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

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
Full Text

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
Full Text

Whitson, HE, Arnold, AM, Yee, LM, Mukamal, KJ, Kizer, JR, Djousse, L, Ix, JH, Siscovick, D, Tracy, RP, Thielke, SM, Hirsch, C, Newman, AB, and Zieman, S. "Serum carboxymethyl-lysine, disability, and frailty in older persons: the Cardiovascular Health Study." J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 69, no. 6 (June 2014): 710-716.

PMID
24127427
Full Text

Whitson, HE, Malhotra, R, Chan, A, Matchar, DB, and Østbye, T. "Comorbid visual and cognitive impairment: relationship with disability status and self-rated health among older Singaporeans." Asia Pac J Public Health 26, no. 3 (May 2014): 310-319.

PMID
22535554
Full Text

Hastings, SN, Whitson, HE, Sloane, R, Landerman, LR, Horney, C, and Johnson, KS. "Using the past to predict the future: latent class analysis of patterns of health service use of older adults in the emergency department." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 62, no. 4 (April 2014): 711-715.

PMID
24635112
Full Text

Hastings, SNI, Whitson, HE, Sloane, RJ, Landerman, LR, Horney, C, and Johnson, KS. "Using the past to predict the future: Latent class analysis of patterns of health service use of older adults in the emergency department." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 62, no. 4 (January 1, 2014): 711-715.

Full Text

Colón-Emeric, CS, Whitson, HE, Pavon, J, and Hoenig, H. "Functional decline in older adults." Am Fam Physician 88, no. 6 (September 15, 2013): 388-394.

PMID
24134046
Scholars@Duke

Whitson, HE, Whitaker, D, Potter, G, McConnell, E, Tripp, F, Sanders, LL, Muir, KW, Cohen, HJ, and Cousins, SW. "A low-vision rehabilitation program for patients with mild cognitive deficits." JAMA Ophthalmol 131, no. 7 (July 2013): 912-919.

PMID
23619914
Full Text

Bowling, CB, III, JNB, Safford, MM, Whitson, HE, Ritchie, CS, Wadley, VG, Cushman, M, Howard, VJ, Allman, RM, and Muntner, P. "Nondisease-specific problems and all-cause mortality in the REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke study." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 61, no. 5 (2013): 739-746.

PMID
23617688
Full Text

Chaudhry, SI, McAvay, G, Chen, S, Whitson, H, Newman, AB, Krumholz, HM, and Gill, TM. "Risk factors for hospital admission among older persons with newly diagnosed heart failure: Findings from the cardiovascular health study." Journal of the American College of Cardiology 61, no. 6 (2013): 635-642.

Full Text

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