Kristine Yaffe, MD

Kristine Yaffe, MD
MD, University of Pennsylvania
Roy and Marie Scola Endowed Chair in Psychiatry
Associate Chair of Clinical and Translational Research, Department of Psychiatry
Professor, Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Epidemiology
Chief of Geriatric Psychiatry and Director of the Memory Disorders Clinic at the San Francisco VA Medical Center

Phone: (415) 221-4810 x3985
Fax: (415) 750-6641
E-mail: [email protected]

Dementia Epidemiology Research Group -
UCSF Memory and Aging Center -
San Francisco VA Medical Center Mental Health Service -

Research Interests:

In both my research and clinical work, I have directed my efforts towards improving the care of patients with cognitive disorders and other geriatric neuropsychiatric conditions. I am particularly interested in identifying novel risk factors for cognitive impairment that may lead to strategies to prevent cognitive decline and dementia.

My research focuses on the epidemiology of cognitive impairment and its risk factors including physical and intellectual inactivity, sleep disorders, chronic medical conditions including diabetes, obesity and chronic kidney disease, and depression. I am the PI of several grants funded by the NIH, DOD, State of California Public Health Department, the Alzheimer Association and other foundations. These projects include “Biomarkers of Optimal Cognitive Aging”, a study designed to determine biomarkers associated with maintaining optimal cognitive function in late life, “Predictors of MCI/Dementia among the Oldest Old Women”, a novel study of the risk factors for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia among women who have survived into their ninth and tenth decades of life, and “Long Term Depressive Symptom Course & Adverse Health Outcomes among Older Women”, the goal of which is to determine the impact of depressive symptoms on age-related health outcomes and to identify the biological mechanisms that may link depression to cognitive function and decline. More recently, my focus has also extended to the conceptualization and characterization of Healthy Brain Aging.

Selected Publications:

  1. Yaffe K, Sawaya G, Lieberburg I, Grady D. Estrogen Therapy in Postmenopausal Women: Effects on Cognitive Function and Dementia. JAMA. 1998; 279(9):688-695.
  2. Yaffe K, Blackwell T, Gore R, Sands L, Reus V, Browner W. Depressive Symptoms and Cognitive decline in nondemented elderly women: A prospective study. Archives of General Psychiatry. 1999; 56(5):425-30.
  3. Yaffe K, Lui L, Grady, D, Cauley J, Kramer J, Cummings SR. Cognitive decline in women in relation to non-protein-bound oestradiol concentrations. Lancet. 2000; 356(9231):708-12.
  4. Yaffe K, Barnes D, Nevitt M, Lui L, Covinsky K. A prospective study of physical activity and cognitive decline in elderly women: women who walk. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2001; 161(14):1703-1708.
  5. Yaffe K, Haan M, Byers A, Tangen C, Kuller L. Estrogen use, APOE, and cognitive decline: Evidence of gene-environment interaction. Neurology. 2000; 54(10):1949-1954.
  6. Yaffe K, Krueger K, Sarkar S, Grady D, Barrett-Connor E, Cox D, Nickelsen T. Cognitive function in postmenopausal women receiving Raloxifene therapy for three years: Results from the Multiple Outcomes of Raloxifene Trial. New England Journal of Medicine. 2001; 344(6):1207-13.
  7. Yaffe K, Fox P, Newcomer R, Sands L, Lindquist K, Dane K, Covinsky KE. Patient and Caregiver Characteristics and Nursing Home Placement in Patients with Dementia. JAMA. 2002; 287(16):2090-7.
  8. Trinh N, Hoblyn J, Mohanty S, Yaffe K. Efficacy of Cholinesterase Inhibitors in the Treatment of Neuropsychiatric Symptoms and Functional Impairment in Alzheimer's Disease: A Meta-Analysis. JAMA. 2003; 289(2):210-6.
  9. Yaffe K, Kanaya A, Lindquist, K, Simonsick E, Harris T, Shorr R, Tylavsky F, Newman A. The metabolic syndrome, inflammation and risk of cognitive decline. JAMA. 2004; 292(18):2237-2242.
  10. Whitmer R, Sydney S, Selby J, Johnston SC, Yaffe K. Midlife cardiovascular risk factors and risk of dementia in late life. Neurology. 2005; 64(2):277-281.
  11. Sink K, Holden K, Yaffe K. Pharmacological Treatment of Neuropsychiatric Symptoms of Dementia: A Review of the Evidence. JAMA. 2005; 293(5):596-608.
  12. Whitmer R, Gunderson E, Barrett-Connor E, Quesenberry C, Yaffe K. Obesity in middle age and future risk of dementia: a 27 year longitudinal population based study. British Medical Journal. 2005; 330(7504):1360-1364.
  13. Barnes D, Alexopolous G, Lopez O, Williamsen J, Yaffe K. Depressive symptoms, vascular disease, and mild cognitive impairment: findings from the Cardiovascular Health Study. Archives of General Psychiatry. 2006; 63(3):273-279.
  14. Middleton L, Yaffe K. Promising strategies for the prevention of dementia. Archives of Neurology. 2009; 66(10):1210-5.
  15. Middleton LE, Barnes DE, Lui L-Y, Yaffe K. Physical activity over the life course and its association with cognitive performance and impairment in old age. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2010; 58(7):1322-1326.
  16. Yaffe K, Vittinghoff E, Lindquist K, Barnes DE, Covinsky KE, Neylan T, Kluse M, Marmar C. Post-traumatic stress disorder and risk of dementia among U.S. Veterans. Archives of General Psychiatry. 2010; 67(6): 608-13.
  17. Whitmer R, Quesenberry CP Jr, Zhou J, Yaffe K. Timing of Hormone Therapy and Dementia: The Critical Window Theory Re-visited. Annals of Neurology. 2011; 69(1):163-169. 
  18. Yaffe K, Weston A, Graff-Radford NR, Satterfield S, Simonsick EM, Younkin SG, Younkin LH, Kuller L, Ayonayon HN, Ding J, Harris TB. Association of plasma beta-amyloid level and cognitive reserve with subsequent cognitive decline. JAMA. 2011; 305(3):261-6.
  19. Yaffe K, Laffan AM, Litwack Harrison S, Redline S, Spira AP, Ensrud KE, Ancoli-Israel S, Stone KL. Sleep disordered breathing, hypoxia, and risk of mild cognitive impairment & dementia in older women. JAMA. 2011; 306(6):613-9.
  20. Barnes DE, Yaffe K. The Projected Impact of Risk Factor Reduction on Alzheimer's Disease Prevalence. The Lancet Neurology. 2011; 10(9):819-28.