Residents of two Trenton ZIP codes can expect to live to about 74 years old on average, but in neighboring communities within a 13-mile radius, life expectancies can be more than a decade longer.

Such striking disparities can be found all across New Jersey, but what drives these differences?

A new study by the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, aims to improve the understanding and generate knowledge about factors that affect population health and opportunities to advance equity promoting policies in the state.

The New Jersey Population Health Cohort Study will collect biometrics, survey responses and other granular data over time on major outcomes such as stress, resilience, trauma and cognitive function from a broad cross-section of the population across multiple generations, with additional targeting of low-income residents and diverse immigrant groups.

Groups within the immigrant population can have very different experiences, and more refined data are needed to address major gaps in the understanding of social and cultural determinants of health and development of effective programs and services, said lead researcher and IFH Director XinQi Dong, who is also a core faculty member of Rutgers Global Health Institute.

The study is expected to begin in 2020, with the first complete round of data collection by 2024. The study will be designed for additional rounds of data collection to establish a long-term cohort.

Read the full story in Rutgers Today.