War and conflict punctuate the life of many millions of older persons around the world. These may create complex lingering stressors that impact upon late life health. Whether war and conflict scar or add resilience as people age is not only an important issue but one that has not received adequate attention. This stream of research examines the link between multiple dimensions of conflict and many facets of health. At the moment, the bulk of this research is being based in Vietnam, where wartime survivors of the conflicts in the 1960s and 1970s are now moving into older ages. We are interested in whether the stressors of early life war and conflict exert enduring effects on health in later adulthood, the mechanisms through which this occurs, and the factors that may moderate relationships between wartime exposure and health, such as social support and family composition.
The study of the long-term impact of war on aging in Vietnam is now underway and began collecting preliminary data in February. The team returned to Vietnam in early May to collect biomarker data and conduct interviews. We look forward to what the results of this data collection will bring.
Thank you to Kim Korinek for the photos.