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Josje Schoufour



Josje Schoufour

Phone+31 (0)10 70 32118

Biographical Sketch

POSITION TITLE: Postdoc Researcher


Institution and location Degree Completion Date Field of Study
Wageningen University BSc 06/2009 Nutrition and Health
Wageningen University MSc 03/2011 Nutritional Physiology
Erasmus University Medical Center PhD 06/2015 Ageing

Personal Statement

I am a nutritionist and postdoctoral researcher at ErasmusAGE, department of epidemiology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. I hold a BSc degree in Nutrition and Health and a MSc degree in Nutritional Physiology, both from the Wageningen University. My research mainly focuses on investigating the role of nutrition and physical activity on ageing, with a particular interest in frailty, sarcopenia and musculoskeletal health. For my studies I use the data from the Rotterdam Study, on ongoing population based cohort among almost 15,000 older adults and older people that have been followed for nearly 25 years. My interests include dietary patterns, protein intake, anti-oxidant intake, body composition, trajectories of health and healthy ageing. So far I have published 25 international scientific papers and 1 book chapter and currently lead a research line including 4 PhD students and 7 Master students. 

Positions and Honors

Positions and employment:

2014-present: Postdoctoral scientist, Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, the Netherlands.

2011-2015: PhD scientist, Department of General Practice, Erasmus MC, the Netherlands

2011: Visiting scientist, Department of Geriatric Medicine Research, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada (2 weeks)

2009-2011: Research assistant, Agrotechnology and Food Sciences Group, Wageningen University, the Netherlands



2015: Awarded PhD-degree cum laude

Contributions to Science

Frailty and ageing in people with intellectual disabilities: For the first time a frailty index was applied to a large group of older adults with intellectual disabilities. We found that older people with intellectual disabilities are earlier and more severely frail than older people without an intellectual disability. Frailty was associated to severe health outcomes. For example we showed that a high frailty was related to a higher risk for mortality, decline in dependence, decline in mobility and increased care use. 

Relevant papers:

  1. Schoufour JD, Mitnitski A, Rockwood K, Evenhuis HM, Echteld MA. Development of a frailty index for older people with intellectual disabilities: results from the HA-ID study. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 2013 May;34(5):1541-55, Pubmed PMID 23475005
  2. Schoufour JD, Mitnitski A, Rockwood K, Hilgenkamp TI, Evenhuis HM, Echteld MA. Predicting disabilities in daily functioning in older people with intellectual disabilities using a frailty index. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 2014 Oct;35(10):2267-77, Pubmed PMID  24950014
  3. Schoufour JD, Mitnitski A, Rockwood K, Evenhuis, HM, Echteld MA. Predicting 3-year survival in older people with intellectual disabilities using a frailty index. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2015 Mar;63(3):531-6: Pubmed PMID  25754689
  4. Schoufour JD, Bastiaanse LP, Mitnitski A, Rockwood K, Evenhuis HM, Echteld MA. The use of a frailty index to predict adverse health outcomes in people with intellectual disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, Research in Developmental Disabilities, 2015 Mar;38:39-47 Pubmed PMID  25576875

From 2015 onwards I focus on the effect of nutrition and physical activity on age-related outcomes in the general population and how socio-economic status might influence this association. We have found that a high education is associated with a higher dietary quality and to a larger likelihood to beneficially change dietary quality over time. Specifically, we found that people with a high education were more likely to adapt their diet as a responds to new dietary guidelines (i.e higher intake of fish and lower intake of trans fatty acids after this was recommended by the Dutch dietary quidelines). Furthermore, we found that physical activity and dietary intake can beneficially effect frailty, the risk for cardiovascular disease, bone mineral density and mortality.

Relevant papers:

  1. Schoufour JD, de Jonge EAL, Kiefte-de Jong JC, van Lenthe FJ, Hofman A, Nunn SPT, Franco OH. Socio-economic indicators and dietary in an elderly population: The Rotterdam Study. International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity (second revision)
  2. Koolhaas CM, Dhana K, Golubic R, Schoufour JD, Hofman A, van Rooij FJ, Franco OH. Physical Activity Types and Coronary Heart Disease Risk in Middle-Aged and Elderly Persons: The Rotterdam Study. Am J Epidemiol. 2016 Apr 15;183(8):729-38. Pubmed PMID 27022033
  3. de Jonge EA, Kiefte-de Jong JC, de Groot LC, Voortman T, Schoufour JD, Zillikens MC, Hofman A, Uitterlinden AG, Franco OH, Rivadeneira F. Development of a Food Group-Based Diet Score and Its Association with Bone Mineral Density in the Elderly: The Rotterdam Study. Nutrients. 2015 Aug 18;7(8):6974-90.Pubmed PMID  26295256

Research Support

2016: Private Partner – Childhood nutrition & health (€184,000).

2012: Stichting SPZ (stichting tot bevordering van de sociaal-pedagogische zorg) for the project ‘Quality of life and frailty in people with an intellectual disability’. Co-authored  €10.000)

2012-2015 several travel grants (total €1200)


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