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Ling Han

Senior Research Scientist (Geriatrics)

Research Summary

Dr. Han's research career started with psychiatric epidemiology and clinical psychometry three decades ago, when he was a practicing psychiatrist and lecturer in a university affiliated teaching hospital in Nanjing, China. He published a series of reports on prevalence and risk factors of neurotic disorders and won 2 WHO awards for Chinese Young Professionals and The SHANGHAI-RHONE-POULENC Award for Outstanding Research Paper. In 1994, he came to the University of Washington Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine as an International Medical Scholar Program fellow under ECFMG’s sponsorship. Afterwards he worked as a NIH Visiting Associate with NIMH and published the first epidemiological survey on mood seasonality in Chinese population. Subsequently he completed a research fellowship in geriatric psychiatry with McGill University, where he developed a clinician consensus-based anticholinergic score to assess cognitive burden of anticholinergic medications. After joining Yale Program on Aging (POA) in 2001, his research interests had since expanded to longitudinal modeling of cognitive and functional decline and quasi-experimental methodologies to address selection and confounding bias in observational studies. In collaboration with POA and VA colleagues, he updated the clinician-rated anticholinergic score to assess a broader array of common medications used in elderly and raised awareness of medical and general communities to potential chronic effects of anticholinergic polypharmacy on cognitive and executive functions of community-dwelling older persons. His other areas of active research include application of latent class growth model to “phenotype” cognitive and functional aging, and use of propensity score and other quasi-experimental methodologies to address potential selection and indication bias in observational studies of medical interventions, including opioid medications and complementary and integrative approaches for chronic pain. Recently his research interests have extended to the use of multi-level mixed effect model to delineate potential “contextual” effects of healthcare facilities and socioeconomic environments on diseases and health outcomes and their interactions with individual risk factors of patients.


Research Interests

Activities of Daily Living; Alzheimer Disease; Chronic Disease; Cognition Disorders; Delirium; Depressive Disorder; Pain

Public Health Interests

Aging; Epidemiology Methods; Health Care Quality, Efficiency; Mental Health; Modeling

Selected Publications