Fall 2003 Population News Archive

Fred Pampel taught a two-week course on Logistic Regression at the University of Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis and Collection, July 22 to August 1, 2003 in Colchester, England.

At the 2003 American Sociological Association meetings in Atlanta, Georgia, August 16-19, Denney, Justin T., Patrick M. Krueger, Richard G. Rogers, and Jason D. Boardman presented Race/ethnic and sex differentials in body mass among U.S. Adults. Current research incompletely documents race/ethnic and sex disparities in body mass, especially at the national level. Data from the 2000 National Health Interview Survey, Sample Adult File are used to examine overall and sex-specific disparities in body mass for non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Puerto Ricans, Mexican Americans, and Cuban Americans. Two complimentary multivariate regression techniques, ordinary least squares and multinomial logistic, are employed to control for important confounding factors. The presenters find significantly higher body masses for non-Hispanic blacks, Native Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Mexican Americans compared to non-Hispanic whites. Among very obese individuals, these relationships are more pronounced for females. Given the known health consequences associated with overweight and obesity, and recent trends toward increasing body mass in the U.S., these findings underscore the need for public health policies that target specific subpopulations to close the wide disparities in body mass in the U.S.

Justin Denney, Population Program graduate student, received notification that his manuscript "Race/Ethnic and Sex Differentials in Body Mass among U.S. Adults" has been accepted for publication by the journal Ethnicity & Disease, an educational publication for healthcare professionals. It will appear in the July 2004 issue. Congratulations, Justin!

Robert McNown has just finished a (2003) semester as a Visiting Professor in the Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics at the University of Sydney. In addition to teaching two courses in applied econometrics, Robert presented seminars, based on his work in time series models of fertility behavior, at Monash University in Melbourne, Adelaide University, and in his home department. During this past semester several of his papers in this same research area have been published (see "in Print"). Robert looks forward to returning to Boulder next semester and resuming research projects with the Program on Population Processes.

Randall Kuhn travelled to Bintan Island in Riau, Indonesia from September 20-25, 2003, for a conference on Migration and Health in Asia, organized by the Asian MetaCentre for Population and Sustainable Development Analysis at the National University of Singapore. He presented a paper entitled "A Longitudinal Analysis of Health and Mortality in a Migrant-Sending Region of Bangladesh".

At the annual meeting of the Southern Demographic Association in Arlington, Virginia, October 23-25, 2003:

Patrick M. Krueger presented a paper titled "The Multifaceted Effects of Socioeconomic Status on Physical Activity among Aging Adults" and also chaired a session titled "Studies of Fertility."

Rick Rogers chaired the session, "Influences of Migration, Race, and Religion."

Justin Denney, Rick Rogers, Patrick M. Krueger and Bob Hummer (University of Texas at Austin) presented a paper entitled "Adult Suicide Mortality in the United States: Individual and Contextual Covariates." We examine individual and contextual risk factors for adult suicide mortality, a major social problem and a central cause of preventable death inthe United States. We link nine consecutive years of the National Health Interview Survey (1986-1994) to the Multiple Cause of Death file through the National Death Index (1986-1997), and use Cox proportional hazard models to examine how demographic, social, and health factors are related to the risk of suicide mortality in the United States. We find that individual level characteristics age, sex, marital status, family size, education, employment status, existing medical conditions, and veteran status as well as contextual factors as measures of social disorganization are related to suicide mortality risks. These results reveal important mechanisms that contribute to suicide mortality risk, a central preventable cause of death in the United States.

Jarron Saint Onge and Rick Rogers presented the paper "Trends in Biodemography: Pulse Pressure Variations by Body Mass and Sex" in a session titled "New Frontiers in Demographic Measurement." Pulse pressure is considered to be one of the best blood pressure markers for cardiovascular risk. The continuous, normally distributed nature of pulse pressure makes it a conceptually better indictor of cardiovascular risk in comparison to the standard measures of hypertension. Increases in pulse pressure are known to increase cardiovascular morbidity, all cause mortality, coronary mortality, and cardiovascular mortality. Excess weight and even modest weight gain can substantially increase cardiovascular risk. Yet the relationships between sex, body mass, and pulse pressure in the general population are understudied. Therefore, we use the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III (NHANES III) and OLS regression to examine the various components of pulse pressure in the general U.S. population. We find that excess weight affects the pulse pressure of men and women at different rates. These results highlight the growing influence of biodemography, and the usefulness of incorporating a demographic perspective to better understand the risk of pulse pressure in the U.S. population.

Jane Menken attended the Board of Directors meeting of the African Population and Health Research Council in Menlo Park, CA from November 18-21, 2003.

Fred Pampel has won the 2003 Boulder Faculty Assembly Research Award, the first time this award has ever been won by a sociologist. Pampel has produced high quality work steadily throughout his career. In terms of the number of publications in top journals, he ranks in the top five among sociologists nationally.

Congratulations to Rachel Silvey who received a course grant, given by the UCB service learning office, to design and implement a service learning component for "Introduction to Human Geography." This was one of twelve grants given to "encourage a wider and deeper use of the entire community as a classroom and to help engage students by linking personal experiences to disciplinary knowledge." See article "UCB Service Learning Office Awards 12 Course Grants" in the December 18, 2003 Silver & Gold Record: http://www.cu.edu/sgrecord/