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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Yale Study: Harmful Effects of Ageism on Older Persons’ Health Found in 45 Countries

In the largest examination to date of the health consequences of ageism, or age-based bias, researchers at the Yale School of Public Health have found evidence that it harms the health of older people in 45 countries and across 5 continents. The study included over 7 million participants.

Yale professor Dr. Becca Levy was asked by the World Health Organization (WHO) to lead the analysis as part of its newly launched Global Campaign to Combat Ageism, which is supported by 194 countries. Dr. Levy is a professor at the Yale School of Public Health and in the Yale Psychology Department.

The analysis was based on a systematic review of 422 studies around the world. There was evidence of the adverse effects of ageism on older persons in 96 percent of the studies.

The injurious reach of ageism that our team documented demonstrates the need for initiatives to overcome ageism,” said Dr. Levy, the study’s senior author. The study appears in the current PLOS ONE journal.

The Yale School of Public Health study is the first systematic review of ageism that simultaneously considered structural-level ageism, such as denied access to health care, and individual-level ageism, such as the power of stress-inducing negative age stereotypes assimilated from culture to affect the health of older persons.

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