Rachel A Whitmer

Rachel A Whitmer is an epidemiologist at the University of California, Davis.[12]

Whitmer is a professor in the UC Davis Department of Public Health Sciences and chief of the UC Davis Division of Epidemiology.[3]Her research focuses on using epidemiological methods to reduce inequities in brain aging in racial and ethnic minority groups, those with diabetes, and individuals age 90 or older.[3]She is the principal investigator of four National Institutes of Health-funded cohort studies on brain aging.[3]She has used the multiphasic data, paired with comprehensive data from Kaiser Permanente's electronic health record, to identify midlife dementia risk factors such as smoking, hypertension, depression, cholesterol, obesity and others.[4]She has been concerned in several studies that accounted for genetic and illness risks when comparing insanity in white and black Americans.[5]She has an extensive research portfolio in aging epidemiology, specifically in predictors of cognitive decline and dementia, and population-level risk factors including metabolic, cardiovascular and inflammatory factors.[6]

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University of California, Davis


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Recent events

Landmark study finds dementia risk varies significantly among racial and ethnic groups Kaiser Permanente 4m

Joint research by Kaiser Permanente and University of California, San Francisco highlights importance of identifying strategies to reduce disparities Kaiser Permanente In the largest and longest study thus far of ethnic disparities in dementia risk, researchers compared six ethnic and racial groups within the same geographic population and found significant variation in dementia incidence among them. The dementia diagnoses were Alzheimer's, vascular dementia or non-specific dementia. "Even in the lowest risk groups in the study, the lifetime risk of developing dementia is high -- in every racial and ethnic group, over one in four people who survive to age 65 can expect to be diagnosed with dementia in their lifetime," said Rachel Whitmer, PhD, the principal investigator of the study and a research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research. She has an extensive research portfolio in aging epidemiology, specifically in predictors of cognitive decline and dementia, and population-level risk factors including metabolic, cardiovascular and inflammatory factors.[67]


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Women's dementia risk increased by midlife hy...

Researchers have uncovered a possible sex difference in how blood pressure affects dementia risk, after finding that women who get hypertension in their 40s are likelier to develop the condition. An array of studies have also suggested a link between high blood pressure and increased risk of dementia. For the new research, study co-author Rachel A. Whitmer, Ph.D., of the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, and colleagues sought to determine whether the link between hypertension and dementia risk varies by age and sex. The study results revealed that women who had high blood pressure in their 30s showed no greater risk of dementia than those whose blood pressure remained normal.[8910]


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Women's Reproductive History Tied to Dementia Risk

Womens' reproductive history was significantly associated with their risk for dementia, researchers reported here. In an analysis of nearly 15,000 women, various reproductive factors, including number of children, miscarriages, and age of menarche, were all associated with a women's risk for dementia later in life, according to Paola Gilsanz, ScD, of Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research in Oakland, and Rachel Whitmer, PhD, of the University of California Davis. Furthermore, a history of miscarriages was tied to a higher risk for dementia, with each additional miscarriage tied to an 8% higher risk for dementia . Women who experienced an early menarche - - specifically at age ≤9 years - - saw a slightly higher risk for dementia compared with women who experienced menarche between the ages of ages 10-13; however, this association wasn't statistically significant .[1112]


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