In the largest examination to date of ageism’s health consequences, researchers at the Yale School of Public Health have found evidence that ageism harms the health of older people in 45 countries across five continents. Yale Professor Becca Levy led the analysis as part of the World Health Organization’s newly launched Global Campaign to Combat Ageism

The analysis was based on a systematic review of 422 studies across five continents; 96% of the studies showed evidence of the adverse effects of ageism.“The injurious reach of ageism…demonstrates the need for initiatives to overcome ageism,” said Levy, the study’s senior author. 

“Our research highlights the importance of recognizing the influence of ageism on health,” said first author E-Shien Chang, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Yale School of Public Health. “Policies to improve older persons’ health must take ageism into account.”

The study 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.

Read The Global Reach of Ageism in Older Persons Health in PLOS ONE.

Published: January 29, 2020