University of Wisconsin, Madison

Through the integration of research, training, and teaching, CDHA aims to increase the understanding of behavioral processes related to health and aging. The interdisciplinary research program at CDHA is designed to create links between social demography, biomedical, and epidemiological research on health and aging.

Research Themes
Aging and the life course; Biodemography; Determinants of disparities of aging trajectories; Health economics and health services research; Impacts of place on aging processes.

Pilot Projects

  • 2019. Qiongshi Lu. Testing Gene-environment Interactions without Measuring the Environmental Factor.


  • 2019. Yang Wang. Medicaid Expansions and Formal and Informal Care for the Elderly.


  • 2019. Jason Fletcher. WLS Digitization.


  • 2019. Michal Engelman. Understanding the long-term relationship between Community Health and Voter Turnout in the Midwest.


  • 2018. Jason Fletcher. Gene-Environment Interactions Related to Old Age Cognition and ognitive Decline.


  • 2018. Stephanie Robert. Social Determinants of Health And Wellbeing at Older Ages.


  • 2018. James Raymo. The Demography of Isolation at Older Ages.


  • 2018. Lindsay Jacobs. Work and Cognition at Older Ages: Do Occupations Matter.


  • 2017. Jenna Nobles. Aging through a Nutrition Transition: The Effects of Early-Life Scarcity on Later-Life Health.


  • 2017. Michal Engelman. Who Enjoys An Immigrant Health Advantage? Nativity, Race/Ethnicity, and Population Health Patterns.

    It contributed to this NIA grant: R01 AG060109.


  • 2017. Kristen Malecki. The Social Epigenomics of Health Disparities: How Different Dimensions of Disadvantage Get Under the Skin.


  • 2016. Michal Engelman. Why Does the Immigrant Health Advantage Disappear over the Life Course?.

    It contributed to this NIA grant: R01 AG060109.


  • 2016. Alberto Palloni. Early Conditions, Delayed Effects and Their Impact on Adult Mortality Patterns Summary.

    NIA R01 proposal submitted but not funded.


  • 2016. James Raymo. Living Arrangements at Older Ages: A Cross-National Comparison.


  • 2016. Federico Rey and Pamela Herd. The Role of Early Life Experiences in Shaping the Gut Microbiome: A Study Incorporating the Microbiome into the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study.


  • 2015. Eva Dugof, Michal Engelman, Kevin Look and Amy Kind. Health Trajectories in Older AdultsHealth Trajectories in Older Adults.


  • 2015. Jason Fletcher. Determinants of Telomere Length in the Health and Retirement Study.


  • 2015. Jennifer Dykema, Dana Garbarski, Nora Cate Schaeffer and Kenneth D. Croes. Uncovering the Relationship between Interviewer-Respondent Interaction and Compliance in the Collection of Anthropometric Measures and Physical Performance AssessmentsUncovering the Relationship between Interviewer-Respondent Interaction and Compliance in the Collection of Anthropometric Measures and Physical Performance Assessments.


  • 2014. Craig Atwood. Veteran Health in the WLS.


  • 2014. Leonelo Bautista and Alberto Palloni. Chronic Psychosocial Stress, and Risk of Metabolic Syndrome.


  • 2014. Katherine Curtis, James Raymo, andJun Zhu. Aging and Place: New Methods to Identify Optimal Spatial Units for Health Outcomes among the Older Population.

    R21AG050790 “Isolation and Emotional Health at Older Ages: New Approaches to Studying Social Environment and Health” was submitted to NIA in October 2014.
    1534386 “New Approaches to Studying Neighborhood Effects and Health: Isolation and Emotional Health at Older Ages” was submitted to NSF in January 2015. Neither was funded.


  • 2014. Jason Fletcher. Gene-Environment Interactions in the Health and Retirement Study.

    R21AG051895 “New Evidence of Causal Effects of Early Life Circumstances on Aging Outcomes” was submitted to NIA in February 2015. Another proposal, R21AG03702 was submitted on 10/15/2015.  They were not funded.


  • 2014. Nora Cate Schaeffer. Standardization and Motivation to Provide DNA Samples: Rapport and Motivation in the Standardized Interview.

    1424377 “Interviewing Practices, Conversational Practices, and Rapport in the Standardized Survey Interview” was submitted to NSF in January 2014. It was not funded. “Enhancing Participation in Medical Research in Underrepresented Populations: Effects of Interviewers, Respondents, and Questions on the Measurement of Health Outcomes and Health Disparities” was submitted to CDC on 10/7/2015.


  • 2014. Barbara Wolfe,Jason Fletcher, Jan S. Greenburg, and Marsha Mailick. Disrupted Family Dynamics: How Children Are Affected by Sibling Death, and Disability.

    R01HD083388 “Effects of Sibling Death, Disability and Composition Changes on Surviving Siblings” was submitted to NICHD in June 2014. It was not funded
    R01HD086123 “The Effects of Sibling Relationships on Children’s Development” was submitted to NICHD in February 2015.


  • 2013. Hiram Beltrán-Sánchez. Biological Risk Profiles in the Elderly Mexican Population at the Turn of the 21st Century.


  • 2013. Corinne Engelman. Identification of Gene Environment Interactions in Cognitive Decline.

    This pilot received funding from UW Graduate School to extend it to a forth pathway, vitamin D metabolism. “Genomic and Metabolomic Data Integration in a Longitudinal Cohort at Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease” NIA R01 AG054047 submitted 12/11/15.


  • 2013. Marsha Mailick. Genotype-Phenotype Associations and Genetic Risk of Aging: Health, Reproductive, Mental Health and Cognitive Phenotypes.

    NIH R01 HD082110 “FMR1 Premutation Phenotypes in Population-Based & Clinically-Ascertained Samples” 9/1/15-5/31/20


  • 2013. Donald Moynihan, Barry Burden, and Jason Fletcher. Political Participation of Older Americans: the Role of Social and Genetic Factors.

    NIA R21 AG049148 “Health, Cognitive Functioning, and Political Participation among Older Adults” was submitted in February 2014.  NIA R21 AG050763 “Health, Cognitive Functioning, and Civic Engagement among Older Adults” was submitted October 2014. Neither of them was funded.


  • 2013. F. Javier Nieto and Alberto Palloni. The Impact of the Economic Recession on the Health and Wellbeing of Elderly Adults.


  • 2012. John D. DeLamater. Is There a Hormonal Component to Sexual Functioning in Later Life.


  • 2012. Felix Elwert. Proximity to Kin in Old Age and Ill Health.


  • 2012. Pamela Herd. Veteran Status and Later-Life Health: Evidence from Sibling Fixed-Effects Models.

    This is a joint project with Andrew S. London, Sociology, Syracuse University, and Janet Wilmoth, Sociology, Syracuse University. Wilmoth’s  “Military Service and Health Outcomes in Later Life” (R01AG028480 6/1/07-5/31/11).


  • 2012. Alberto Palloni. Trends and Determinants of Mortality Disparities between the U.S. and Other High-Income Countries: 1980-2010.


  • 2011. Whitney P. Witt. Meta–Analysis of the Effect of Education on Mortality.

    R41 MC23625, 4/1/12-3/31/14, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), “Impact of Preconception and Contextual Factors on Birth and Child Health Outcomes”


  • 2011. Alberto Palloni. Early Childhood Conditions, Reproduction of Socioeconomic Inequalities and the Persistence of Health Disparities.

    P01 AG20179 “Wisconsin Longitudinal Study: Tracking the Life Course” was not funded.


  • 2011. James R. Walker. Meta–Analysis of the Effect of Education on Mortality.



Center Administrator/Media Contact: Janet Clear