Diane S. Lauderdale
Diane S. Lauderdale is an epidemiologist whose research examines how behavioral and social factors influence health and health disparities. Her recent work has focused on sleep as a behavioral risk factor. This work includes studies of how people’s perceptions of sleep duration and disruption are related to objective sleep measures, studies of how social factors such as social connectedness and loneliness relate to sleep, and studies of how both sleep perceptions and objective measures are associated with health outcomes, including coronary artery disease, obesity, mortality, cortisol levels, and sensory perception. She found marked racial, socioeconomic, and gender disparities in objective sleep duration and disruption among middle aged adults and demonstrated that self-reported sleep duration is systematically biased relative to objective measures.
She has also carried out a series of studies about the health of immigrants to the United States. These includes studies of mortality, pre-immigration influence on late-life health, ethnic enclave variation in health behaviors, and discrimination effects on health. In this area, she demonstrated that Arab American women who gave birth in the months following 9/11, a period of unprecedented violence and discrimination for this group, had worse birth outcomes than similar women giving birth a year earlier, a difference not seen for other racial and ethnic groups. This study provided new evidence of stress effects on birth outcomes.
She also directs the MS for Clinical Professionals (MSCP) in Public Health Sciences, a degree program that prepares clinicians to carry out research in clinical epidemiology and health services research.