Alberto Palloni

Position title: Professor Emeritus, Sociology


Phone: (608) 262-2182

4429 Sewell Social Sciences

Department of Sociology
More information
Curriculum vitae


I have been a NIH Merit Scholar on R37 AG025216, co-PI of the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS) R01 AG025216, R01 AG018016 and past Director of Fogarty International Center award for Global Research Training in Population Health D43 TW001586 and PI of the Study PREHCO with R01 AG016209. The main themes I currently study are the trajectory of health, mortality and longevity in low to middle income countries, demographic characteristics of the aging process (including intergenerational transfers, disability and health), and the theory and formal models of relations between early childhood conditions and adult health and socioeconomic conditions. In the last few years I have proposed theory and models to understand adult health and mortality disparities as a function of early conditions, developed a formal model to assess the consequences for adult mortality of the so-called Barker frailty and Barker effects, and estimated empirically the implications of such relations for the future trajectory of health and survival in low to middle income countries. With NIA support, I am developing micro and macrosimulation models to assess the impact of delayed effects of early conditions on adult morbidity, disability and mortality. The novel feature in these models is the integration of modules designed to assess the impact of mediating pathways involving the epigenome and its association with maternal and child nutrition.

I have also contributed extensively to the study of mortality trends, heath and mortality disparities and to the literature on the Hispanic paradox. I continue this work illustrating disparities in SES mortality and health gradients across Hispanics and non-Hispanics in the US and Mexican born individuals.

In collaboration with colleagues Guido Pinto and Hiram Beltrán-Sánchez, I recently (August 2015) released a massive data base containing nearly 450 life tables for 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean covering the period 1850-2010. The database, LAMBdA, is publicly available and plans are being designed to attempt harmonization with already existing mortality databases. The database is the foundation of new empirical analysis that attempt to illustrate the effects the consequence of Barker frailty.

I have been the PI on several NIH funded projects that led to the collection of data on older people in seven countries in Latin America (SABE) and in Puerto Rico (PREHCO), and two NIA funded projects to test the conjecture that a significant part of adult US and European health and mortality disparities are rooted in conditions experienced early in life. I continue to participate in the data collection project MHAS in Mexico now in its fifth wave. An important part of the work in MHAS, PREHCO and SABE involves models for the study of obesity and smoking and the impact that of these on current and future patterns of adult mortality.

CDE research theme area affiliations

Demography of Inequality; Health and the Life Course

Selected Publications

Dill-McFarland, Kimberly, Zheng-Zheng Tang, Julia H. Kemis, Robert L. Kerby, Guanhua Chen, Alberto Palloni, Thomas Sorenson, Federico Rey, and Pamela Herd. “Close Social Relationships Correlate with Human Gut Microbiota Composition.” Scientific Reports 9 (2019): article number 703.

Herd, Pamela, Alberto Palloni, Federico Rey, and Jennifer B. Dowd. “Social and Population Health Science Approaches to Understand the Human Microbiome.” Nature Human Behavior 2 (2018): 808-815.

Wong, Rebeca, Alejandra Michaels-Obregon, and Alberto Palloni. “Cohort Profile: The Mexican Health and Aging Study (Mhas).” International Journal of Epidemiology 46, no. 2 (2017): 1-10. PubMed Central ID 5837398.

Palloni, Alberto, and Hiram Beltran-Sanchez. “Discrete Barker Frailty and Warped Mortality Dynamics at Older Ages.” Demography (2017): 655-71. PubMed Central ID 5490246.

Beltrán-Sánchez, Hiram, Alberto Palloni, Fernando Riosmena, and Rebeca Wong. “Ses Gradients among Mexicans in the United States and in Mexico: A New Twist to the Hispanic Paradox?”. Demography 53, no. 5 (2016): 1555-81. PubMed Central ID 5161411.

Palloni, Alberto, Hiram Beltran-Sanchez, Beatriz Novak, Guido Pinto, and Rebeca Wong. “Adult Obesity, Disease and Longevity in Mexico.” Salud Pública de México 57 (2015): S22-S30. PubMed Central ID 4711918.

Warren, John Robert, Luo Liying, Andrew Halpern-Manners, James M. Raymo, and Alberto Palloni. “Do Different Methods for Modeling Age-Graded Trajectories Yield Consistent and Valid Results.” American Journal of Sociology 120, no. 6 (2015): 1809-56. PubMed Central ID 5431596.

Palloni, Alberto, Beatriz Novak, and Guido Pinto-Aguirre. “The Enduring Effects of Smoking in Latin America.” American Journal of Public Health 105, no. 6 (2015): 1246-53. PubMed Central ID 4431107.

Wong, Rebeca, Alejandra Michaels-Obregon, Alberto Palloni, Luis Miguel Gutierrez-Robledo, Cesar Gonzalez-Gonzalez, Mariana Lopez-Ortega, Martha Maria Tellez-Rojo, and Laura Mendoza-Alvarado. “Progression of Aging in Mexico: The Mexican Health and Aging Study (Mhas) 2012.” Salud Pública de México 57 (2015): S79-S89. PubMed Central ID 4705907.

Gonzalez-Gonzalez, Cesar, Rafael Samper-Ternent, Rebeca Wong, and Alberto Palloni. “Mortality Inequality among Older Adults in Mexico: The Combined Role of Infectious and Chronic Diseases.” Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública/Pan American Journal of Public Health 35, no. 2 (2014): 89-95. PubMed Central ID 4048961.