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. Her 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.