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The effect of poverty, stress and immune function on health across the life-course


Project Summary

This project assess the medium term impact of a large-scale national anti-poverty program on disease and health risk of young adults age (19-25) and their parents or caregivers (age 55-65). We build on a longitudinal randomized control trial designed to evaluate the impact of an unconditional cash transfer program in a low-income setting. A fourth wave of data on the study population will include new measures of immune response, disease risk, and cognitive capacity. Combing these measures with information from previous waves, including the pre-intervention period, will allow us to map out the biological, behavioral and economic pathways through which poverty influences health through the life-course. Specifically, we will exploit the exogenous change in income to estimate the causal effect of income poverty on immune function, and the role of stress in mediating this relationship. By estimating this relationship for older and younger adults we can observe whether the hypothesized relationships vary across the life-course. The proposal addresses the National Institute of Ageing’s Goal B to ‘better understand the effects of personal, interpersonal, and societal factors on ageing, including mechanisms through which these factors exert their effects.’ Within Goal B, the proposal responds to objective B1: ‘Illuminate the pathways by which social, psychological, economic, and behavioral factors affect health in middle-aged and older adults.’



Project Details

Updated: 2020-09-01