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Personal profile


Dr. Rosanne Freak-Poli is a life-course epidemiologist. Her work is strongly driven by social justice, being the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.

Rosanne has a background in public health, statistics and psychology and has experience in government, hospital and university research settings. Rosanne’s PhD (Epidemiology) examined the impact of a pedometer-based intervention in the workplace and contributed to knowledge of intervention evaluation, physical activity, workplace health (lifestyle), and chronic disease risk factor prevention. In 2013 Rosanne was awarded an NHMRC Early Career Research Fellowship to investigate the relationship between happiness and health. This award provided an international residency in The Netherlands to gain access to The Rotterdam Study, a longitudinal database following 15,000 older adults. Her research aimed to gain a better understanding of the interaction between psychological and physical health – an important aspect for government resource allocation. For example, depression after a cardiovascular disease event is commonly considered a risk-factor for increased mortality. However, Rosanne demonstrated that the cardiovascular disease event was inflating already high levels of depressive symptoms that were present prior.

Rosanne has been awarded a Heart Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship to investigate social isolation as a risk-factor for cardiovascular disease in an Australian setting. Australia has a unique geographic population spread and it is unclear whether social isolation or geographic isolation is more important for cardiovascular prevention and management. Rosanne will use the ASPirin Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) study, a randomised control trial of aspirin which followed 16,703 Australians aged 70+ years for five years.

Rosanne's involvement in numerous research projects has given her a strong understanding of project design, implementation, post-production and completion and has had extensive experience with current advanced statistical analysis techniques and methodologies. From prior work she has research strengths in sexual behaviour, chronic disease risk, sleep, physical activity and intervention evaluation. While Rosanne’s focus is upon active ageing, she has a passion for longitudinal analysis, knowledge translation and program evaluation that is inclusive of a wider range of health areas and age groups. Her aim is to utilise epidemiological theory, biostatistical application and knowledge of human psychology to give a more comprehensive picture of health issues.

Rosanne has been the recipient of a number of awards including a BUPA Emerging Health Researcher Commendation Award, Doctoral Program Excellence Award, and World Health Organization Internship in Geneva. Rosanne's work has informed at least a dozen policy documents and two dozen media articles, including I don't think lonely could apply to me, I was wrong; Active Ageing: Let’s talk about sex (In Print: Community Care Review); The case that exercise cuts depression is stronger than everTwo million Australians feel isolated at Christmas, Salvation Army saysMental Health During The Festive SeasonEncouraging older Australians to connect this festive season.







External positions

Affiliation, Erasmus MC (Erasmus University Medical Center)

17 Jun 2013 → …

Research area keywords

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health
  • Preventive Medicine
  • Ageing
  • Psychological well-being
  • Resilience
  • Quality Of Life
  • Intervention Studies
  • Chronic Disease Prevention and Management
  • Health Behaviour
  • psychiatric epidemiology
  • Longitudinal designs and analyses
  • Loneliness
  • Social isolation
  • Quantitative
  • Active ageing
  • Data Analysis
  • Social support
  • Social interaction
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Sexual activity
  • Aging
  • Sexual behaviour
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • coronary heart disease
  • longitudinal data
  • Life Course Analysis
  • Survival analysis
  • Evaluation
  • Systematic Review
  • meta-analysis
  • Social health
  • Social epidemiology


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