This discussion intends to bring listeners more up to date regarding declining life expectancy in the US via discussion of the National Academy of Sciences' 2021 consensus report, "High and Rising Mortality Rates Among Working-Age Adults." This interview builds upon previous related discussions including my 2013 interview with Dr. Steven Woolf regarding the IOM’s related report, “Shorter Lives, Poorer Health,” my January 2021 follow up interview with Dr. Woolf, my Brian Alexander interview in June 2021, my Professors Gibson-Davis and Hill interview last September and my Prof Carol Graham interview last November.
During this 39 minute interview Prof Harris begins by providing an overview of the report's findings, e.g., what explains the increase in working age mortality and what subpopulations are being impacted. She then discusses US life expectancy compared to other, like countries, the significant variation in life expectancy within the US, e.g., richest v. poorest 1%, she discusses the report's chapter ten, "the relationship between economic factors and mortality," discusses her related Senate HELP Committee testimony from last July touches on mental health, her related Senate HELP Subcommittee testimony last July especially her noting higher rates of disease among younger adults (think: living in an obesogenic environment) and her view regarding what policy reforms the report's findings suggest.
Kathleen Mullan Harris is the James E. Haar Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Adjunct Professor of Public Policy. She was awarded the Golden Goose Award from the US Congress for major breakthroughs in medicine, social behavior, and technological research and the Irene Taeuber Award from the Population Association of America in recognition of original and important contributions to the scientific study of population. Dr. Harris is past president of the Population Association of America, past president of the Interdisciplinary Association of Population Health Science, and an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The NAS report is at: https://www.nap.edu/download/25976.
Professor Mullan Harris's related July 2021 Senate HELP Committee testimony is at: https://www.help.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Harris10.pdf.