Catherine Garcia

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What Do Epidemic History and Sexual Minority Men’s Experiences of HIV and COVID-19 Teach Us About Pandemic Preparedness?, Amy Braksmajer and Andrew London

2021

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Reported Reasons for Avoiding the COVID-19 Vaccine Vary by Age, Kelsey Wilber

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Billions in COVID-19 Rental Assistance Fails to Reach Tenants, William Clay Fannin

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COVID-19 Has Had Devastating Economic Impacts on Older Black and Latinx Adults, Claire Pendergrast, Amy Thierry, and Marc A. Garcia

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Consistent SNAP Participation Increases Preventative Health Care Visits for Infants, Colleen Heflin, Irma A. Arteaga, and Julia Stafford

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The U.S. Should Expand Access to Dental Care for Older Adults, Madonna Harrington Meyer, Sarah Reilly, and Julia Finan

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Older Adults are More Likely to Avoid COVID-19 Information, Julia Nolte and Corinna Löckenhoff

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Rural Counties Lost More Years of Life than Urban Counties in 2020, Yue Sun

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Women Report Worse Employment Impacts from Family Caregiving, Claire Pendergrast

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How Are Parental and Sibling Military Service Related to Adolescent Depression and Mental Health Service Use?, Andrew London

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Do Minimum Charity Care Provision Requirements Increase Provision of Charity Care in Nonprofit Hospitals?, Michah W. Rothbart and Nara Yoon

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The U.S. Child Care Subsidy Program Is Underused but Well-Positioned to Promote Racial Equity, Taryn Morrissey, Colleen Heflin, and William Fannin