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Personal profile


Dr. Rosanne Freak-Poli is a life-course epidemiologist dedicated to the field of active ageing.

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.


Recently Rosanne was 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 newly released data from 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.







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
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • coronary heart disease
  • longitudinal data
  • Life Course Analysis
  • Survival analysis
  • Evaluation
  • Systematic Review
  • meta-analysis

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.


Research Output

Mental health trajectories among women in Australia as they age

Tran, T., Hammarberg, K., Ryan, J., Lowthian, J., Freak-Poli, R., Owen, A., Kirkman, M., Curtis, A., Rowe, H., Brown, H., Ward, S., Britt, C. & Fisher, J., 2019, In : Aging and Mental Health. 23, 7, p. 887-896 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

The impact of psychological stress and trauma on later-life cognitive function and dementia

Nilaweera, D., Freak-Poli, R. & Ryan, J., 2019, In : Journal of Gerontology and Geriatrics. 2019, 2, p. 114-122 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

12 Year Trajectories of Depressive Symptoms in Community-Dwelling Older Adults and the Subsequent Risk of Death over 13 Years

Saeed Mirza, S., Ikram, M. A., Freak-Poli, R., Hofman, A., Rizopoulos, D. & Tiemeier, H., 9 May 2018, In : Journal of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. 73, 6, p. 820-827 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Cognitive Impairment, Sexual Activity and Physical Tenderness in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Cross-Sectional Exploration

Freak-Poli, R., Licher, S., Ryan, J., Ikram, M. A. & Tiemeier, H., Oct 2018, In : Gerontology. 64, 6, p. 589–602 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
4 Citations (Scopus)

Corrigendum: Happiness, rather than depression, is associated with sexual behaviour in partnered older adults [Age and Ageing (2016) 101-107,] doi: 10.1093/ageing/afw168

Freak-Poli, R., De Castro Lima, G., Direk, N., Jaspers, L., Pitts, M., Hofman, A. & Tiemeier, H., 1 Mar 2018, In : Age and Ageing. 47, 2, 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment / DebateOtherpeer-review


Australia and New Zealand Obesity Society Student Travel Grant

Freak-Poli, Rosanne (Recipient), 2012

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Best Oral Presentation Award, AMREP EMCR Conference

Freak-Poli, Rosanne (Recipient), 2016

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Best PhD Student ECR Retreat Oral Presentation Award

Freak-Poli, Rosanne (Recipient), 2011

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Conference Support

Freak-Poli, Rosanne (Recipient), 2010

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Conference Support

Freak-Poli, Rosanne (Recipient), 2011

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


  • 5 Public event
  • 4 Contribution to conference

51st Australian Association of Gerontology Conference

Rosanne Freak-Poli (Organiser)

21 Nov 201823 Nov 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesContribution to conference

Who is having sex in later life?

Rosanne Freak-Poli (Contributor)

22 Nov 2018

Activity: Community Talks, Presentations, Exhibitions and EventsPublic event

Physical and psychological benefits of sex in later life.

Rosanne Freak-Poli (Contributor)

22 Nov 2018

Activity: Community Talks, Presentations, Exhibitions and EventsPublic event

Social support versus social isolation versus loneliness: what’s the difference?

Rosanne Freak-Poli (Contributor)

21 Nov 2018

Activity: Community Talks, Presentations, Exhibitions and EventsPublic event

Chair, Session 13C: Ageing well

Rosanne Freak-Poli (Contributor)

23 Nov 2018

Activity: Community Talks, Presentations, Exhibitions and EventsPublic event