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The Oxford Encyclopedia of Aging and Public Health

During the next few decades, older adults will comprise an ever-larger proportion of the population in almost every society around the world. At the same time, the older adult population exhibits greater variability in health status and health outcomes than any other age group. The public health challenges posed by this unprecedented global population aging are many. Global population aging means that greater numbers of people will experience the health problems that often accompany late life, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and the conditions that are unique to aging, such as dementia and frailty. At the same time, healthy aging is being redefined as more and more older people live vibrant, healthy, engaged lives in late life. The field of public health needs to determine how best to organize health care and health services to meet the long-term care needs around the world and expand the traditional notions of prevention to embrace older adults’ primary, secondary and tertiary prevention needs. The concepts of healthy and successful aging continue to need to be redefined, and methodologies enhanced to expand our understanding of how to maximize health and functioning during late life. In addition, public health and aging will need to expand its focus on the social, behavioral, and environmental factors that contribute to healthy aging and that contribute to the inequities and disparities in health status and access to health services among older adults that exist around the globe. This encyclopedia will aim to be a comprehensive reference for the field of public health and aging, and will provide a broad overview of important topics, as well as an in-depth examination of current and emerging public health issues related to an aging society. It will address universal topics of relevance for aging populations around the globe and will also highlight unique issues relevant to particular regions of the world. Where appropriate, it will also incorporate a comparative approach within articles.

Editor in Chief

Dr. Mary P. Gallant, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor, Department of Health Policy, Management and Behavior, University at Albany, State University of New York

Editorial Board

Jane Banaszak-Holl, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University

Matthew Lee Smith, School of Public Health, Texas A&M University


Theoretical, Conceptual and Methodological Models and Approaches to Global Public Health and Aging

Age-related/Age-relevant Illnesses and Conditions / Physical and Mental Health among Older Adults

Social and Behavioral Determinants and Health Disparities/Inequities

Social and Physical Environment

Health Policies and Services; Public Health Infrastructure



Parent-Adult Child Ties and Older Adult Health and Well-Being (J. Jill Suitor, Yifei Hou, Catherine Stepniak, Robert T. Frase, Destiny Ogle)
Religion, Aging, and Public Health (Jeff Levin, Ellen Idler)