News

CONGRATULATIONS!: Lisbeth Iglesias-Ríos, PhD, MPH, MA appointed Research Investigator
Lisbeth Iglesias Ríos, PhD, MPHLisbeth Iglesias Ríos, PhD, MPH
Lisbeth Iglesias-Ríos, PhD, MPH, MA has been appointed as a Research Investigator in the Center for Midlife Science. Dr. Iglesias-Ríos received her PhD in Epidemiological Science at University of Michigan in 2018, an MPH in Biostatistics from University of New Mexico in 2020, MA in Psychiatry and Medical Psychology from Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona in 2000.

Dr. Iglesias-Rios is the lead investigator of the Michigan Farmworker Project (MFP). Developed in 2019, in collaboration with Dr. Alexis Handal, the goal of this community-based participatory research program is to provide a deeper understanding of the complex working and living conditions of migrant and seasonal farmworkers in the state of Michigan. The MFP seeks to examine the occupational and environmental health exposures experienced by farmworkers in Michigan and relate this understanding to broader social and structural determinants such as precarious employment and labor exploitation.

Posted: May 10 2023
CONGRATULATIONS!: Center Core Faculty Aleda Leis, PhD, MS awarded K12 Mentored Training Grant through Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR)
Aleda Leis, PhD, MSAleda Leis, PhD, MS
Dr. Aleda Leis has been awarded a two-year K12 Mentored Training Grant through the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR). This award will provide resources for additional training and career development in cardiometabolic epidemiology, viral pathogenesis, and statistical methodology under her mentors Dr. Carrie Karvonen-Gutierrez, Dr. Emily Martin, and Dr. Michael Elliott.
Posted: May 03 2023
PUBLISHED: “Associations Between Repeated Measures of Urinary Phthalate Metabolites With Hormones and Timing of Natural Menopause” with lead author and former Center Postdoctoral Research Fellow Ning Ding, PhD, MPH
Ning Ding, PhD, MPHNing Ding, PhD, MPH
Featured Publication of the Week for the Journal of the Endocrine Society (April 2023), with lead author and former Center Postdoctoral Research Fellow Ning Ding, PhD, MPH; additional authors include Center Director Siobán D. Harlow, PhD, and Center Core Faculty members John F. Randolph, MD and Sung Kyun Park, ScD, MPH.
» More at Journal of the Endocrine Society
Posted: April 21 2023
IN THE NEWS: “Don’t Dread Menopause. Prepare for It Instead” with comments from Center Co-Director Carrie A. Karvonen-Gutierrez, PhD, MPH
Carrie A. Karvonen-Gutierrez, PhDCarrie A. Karvonen-Gutierrez, PhD
“Where you are health-wise going into menopause is really an important predictor of what your menopausal experience will be like and what your health will be like coming out on the other side of menopause,” said Carrie Karvonen-Gutierrez, PhD, MPH, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan and an expert on women’s health and aging. “This is a seminal life event for more than half of our population and it’s really important that we give it the space and the attention that it deserves to help inform individuals about how to manage their menopause and understand what is happening.”
» More at Verywell Health
Posted: March 24 2023
IN THE NEWS: “Abortion access and reproductive justice” on Population Healthy, featuring Center Director Siobán D. Harlow, PhD (AUDIO 🔊)
Siobán  Harlow, PhDSiobán Harlow, PhD
“When we think about the importance of safeguarding access to safe abortions, we have to recognize that pregnancy itself is not without risk. Pregnancy remains a significant cause of death, maternal death for women of reproductive age and the various complications of pregnancy can lead both to morbidity and to mortality, to illness and death.”
» More at Population Healthy
Posted: March 15 2023
PUBLISHED: “K-medoids clustering of hospital admission characteristics to classify severity of influenza virus infection” with lead author and Center Core Faculty Aleda Leis, PhD, MS
Aleda Leis, PhD, MSAleda Leis, PhD, MS
“In this study of hospitalized influenza patients, we show that distinct clusters with higher disease acuity can be identified and could be targeted for evaluations of vaccine and influenza antiviral effectiveness against disease attenuation. The association of higher disease acuity with glucose level merits evaluation.”
