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Colloquium in Psychiatric Epidemiology: “Depression in Late Life and Psychosocial Epidemiology”


03. März 2017
11:00 - 13:00

General Hospital Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090 Vienna, Hörsaalebene 8, Seminarraum 25

Prof. Olivia Okereke, MD, MPH
Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA

Dr. Okereke is an American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology-certified geriatric psychiatrist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). She is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Associate Professor in Epidemiology at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. A graduate of Harvard College and Yale University School of Medicine, she completed a general psychiatry residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)/ McLean program and a fellowship in geriatric psychiatry at McLean Hospital. Dr. Okereke’s programmatic goals are: (1) to identify modifiable risk factors involved in adverse mental aging and (2) to translate and apply knowledge gained into strategies for large-scale prevention of late-life depression and cognitive decline. Her research portfolio has been supported by numerous National Institutes of Health, University and foundation awards. Currently, she is: evaluating the role of dietary factors, such as vitamin D and omega-3, along with novel biologic markers in relation to risk of late-life cognitive decline and depression; testing effects of nutritional interventions on late-life mood in large-scale randomized trial settings; and addressing relations of later-life depression and anxiety to telomere lengths, with attention to their potential contributions to disparities in health and aging. Dr. Okereke is active in efforts to promote knowledge in geriatric mental health. She regularly provides education on healthy brain aging at community centers, Councils on Aging, and senior centers around Massachusetts. She has served on both the Board of Directors and the Medical & Scientific Advisory Committee of the Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, and has been a Past Chair of the Chapter’s Annual Meeting.

In her presentation, Dr. Okereke will illustrate the imperative for late-life depression prevention and provide detailed examples of clinical applications of late-life depression prevention – all with consideration of medical and scientific, social, economic and global health perspectives. Clear, rational approaches for risk factor assessment and potential strategies for prevention of depression among older adults will be presented. She will consider important complicating aspects of late-life depression, including: poorer outcomes in comorbid major medical conditions that are also highly prevalent in older adults – such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and stroke; worsening of functional decline; higher health care costs; and suicide.

Recent Books/Publications:
Okereke, OI, Editor. Prevention of Late-Life Depression: Current Clinical Challenges and Priorities. New York (NY): Springer; 2015.

Pan A, Kawachi I, Luo N, Manson JE, Willett WC, Hu FB, Okereke OI. Changes in Body Weight and Health-Related Quality of Life: Two Cohorts of US Women. Am J Epidemiol. 2014;180(3):254-262.

Okereke OI, Cook NR, Albert CM, Denburgh MV, Buring JE, Manson JE. Effect of long-term supplementation with folic acid and B-vitamins on risk of depression in older women. British Journal of Psychiatry. 2015 Apr;206(4):324-31.

Chang SC, Pan A, Kawachi I, Okereke OI. Risk factors for late-life depression: A prospective cohort study among older women. Prev Med. 2016 Oct;91:144-151.

Trudel-Fitzgerald C, Chen Y, Singh A, Okereke OI*, Kubzansky LD. Psychiatric, Psychological, and Social Determinants of Health in the Nurses' Health Study Cohorts. Am J Public Health. 2016 Sep;106(9):1644-9. *Co-last author.


Host: Eva Schernhammer