Welcome to the Healthy Aging Lab
at the University of Arizona's Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health
Directed by Zhao Chen, PhD, MPH, Professor of Public Health
Aging is a multidimensional process experienced by all. Although an increasing number of people maintain a healthy, productive, and independent life through their 80s and 90s, many older Americans still suffer from one or multiple diseases in their later life. Health costs for older adults are three to five times greater than for people who are younger than 65. The population of the Unites States is aging and, by 2030, approximately 20% of the U.S. population will be 65 or older. Unless prompt and effective efforts are made to preserve the health of older Americans, the health and economic challenges of our aging society will have profound effects on everyone’s life in the U.S.
In response to these public health challenges, faculty at our college are striving to promote healthy aging and reduce health disparities in older adults from different racial/ethnic backgrounds through innovative biomedical research. The Healthy Aging Lab, directed by Dr. Zhao Chen, is an epidemiologic research laboratory investigating causes, consequences, and effective interventions for common health conditions in older people. Ongoing studies in the lab focus on similarities and differences in etiologies and health effects of osteoporosis (low bone mass and high fracture risk), sarcopenia (low skeletal muscle mass and strength), and anemia (low hemoglobin level) across different racial/ethnic groups of older women.
The Healthy Aging Lab is situated in a state with a large and racially/ethnically diverse elderly population. The nationwide impact and local relevance of our research has attracted many students, including Native American, Hispanic, African American, and Asian graduate students. Aiming for a comprehensive understanding on the interrelations of osteoporosis, sarcopenia and anemia, Dr. Chen’s research will increasingly make significant contributions to the better overall health of the older Americans in the coming years.