» More at Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses
Posted: March 7 2023
IN THE NEWS: “Op-ed: Farmworkers’ vicious cycle of precarious employment, exploitation and climate change” authored by Michigan Farmworker Project Co-Investigator and Postdoctoral Research Fellow Lisbeth Iglesias Ríos, PhD, MPH
Lisbeth Iglesias Ríos, PhD, MPHLisbeth Iglesias Ríos, PhD, MPH
“The erosion of human and labor rights particularly affects farmworkers in the U.S., as farmworkers have been excluded from labor protections like minimum wage, workers’ compensation, overtime pay provisions or the right to unionize. These inequalities are product of decades of free-market policies that limit taxes and regulations, privatize public services like healthcare and retirement, obstruct or eliminate labor union rights, erode working conditions and safety standards, promote low-wage work and, in general, move away from social protections and emphasize personal responsibility for the choices (including health) people make. These social and economic conditions are a breeding ground for precarious and exploitative work. ”
» More at Environmental Health News
This essay is also available in Spanish.
Posted: March 03 2023
IN THE NEWS: Findings from SWAN Multi-Pollutant Study featured in “‘Forever chemicals’ up type 2 diabetes risk in midlife White women” with lead author and former Center Doctoral Student Mia Q. Peng
Mia Q. Peng, MPH, BScMia Q. Peng, MPH, BSc
“Overall, our study has added some evidence to support the potential diabetogenic effects of phthalates, but it also highlights that much is still unknown about the metabolic effects of these chemicals. The apparent racial/ethnic differences in the associations between phthalates and incident diabetes should be investigated in future studies.”

Additional authors include Center Co-Director Carrie Karvonen-Gutierrez, Center Affiliate Faculty William Herman and Center Core Faculty Sung Kyun Park.

» More at mdedge.com
Posted: February 16 2023
PUBLISHED: “Fair Housing Access, Affordability, and Quality for Michigan Farmworkers During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond” auhored by Michigan Farmworker Project (MFP) Study Leads Alexis J. Handal, PhD MPH and Lisbeth Iglesias-Ríos, PhD MPH; commissioned by Michigan Department of Civil Rights
Cover of Fair Housing Access, Affordability, and Quality for Michigan Farmworkers During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond
“This report presents the findings from interviews with farmworkers conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan. Our results emphasize the vulnerability of farmworkers and the challenges they face with housing affordability, access, and conditions, exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
» More at “Fair Housing Access, Affordability, and Quality for Michigan Farmworkers During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond” (PDF)
Posted: January 18 2023
IN THE NEWS: SWAN Study featured in “How Menopause Affects Different Demographics” in Oprah Daily; with comments from SWAN Investigators Siobán D. Harlow, PhD and Sherri-Ann Burnett-Bowie, MD
sick young woman lying on the couch and holding her head with hand ill woman lying on the sofa with high temperature
“Black women were much more likely to report very frequent hot flashes—six days a week or more—than white women were,” says Siobán D. Harlow, PhD, SWAN study investigator and a professor of epidemiology and global public health in Michigan. Their symptoms also tended to be consistently severe for many years, whereas hot flashes in white women are more likely to taper off throughout perimenopause and menopause. “Black women, followed by Native American women, have the longest-lasting, most frequent, and most bothersome VMS of all the groups,” says Sherri-Ann Burnett-Bowie, MD, an assistant professor of medicine in Boston and one of the principal investigators for the SWAN study.
» More at Oprah Daily
Posted: December 12 2022
IN THE NEWS: SWAN Study featured in “Menopause and VMS by the Numbers” in Good Housekeeping; with comments from SWAN Investigator and Center Director Siobán D. Harlow, PhD
hot businesswoman sitting in front of fan
“It’s important not to trivialize vasomotor symptoms, particularly when they’re severe and/or frequent,” says Siobán D. Harlow, PhD, a professor of epidemiology and global public health in Michigan and one of the SWAN study investigators. “Saying they’re ‘bothersome’ makes them sound less disruptive than they really are, especially if they’re interfering with one’s sleep or quality of life.”
