Heather Elizabeth Whitson, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine
Associate Professor in Ophthalmology
Senior Fellow in the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development
Campus mail Dept of Medicine, Durham, NC 27710
Phone (919) 660-7514
Email address heather.whitson@duke.edu

Dr. Whitson's research is focused on improving care and health outcomes for people with multiple chronic conditions.  In particular, she has interest and expertise related to the link between changes in the eye and brain (e.g., Why do cognitive and brain changes occur in the context of late-life vision loss?  Is Alzheimer's Disease associated with distinctive changes in the retina, and could such changes help diagnose Alzheimer's early in its course?).  Dr. Whitson is also interested in improving care delivery systems and intervention programs to better serve medically complex patients.  She has developed a novel rehabilitation model for people with co-existing cognitive deficits, and is part of a inter-disciplinary team seeking to improve peri-operative outcomes for frail or at-risk seniors who must undergo surgery. 

Education and Training

  • Fellow In Geriatrics, Medicine, Duke University, 2005 - 2006
  • Fellow In Geriatrics, Medicine, Duke University, 2003 - 2004
  • Medical Resident, Medicine, Duke University, 2000 - 2003
  • M.D., Cornell University, 2000

Publications

Whitson, HE, Johnson, KS, Sloane, R, Cigolle, CT, Pieper, CF, Landerman, L, and Hastings, SN. "Identifying Patterns of Multimorbidity in Older Americans: Application of Latent Class Analysis." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (June 16, 2016).

PMID
27309908
Scholars@Duke

Potter, GG, McQuoid, DR, Whitson, HE, and Steffens, DC. "Physical frailty in late-life depression is associated with deficits in speed-dependent executive functions." International journal of geriatric psychiatry 31, no. 5 (May 2016): 466-474.

PMID
26313370
Scholars@Duke

Whitson, HE, Duan-Porter, W, Schmader, KE, Morey, MC, Cohen, HJ, and Colón-Emeric, CS. "Physical Resilience in Older Adults: Systematic Review and Development of an Emerging Construct." The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences 71, no. 4 (April 2016): 489-495. (Review)

PMID
26718984
Scholars@Duke

Annweiler, C, Milea, D, Whitson, HE, Cheng, CY, Wong, TY, Ikram, MK, Lamoureux, EL, and Sabanayagam, C. "Vitamin D insufficiency and cognitive impairment in Asians: a multi-ethnic population-based study and meta-analysis." Journal of internal medicine (April 2016).

PMID
27037788
Scholars@Duke

Zullig, LL, Whitson, HE, Hastings, SN, Beadles, C, Kravchenko, J, Akushevich, I, and Maciejewski, ML. "A Systematic Review of Conceptual Frameworks of Medical Complexity and New Model Development." Journal of general internal medicine 31, no. 3 (March 2016): 329-337.

PMID
26423992
Scholars@Duke

"ASSOCIATION OF CO-EXISTING IMPAIRMENTS IN COGNITION AND SELF-RATED VISION AND HEARING WITH HEALTH OUTCOMES IN OLDER ADULTS." Gerontology & geriatric medicine 2 (January 19, 2016).

PMID
27054148
Scholars@Duke

Berger, M, Nadler, JW, Browndyke, J, Terrando, N, Ponnusamy, V, Cohen, HJ, Whitson, HE, and Mathew, JP. "Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction: Minding the Gaps in Our Knowledge of a Common Postoperative Complication in the Elderly." Anesthesiology clinics 33, no. 3 (September 2015): 517-550. (Review)

PMID
26315636
Scholars@Duke

Whitson, HE, Chou, YH, Potter, GG, Diaz, MT, Chen, NK, Lad, EM, Johnson, MA, Cousins, SW, Zhuang, J, and Madden, DJ. "Phonemic fluency and brain connectivity in age-related macular degeneration: a pilot study." Brain connectivity 5, no. 2 (March 2015): 126-135.

PMID
25313954
Scholars@Duke

Odden, MC, Shlipak, MG, Whitson, HE, Katz, R, Kearney, PM, defilippi, C, Shastri, S, Sarnak, MJ, Siscovick, DS, Cushman, M, Psaty, BM, and Newman, AB. "Risk factors for cardiovascular disease across the spectrum of older age: the Cardiovascular Health Study." Atherosclerosis 237, no. 1 (November 2014): 336-342.

PMID
25303772
Scholars@Duke

Whitson, HE, and Lin, FR. "Hearing and vision care for older adults: sensing a need to update Medicare policy." JAMA 312, no. 17 (November 2014): 1739-1740.

PMID
25369486
Scholars@Duke

Pages