Dr. Zachary Zimmer, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair and Director, Global Aging and Community Initiative at Mount Saint Vincent University, is part of an international team of scholars recently awarded a National Institutes of Health grant to study, “The Demography of Chronic Pain: A population approach to pain trends, pain disparities, and pain-related disability and death.”

Dr. Zimmer is Co-Investigator, working with Principal Investigator Dr. Hanna Grol-Prokopczyk, Associate Professor, University at Buffalo, and Co-Investigator Anna Zajacova, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Western University.

As part of this grant a sub-award of $246,323 (CAD) will support Dr. Zimmer’s continued research at MSVU on chronic pain in populations of older people around the world.

Over the next four years, this grant will involve Dr. Zimmer in statistical analyses and interpretation, presentation, and publication of findings at international conferences and in academic journals, in collaboration with an international research team. He will also supervise a graduate Research Assistant and a Postdoctoral Fellow who will be hired on at MSVU. The individual filling the postdoc position will be involved in analysis of population-level pain trends, disparities in pain, the association between pain, disability and mortality, and other topics as they relate to the research objectives.

Through rigorous and systematic investigation, the research team aims to establish a comprehensive foundation for an underexamined subject within health demography. The analyses will address several aims, including identifying national and regional trends in the prevalence and social distribution of chronic pain; understanding individual-level and contextual factors shaping temporal and social patterns in pain; theoretically and empirically integrating pain into models of disability; and elucidating the causal association between chronic pain and mortality.