Heather Elizabeth Whitson, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine
Associate Professor in Ophthalmology
Deputy Director of the Duke 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.  Within the Duke Aging Center, she leads research efforts aimed at promoting resilience to late-life stressors (e.g., surgery, sensory loss).  She has developed a novel rehabilitation model for people with co-existing vision and cognitive deficits, and she 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.H.S., Duke University, 2009
  • M.D., Cornell University, 2000

Publications

Chan, VTT, Sun, Z, Tang, S, Chen, LJ, Wong, A, Tham, CC, Wong, TY, Chen, C, Ikram, MK, Whitson, HE, Lad, EM, Mok, VCT, and Cheung, CY. "Spectral-Domain OCT Measurements in Alzheimer's Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis." Ophthalmology 126, no. 4 (April 2019): 497-510. (Review)

PMID
30114417
Full Text

Deardorff, WJ, Liu, PL, Sloane, R, Van Houtven, C, Pieper, CF, Hastings, SN, Cohen, HJ, and Whitson, HE. "Association of Sensory and Cognitive Impairment With Healthcare Utilization and Cost in Older Adults." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (March 29, 2019).

PMID
30924932
Full Text

Bowling, CB, Whitson, HE, and Johnson, TM. "The 5Ts: Preliminary Development of a Framework to Support Inclusion of Older Adults in Research." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 67, no. 2 (February 2019): 342-346.

PMID
30693952
Full Text

Berger, M, Oyeyemi, D, Olurinde, MO, Whitson, HE, Weinhold, KJ, Woldorff, MG, Lipsitz, LA, Moretti, E, Giattino, CM, Roberts, KC, Zhou, J, Bunning, T, Ferrandino, M, Scheri, RP, Cooter, M, Chan, C, Cabeza, R, Browndyke, JN, Murdoch, DM, Devinney, MJ, Shaw, LM, Cohen, HJ, Mathew, JP, and INTUIT Investigators, . "The INTUIT Study: Investigating Neuroinflammation Underlying Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (January 23, 2019).

PMID
30674067
Full Text

Lee, MJ, Varadaraj, V, Ramulu, PY, Whitson, HE, Deal, JA, and Swenor, BK. "Memory and Confusion Complaints in Visually Impaired Older Adults: An Understudied Aspect of Well-Being." Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine 5 (January 8, 2019): 2333721418818944-null.

PMID
30671493
Full Text

Todd, J, Whitson, HE, and Marshall, EC. "Eye and Vision Health for Tomorrow: From Recommendations to Coordinated Action." Jama Ophthalmology (December 6, 2018).

PMID
30520949
Full Text

Whitson, HE, Cronin-Golomb, A, Cruickshanks, KJ, Gilmore, GC, Owsley, C, Peelle, JE, Recanzone, G, Sharma, A, Swenor, B, Yaffe, K, and Lin, FR. "American Geriatrics Society and National Institute on Aging Bench-to-Bedside Conference: Sensory Impairment and Cognitive Decline in Older Adults." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 66, no. 11 (November 2018): 2052-2058.

PMID
30248173
Full Text

Matchar, DB, Ansah, JP, Koh, V, and Whitson, HE. "Trajectories of functional ability over the life course: a conceptual model of the interaction of stressor-induced functional loss and resilience." System Dynamics Review 34, no. 4 (October 1, 2018): 481-502.

Full Text

Ong, SS, Proia, AD, Whitson, HE, Farsiu, S, Doraiswamy, PM, and Lad, EM. "Ocular amyloid imaging at the crossroad of Alzheimer's disease and age-related macular degeneration: implications for diagnosis and therapy." Journal of Neurology (August 28, 2018). (Review)

PMID
30155741
Full Text

Whitson, HE, Cohen, HJ, Schmader, KE, Morey, MC, Kuchel, G, and Colon-Emeric, CS. "Physical Resilience: Not Simply the Opposite of Frailty." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 66, no. 8 (August 2018): 1459-1461.

PMID
29577234
Full Text

Pages