Demography of Health and Aging Training Seminar- Jessie West and Christina Kamis - Duke University

West: "Hearing and Cognitively Impaired Life Expectancies in the U.S." Kamis: "Overcrowding, Poverty, and COVID-19 Deaths across U.S. Counties: Are Disparities Growing Over Time?"

    Date:  10/29/2020 (Thu)

    Time:  3:30pm- 5:00pm

    Location:  ZOOM: https://duke.zoom.us/j/92212853985

    Organizer:  Scott Lynch


Meeting Schedule: (Not currently open for scheduling. Please contact the seminar organizer listed above.)

    3:30pm - Seminar Presentation (3:30pm to 5:00pm)


    Additional Comments:  West abstract: As the population ages, increased prevalence of cognitive and sensory impairments may pose growing public health challenges. Among the nine modifiable risk factors for dementia, the highest percentage (9%) of dementia cases are attributed to hearing impairment. While much research has examined the relationship between hearing impairment and cognition, almost none has translated these relationships into a meaningful, life course metric: how many years of life individuals can expect to live with both impairments and how hearing impairment affects years lived with cognitive impairment. Our study fills this gap by using Bayesian multistate life table methods applied to nine waves of the Health and Retirement Study (1998-2014) to estimate years of life to be spent (1) with/without hearing and cognitive impairment, and (2) with/without cognitive impairment, conditional on having versus not having hearing impairment. Preliminary results for aim 1 reveal that at age 50, individuals will live 18.9 (18.7-19.2) years healthy, 4.3 (4.2-4.5) years hearing impaired but cognitively intact, 4.2 (4.0-4.3) years hearing unimpaired but cognitively impaired, and 2.3 (2.2-2.6) years with both impairments. Women will spend more years healthy, hearing unimpaired but cognitively impaired, or with both impairments; men will spend more years hearing impaired but cognitively intact. People with more education will spend more years hearing impaired but cognitively intact; people with less education will spend more years hearing unimpaired but cognitively impaired or with both impairments. Our study is one of the first to investigate the implications of hearing impairment for years of cognitively impaired life. Kamis:In March 2020, U.S. public health and government officials began recommending physical distancing behaviors to slow the spread of COVID-19. However, a growing line of research underscores that socio-environmental factors that limit the ability to physically distance may contribute to disparities in the impact of COVID-19. For example, overcrowded housing may increase the transmission of infectious diseases despite county- or state-level physical distancing procedures. In this paper, we examine the relationship between the percentage of overcrowded households and COVID-19 deaths across U.S. counties. We find that percentage of overcrowded households is a significant predictor of cumulative COVID-19 deaths and that the relationship between overcrowding and COVID-19 deaths changes overtime. Furthermore, we find evidence that poverty exacerbates the relationship between overcrowding and COVID-19 deaths. Our findings underscore that disadvantaged areas may be more vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 and that this vulnerability may lead to growing disparities over time.