» More at Good Housekeeping
Posted: December 12 2022
IN THE NEWS: “How racism skewed estimates of heart disease in women” in Science magazine, with comments from lead author and Center affiliate Alexis N. Reeves, MPH
Alexis N. Reeves, MPHAlexis N. Reeves, MPH
“Weathering” due to racist experiences can lead women of color to experience some medical conditions earlier than their white counterparts, often leading to these vulnerable women being left out of crucial studies. “I wasn’t expecting to see how much the selection [of study participants] changed these estimates. We’re overestimating the timing of onset of these diseases for everyone in SWAN, regardless of race. It basically amounts to only telling part of the story.”
» More at Science Magazine
» Read the original study at JAMA network open
Posted: November 14 2022
PUBLISHED: “Living Well With Lupus: A Toolkit for Women” by the Society for Women’s Health Research; with contributions from Center Core Faculty Emily Somers, PhD, ScM
Emily Somers, PhD, ScMEmily Somers, PhD, ScM
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease where the body attacks its own tissues, creating widespread inflammation and symptoms throughout the body, which often results in organ tissue damage commonly in the joints, skin, brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, and blood vessels. The Society for Women’s Health Research created “Living Well With Lupus: A Toolkit for Women” to support women and their families in the lupus diagnosis and care journey. The toolkit explores symptoms, options for treatment, insurance coverage support, and tips for maintaining wellness at school, at work, and elsewhere.
» More at swhr.org
Posted: November 14 2022
PUBLISHED: “The Michigan Farmworker Project: Development and Implementation of a Collaborative Community-Based Research Project Assessing Precarious Employment and Labor Exploitation” authors include Postdoctoral Research Fellow Lisbeth Iglesias Ríos, MS, MPH and Center Core Faculty Alexis Handal, PhD, MPH
Logo for the Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship
“Farmworkers are among the most underserved and marginalized populations of workers despite their essential role in the U.S. food supply chain. The Michigan Farmworker Project (MFP) evolved as a collaborative, community-based participatory project among state and regional service entities, legal service organizations, and the university. The overarching goal of the project was to study the relationship of precarious working conditions and labor exploitation with occupational and environmental health inequities and social justice for farmworkers in Michigan.
» More at the Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship
Posted: October 30 2022
VIDEO: “Truth about Race, Ethnicity and Menopause Care” Speakers include Center for Midlife Science Co-Director Carrie A. Karvonen-Gutierrez, PhD, MPH
Carrie A. Karvonen-Gutierrez, PhDCarrie A. Karvonen-Gutierrez, PhD
Did you know Black and Latina women enter menopause earlier and have longer lasting, more intense symptoms? Dr. Sharon Malone, Chief Medical Officer of Alloy will host an expert panel, which will include Omisade Burney-Scott, Creator and Curator of The Black Girl’s Guide to Surviving Menopause, Dr. Carrie Karvonen-Gutierrez, Associate Professor of Epidemiology at University of Michigan's School of Public Health, and Dr. Gloria Richard-Davis, Fertility Doctor at UAMS Health.
» More at Let’s Talk Menopause on YouTube
Posted: October 27 2023
IN THE NEWS: “Evidence of PFAS found in tampons — including organic brands”
Photo of tampon. Credit: Marco Verch Professional Photographer/flickr
While the health impacts of PFAS exposure via skin contact are still somewhat unclear, Linda S. Birnbaum, Scientist Emeritus and Former Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program, told Mamavation “we already know that PFAS has the ability to impact almost every organ of the body. The vagina is an incredibly vascular area and dermal exposure is often higher there than in other places of the body.”
» More at Environmental Health News
Posted: October 27 2022
IN THE NEWS: “Michigan Farmworker Project seeks to improve social and environmental health for marginalized population” Q & A with Center Core Faculty Alexis Handal, PhD, MPH and Postdoctoral Research Fellow Lisbeth Iglesias Ríos, MS, MPH
An image of an apple orchard.
