Rita Hamad, MD, PhD

Associate Professor,
Family Community Medicine

Dr. Rita Hamad is a social epidemiologist and family physician in the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and the Department of Family & Community Medicine at UCSF. As the director of the Social Policies for Health Equity Research Program (https://sphere.ucsf.edu), her research focuses on the pathways linking poverty and education with health disparities across the life course. In particular, she studies the health effects of social and economic policies using interdisciplinary quasi-experimental methods. She also investigates the mechanisms through which adverse socioeconomic conditions get "under the skin" to cause disease.

Dr. Hamad is the Associate Director of the Center for Health Equity. She is also a member of the steering committee of the UCSF Population Health Data Initiative, serving as the Faculty Lead for the development of data infrastructure to advance population health research on campus. She previously served as the Policy Lead of the UCSF Preterm Birth Initiative, spearheading an agenda to reduce disparities in preterm birth by addressing its upstream determinants. Dr. Hamad mentors trainees at all levels in population health research, and she supervises family medicine residents at the Family Health Center at San Francisco General Hospital. She also serves on the Communications Committee of the Interdisciplinary Association of Population Health Sciences.


Racial Differences in the Association between the U.S. Earned Income Tax Credit and Birthweight.

Women's health issues : official publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health

Batra A, Karasek D, Hamad R

Paid Family Leave and Mental Health in the U.S.: A Quasi-Experimental Study of State Policies.

American journal of preventive medicine

Irish AM, White JS, Modrek S, Hamad R

How does income affect mental health and health behaviours? A quasi-experimental study of the earned income tax credit.

Journal of epidemiology and community health

Shields-Zeeman L, Collin DF, Batra A, Hamad R

The effects of state earned income tax credits on mental health and health behaviors: A quasi-experimental study.

Social science & medicine (1982)

Collin DF, Shields-Zeeman LS, Batra A, White JS, Tong M, Hamad R

The Revised WIC Food Package and Child Development: A Quasi-Experimental Study.


Guan A, Hamad R, Batra A, Bush NR, Tylavsky FA, LeWinn KZ

Association of US state policy orientation with adverse birth outcomes: a longitudinal analysis.

Journal of epidemiology and community health

Riley AR, Collin D, Grumbach JM, Torres JM, Hamad R

Identifying Novel Predictors of State Legislative Action to Address Obesity.

Journal of public health management and practice : JPHMP

Arons A, Pomeranz J, Hamad R

Natural and Unnatural Experiments in Epidemiology.

Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.)

Hamad R

Association of Neighborhood Disadvantage With Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Events Among Refugees in Denmark.

JAMA network open

Hamad R, Öztürk B, Foverskov E, Pedersen L, Sørensen HT, Bøtker HE, White JS

Association of Low Socioeconomic Status With Premature Coronary Heart Disease in US Adults.

JAMA cardiology

Hamad R, Penko J, Kazi DS, Coxson P, Guzman D, Wei PC, Mason A, Wang EA, Goldman L, Fiscella K, Bibbins-Domingo K

Short-term effects of the earned income tax credit on mental health and health behaviors.

Preventive medicine

Collin DF, Shields-Zeeman LS, Batra A, Vable AM, Rehkopf DH, Machen L, Hamad R

Geographic and Longitudinal Trends in Media Framing of Obesity in the United States.

Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)

Chiang J, Arons A, Pomeranz JL, Siddiqi A, Hamad R

Neighborhood deprivation and mental health among immigrants to Sweden.

Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.)

Raphael E, White JS, Li X, Cederin K, Glymour MM, Sundquist K, Sundquist J, Hamad R

The effect of California's paid family leave policy on parent health: A quasi-experimental study.

Social science & medicine (1982)

Lee BC, Modrek S, White JS, Batra A, Collin DF, Hamad R

Association of Revised WIC Food Package With Perinatal and Birth Outcomes: A Quasi-Experimental Study.

JAMA pediatrics

Hamad R, Collin DF, Baer RJ, Jelliffe-Pawlowski LL

The Impact of the Revised WIC Food Package on Maternal Nutrition during Pregnancy and Postpartum.

American journal of epidemiology

Hamad R, Batra A, Karasek D, LeWinn KZ, Bush NR, Davis RL, Tylavsky FA

Quality and quantity: The association of state-level educational policies with later life cardiovascular disease.

Preventive medicine

Hamad R, Nguyen TT, Glymour MM, Vable A, Manly JJ, Rehkopf DH

Comparing demographic and health characteristics of new and existing SNAP recipients: application of a machine learning algorithm.

The American journal of clinical nutrition

Hamad R, Templeton ZS, Schoemaker L, Zhao M, Bhattacharya J

Estimating the Short-Term Effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit on Child Health.

American journal of epidemiology

Hamad R, Collin DF, Rehkopf DH

Paid Family Leave Effects on Breastfeeding: A Quasi-Experimental Study of US Policies.

American journal of public health

Hamad R, Modrek S, White JS

Mother's education and late-life disparities in memory and dementia risk among US military veterans and non-veterans.

Journal of epidemiology and community health

Vable AM, Eng CW, Mayeda ER, Basu S, Marden JR, Hamad R, Glymour MM

Causal Thinking as a Critical Tool for Eliminating Social Inequalities in Health.

American journal of public health

Glymour MM, Hamad R

Consolidated state political party control and the enactment of obesity-related policies in the United States.

Preventive medicine

Pomeranz JL, Siddiqi A, Bolanos GJ, Shor JA, Hamad R

Long-term effects of neighbourhood deprivation on diabetes risk: quasi-experimental evidence from a refugee dispersal policy in Sweden.

The lancet. Diabetes & endocrinology

White JS, Hamad R, Li X, Basu S, Ohlsson H, Sundquist J, Sundquist K

Microcredit participation and women's health: results from a cross-sectional study in Peru.

International journal for equity in health

Hamad R, Fernald LC

Poverty, Pregnancy, and Birth Outcomes: A Study of the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Paediatric and perinatal epidemiology

Hamad R, Rehkopf DH

Large-scale automated analysis of news media: a novel computational method for obesity policy research.

Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)

Hamad R, Pomeranz JL, Siddiqi A, Basu S

Microcredit participation and child health: results from a cross-sectional study in Peru.

Journal of epidemiology and community health

Moseson H, Hamad R, Fernald L

Microcredit participation and nutrition outcomes among women in Peru.

Journal of epidemiology and community health

Hamad R, Fernald LC

Small individual loans and mental health: a randomized controlled trial among South African adults.

BMC public health

Fernald LC, Hamad R, Karlan D, Ozer EJ, Zinman J

Social and economic correlates of depressive symptoms and perceived stress in South African adults.

Journal of epidemiology and community health

Hamad R, Fernald LC, Karlan DS, Zinman J