This conversation was led by Jenny Tung, Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology and Biology at Duke, Noah Snyder-Mackler, Assistant Professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University, and Dan Belsky, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia. The social environment, both in early life and adulthood, is one of the strongest predictors of morbidity and mortality risk in humans. Evidence from long-term studies of other social mammals indicates that this relationship is similar across many species. These findings highlight the importance of the social environment to health and mortality as well as Darwinian fitness—outcomes of interest to social scientists and biologists alike. They thus emphasize the utility of cross-species analysis for understanding the predictors of, and mechanisms underlying, social gradients in health in humans.
- Snyder-Mackler et al. 2020, “Social determinants of health and survival in humans and other animals“