Public Release: 

Cultural disparities lead to greater health problems in old age, says new special journal issue

The Gerontological Society of America

Health and longevity vary with peoples' social and economic statuses, and understanding these discrepancies is the topic of the latest special issue of The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological and Social Sciences (Volume 60B, Special Issue II).

Under the title "Health Inequalities Across the Life Course," this compilation of nearly 20 articles focuses on cultural adversity and its cumulative effects on health. The publication was edited by Steven H. Zarit of Penn State University and Leonard I. Pearlin of The University of Maryland.

The authors within provide a picture of how past and present economic hardships and educational attainments contribute to later health, especially as these factors interact with race and gender. Also included is updated information about the rates of morbidity and mortality in relation to minority status, as well as analyses of the reasons for these relationships.

The articles making up this special issue were originally presented a conference held at Penn State University in June 2004, which was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging.


The Journals of Gerontology: Psychological and Social Sciences is a refereed publication of The Gerontological Society of America, the oldest and largest national multidisciplinary scientific organization devoted to the advancement of gerontological research. Founded in 1945, its membership includes some 5,000+ researchers, educators, practitioners, and other professionals in the field of aging. The Society's principal missions are to promote research and education in aging and to encourage the dissemination of research results to other scientists, decision makers, and practitioners.

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