Global Aging: An Editorial Welcome

We welcome you to the Spring 2013 issue of the Stanford Journal of Public Health, a biannual undergraduate publication that seeks to connect the enthusiastic, widely distributed public health community at Stanford by encouraging scholarly discussion of today’s most pertinent public health issues. In this issue, our staff focused on the theme of Global Aging. Advances in science and technology are causing a fundamental shift in the global demographic, as an increasing percentage of the population lives beyond the age of 65. Just in the last century, American life expectancy leaped dramatically from 47.3 in 1900 to 78.7 in 2013. This transformation in the composition of society will trigger an underlying change in the global public health landscape, and indicators of this change are already evident.

We are bombarded daily by images in the media of miracle cures for wrinkles and ways to remains young and fit well into old age. Yet these attempts to mask the aging process fail to address the real challenges—economic, logistical, and otherwise—that this demographic shift will cause. Who will take care of the aging population? Who will pay for new, life-extending treatments? It is with this mindset that our writers investigated pressing topics regarding aging in the modern world.

Since the Journal’s founding in 2011, we have been fortunate enough to work with inspiring faculty and staff from all corners of the campus, including the Stanford Office of Community Health, the Center for Innovation in Global Health, the Program in Human Biology, the Haas Center for Public Service, Stanford Service in Global Health, and the Sexual Health Peer Resource Center. We would like to thank The Bingham Fund for Student Innovation in Human Biology and the ASSU Publications Board for their generous support of our endeavors.

We hope you enjoy reading our fifth issue of the Journal. We welcome your thoughts and comments about our work, the public health community at Stanford, or an issue you would like to see us cover.   Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at


Jessie Holtzman ‘14


Jessie is a Human Biology major with a concentration in the cellular basis of human disease, combining her passions for policy and the natural sciences. She hopes to use her biology background, along with her interest in women’s and children’s health, to develop effective policy solutions to growing local, national, and international health disparities. Through the Journal, she looks forward to spreading awareness of public health topics, proposing new, innovative, interdisciplinary ways to address such dilemmas.