Life Course Lens on Aging and Health

  • Kenneth F. FerraroEmail author
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)


To advance life course research on aging and health, this chapter examines sources of evidence on the topic, identifying three vantage points for applying the life course lens: studying (a) centenarians, (b) the early origins of adult health, and (c) family lineage. Attention is given to adult health outcomes, while recognizing their early antecedents, including links between the pre- and reproductive stages of human life with post-reproductive aging. The evidence regarding the compression of morbidity is briefly reviewed. Recent advances in the study of aging and health are capitalizing on the use of biomarkers for early detection and linking individual-level data to community context. The evidence is compelling that social factors shape cumulative inequality in health.


Longevity Life course epidemiology Cumulative inequality theory Biomarkers 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Center on Aging and the Life CoursePurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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