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Gerda G. Fillenbaum, PhD

Professor Emeritus in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Division: 
Geriatric Behavioral Health
Category: 
Office: 0506 Busse Bldg, Durham, NC 27710
Campus Mail: DUMC Box 3003 Med Ctr, Durham, NC 27710

Major focus is in three areas: epidemiology of dementia, assessment of functional status in the elderly, and pharmacoepidemiology.

With respect to the epidemiology of dementia I am running a major survey to determine the prevalence and incidence of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias in black and white elderly community residents. In addition to determining age-, sex-, and race-specific rates, risk factors for these conditions are being determined. Attempts are underway to improve diagnostic distinctions among the dementias; computer-based assessment, suitable for epidemiological surveys, is being developed. Subjects are being followed to better identify those who will develop dementia, and compare the course of disease in black and white elderly who are demented.

Interest in the functional status of the elderly includes developing assessments suitable for use in an illiterate population, studies to try to understand the relationship of functional status to selected demographic and health characteristics, and identifying measures valuable cross-nationally for use and distribution by the World Health Organization.

In pharmacoepidemiology my major focus continues to be on identifying those characteristics (predisposing, need, enabling) which best explain use of prescription and nonprescription drugs and change in use of these in the elderly. I am particularly interested in determining whether lesser use of prescription drugs by black elderly indicates under use by this group, or whether white elderly are over-utilizing medications. The results of these studies have relevance for public health policy.

Education and Training

  • Ph.D., University of London (United Kingdom), 1966

Publications

Parker, Daniel C., Bryce N. Bartlett, Harvey J. Cohen, Gerda Fillenbaum, Janet L. Huebner, Virginia Byers Kraus, Carl Pieper, and Daniel W. Belsky. “Association of Blood Chemistry Quantifications of Biological Aging With Disability and Mortality in Older Adults.” J Gerontol a Biol Sci Med Sci 75, no. 9 (September 16, 2020): 1671–79. https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glz219.

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Fillenbaum, Gerda G., Sergio L. Blay, Marcelo F. Mello, Maria I. Quintana, Jair J. Mari, Rodrigo A. Bressan, and Sergio B. Andreoli. “Use of mental health services by community-resident adults with DSM-IV anxiety and mood disorders in a violence-prone area: São Paulo, Brazil.” J Affect Disord 250 (May 1, 2019): 145–52. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2019.03.010.

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Falahati, A., R. Sahaf, A. A. A. Kamrani, Y. A. Momtaz, M. Rassafiani, and G. Fillenbaum. “Validity and reliability of OARS multidimensional functional assessment questionnaire in Iranian elderly.” Iranian Rehabilitation Journal 16, no. 2 (June 1, 2018): 169–76. https://doi.org/10.32598/irj.16.2.169.

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Blay, Sergio L., Gerda G. Fillenbaum, Marcelo F. Mello, Maria I. Quintana, Jair J. Mari, Rodrigo A. Bressan, and Sergio B. Andreoli. “12-month prevalence and concomitants of DSM-IV depression and anxiety disorders in two violence-prone cities in Brazil.” J Affect Disord 232 (May 2018): 204–11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2018.02.023.

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King, Katherine E., Gerda G. Fillenbaum, and Harvey J. Cohen. “A Cumulative Deficit Laboratory Test-based Frailty Index: Personal and Neighborhood Associations.” J Am Geriatr Soc 65, no. 9 (September 2017): 1981–87. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.14983.

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Hall, Katherine S., Harvey J. Cohen, Carl F. Pieper, Gerda G. Fillenbaum, William E. Kraus, Kim M. Huffman, Melissa A. Cornish, et al. “Physical Performance Across the Adult Life Span: Correlates With Age and Physical Activity.” J Gerontol a Biol Sci Med Sci 72, no. 4 (April 1, 2017): 572–78. https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glw120.

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Blay, Sergio L., Lawrence R. Landerman, and Gerda G. Fillenbaum. “Is Greater Frequency of Physical Activity Associated with Lower Prevalence of Depression in Older Community Residents? A Study From Brazil.” J Am Geriatr Soc 64, no. 9 (September 2016): e42–44. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.14335.

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Wu, Bei, Gerda G. Fillenbaum, Brenda L. Plassman, and Liang Guo. “Association Between Oral Health and Cognitive Status: A Systematic Review.” J Am Geriatr Soc 64, no. 8 (August 2016): 1752. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.14572.

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Jamerson, Brenda D., Gerda G. Fillenbaum, Richard Sloane, and Miriam C. Morey. “A New Method of Identifying Characteristics of Needing Help to Take Medications in an Older Representative Community-Dwelling Population: The Older Adults Medication Assist Scale.” J Am Geriatr Soc 64, no. 6 (June 2016): 1195–1202. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.14166.

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Wu, Bei, Gerda G. Fillenbaum, Brenda L. Plassman, and Liang Guo. “Association Between Oral Health and Cognitive Status: A Systematic Review.” J Am Geriatr Soc 64, no. 4 (April 2016): 739–51. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.14036.

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