Eileen M. Crimmins, Ph.D., is the AARP Professor of Gerontology in the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a University Professor at USC. She is currently the co-director of the USC/UCLA Center on Biodemography and Population Health, one of the Demography of Aging Centers supported by the U.S. National Institute on Aging. She is also the co-director of the Multidisciplinary Training in Gerontology Program and the NIA-sponsored Network on Biological Risk. Dr. Crimmins is a co-investigator of the Health and Retirement Study in the U.S. Much of Dr. Crimmins’ research has focused on changes over time in health and mortality. She has been instrumental in organizing and promoting the recent integration of the measurement of biological indicators in large population surveys. She served as co-chair of a Committee for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to address why life expectancy in the U.S. is falling so far behind that of other countries. She has also co-edited several books with a focus on international aging, mortality and health expectancy.

Research Interests

Much of Crimmins' has focused on changes both in health and mortality both over time in populations and among individuals. Her earliest work clarified trends in mortality, disability, other indicators of population health, and healthy life expectancy. Crimmins' work has also been important in clarifying how health differentials arise in the population. For instance men have a higher prevalence of heart disease than women which comes from their earlier rates of onset of heart disease; however, the length of time spent with heart disease is longer for women. Other work has shown that women's longer life with cognitive impairment comes largely from their longer life rather than from more cognitive loss at a given age. Work on race and education differences in life expectancy has shown the earlier aging of the disadvantaged through the earlier onset of health conditions among persons of lower SES leading to shorter lives, fewer healthy years, and more years of life lost or never lived. Crimmins more recent work has expanded traditional demographic approaches by integrating indicators of physiological states into analysis to determine how social and economic circumstances "get under the skin."

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Section 53: Social and Political Sciences