“We focus on farmworkers because the work of this workforce is inherently precarious and often exploitative. It promotes unsafe and sometimes unfair or unlawful labor practices by employers, performed sometimes in conditions of inequality, or in violation of human dignity. Labor exploitation is a consequence of precarious employment and has negative consequences for workers, their families and their communities, and is a hindrance for a cohesive society. ”
» More at the Michigan Public Health News Center
Posted: October 25 2022
CONGRATULATIONS!: Center affiliate Alexis N. Reeves, MPH, awarded “Emerging Scholar and Professional Organization Poster Award”
Alexis N. Reeves, MPHAlexis N. Reeves, MPH
Center affiliate, SWAN Co-Investigator and current Postdoctoral Scholar at the Stanford School of Medicine Alexis N. Reeves, MPH has been awarded “Emerging Scholar and Professional Organization Poster Award” by the Gerontological Society of America for her poster on “The Influence of Selection Bias on Racial Differences in Reproductive Aging and Accelerated Health: Declines in the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation”. The Emerging Scholar and Professional Organization offers an award for the best interdisciplinary research poster on a topic related to aging by a GSA student member. Congratulations Alexis!
Posted: October 20 2022
IN THE NEWS: “Air pollution tips the scale for obesity in women” in Michigan News, with comments from Center Core Faculty Xin Wang, PhD, MPH
Xin Wang, PhD, MPHXin Wang, PhD, MPH
Women in their late 40s and early 50s exposed long-term to air pollution—specifically, higher levels of fine particles, nitrogen dioxide and ozone—saw increases in their body size and composition measures, said Xin Wang, epidemiology research investigator at the U-M School of Public Health and the study’s first author.
» More at news.umich.edu
Posted: October 18 2022
IN THE NEWS: Center Director and Fulbright Scholar Siobán D. Harlow, PhD featured in Women’s Health In Focus at NIH
Siobán  Harlow, PhDSiobán Harlow, PhD
“Good mentoring produces innovative science. By encouraging my students to pursue their insightful questions, I encourage them to address critical gaps in scientific knowledge. Thus, I see my role in women’s health not only in relation to my own scientific legacy but also in relation to my success in supporting the scientific growth—and, more importantly, scientific courage—of my students and junior colleagues as they tackle difficult, emergent scientific problems.”
» More at Women’s Health In Focus at NIH (PDF, page 12)
Posted: July 26 2022
IN THE NEWS: SWAN Study featured in featured in Women’s Health In Focus at NIH
Women’s Health In Focus at NIHWomen’s Health In Focus at NIH
“The depth and breadth of SWAN’s longitudinal data and the large biospecimen repository are remarkable scientific resources and will continue to help us understand reproductive aging and midlife health,” says Dr. Harlow. “However, we have much more to learn to improve women’s health and experience as they age.”
» More at Women’s Health In Focus at NIH (PDF, page 6)
Posted: July 26 2022
IN THE NEWS: “‘Forever chemicals’ linked to high blood pressure in women” in the Washington Post, with comments from Center Postdoctoral Research Fellow Ning Ding, PhD, MPH
Ning Ding, PhD, MPHNing Ding, PhD, MPH
“Women seem to be particularly vulnerable when exposed to these chemicals,” said Ning Ding, research fellow in epidemiology, whose research found a link between PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) and high blood pressure in middle-aged women — adding to the long list of health risks associated with the man-made pollutants.
» More at washingtonpost.com
Posted: June 22 2022
IN THE NEWS: “Why Is My Sleep So Messed Up in the Summer?” in the New York Times, with comments from Center Associate Faculty Leslie Swanson, PhD
Leslie Swanson, PhDLeslie Swanson, PhD
“We’re not built to go from 60 miles an hour to zero. We need time to slow down or else it will be hard for us to sleep,” said Leslie Swanson, associate professor of psychiatry, who recommends shutting off electronic devices and avoiding aerobic exercise, large meals and alcoholic drinks close to bedtime — and instead do something quiet and relaxing to transition into sleep mode.”
» More at newyorktimes.com
Posted: June 22 2022