Skip to content
Christopher L. Seplaki, Ph.D.

Christopher L. Seplaki, Ph.D.


About Me

Faculty Appointments

Associate Professor - Department of Public Health Sciences (SMD)

Associate Professor - Department of Psychiatry, Research (SMD) - Joint



PhD | Univ Wisconsin-Madison. Population Health. 2002

MS | Univ Wisconsin-Madison. Economics. 1997

BA | Rutgers University. Economics. 1994


Behavioral and Social Sciences Section. 2014

University of Rochester, Strategic Plan Pilot Grant in Aging Research, 2014-2015. 2014 - 2015

Mason F. Lord Poster Competition Honoring Dr. James Fries. 2007

RAND Summer Institute Full Scholarship. 2003

Conference Student Competition, Highly Commended. 1999

Conference Pre- and Post Doctoral Poster Award. 1999

Distinguished Teaching Assistant. 1996

Rutgers Scholar. 1994

John C. Daniel Memorial Award, Economics. 1994


Dr. Seplaki's overarching goals are to understand how challenges in the social and physical environment interact with the biological processes of aging, and how to translate that understanding into effective interventions that reduce disability and mortality among older adults. His research, spanni...
Dr. Seplaki's overarching goals are to understand how challenges in the social and physical environment interact with the biological processes of aging, and how to translate that understanding into effective interventions that reduce disability and mortality among older adults. His research, spanning both the individual and population level, encompasses physical and social characteristics of the home environment that support or challenge elders, life stressors, and socioeconomic status, and examines how these factors are related to changes in biological indicators of several physiological systems and self-reports of physical and mental health. Key themes in his work include an emphasis on measurement and estimation issues and a focus on subclinical disease processes related to geriatric frailty and allostatic load, including development of measures of health risk related to multi-system dysregulation. Taken together, Dr. Seplaki's research seeks to provide an integrated perspective on trajectories of health in late life and, ultimately, identify opportunities to reduce disability and mortality and improve the ability of older adults to continue to live independently.

Keywords: Aging, disability, environment, frailty, biomarkers, measurement, health disparities


Journal Articles

Dysmenorrhea catastrophizing and functional impairment in female pelvic pain

Li R†, DA Kreher, AL Gubbels, TM Palermo, AR Benjamin, CS Irvine, A Hart, TA Jusko, CL Seplaki.

Frontiers in Pain Research. 2023; .

"Mental health outcomes and correlates in cancer patients entering survivorship after curative treatment."

Kittel, JA†, CL Seplaki, E van Wijngaarden, J Richman, A Magnuson, Y Conwell.

The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine. 2023; .

Moran MC†, Klose A, Yoshida T, De Benedetto A, Schneider LC, Ong PY, Simpson EL, Leung DYM, Miller BL, Seplaki CL, Beck LA.

History of S. aureus Skin Infection Significantly Associates

Modifiable fall risk factors among older adults with advanced cancer: Secondary analysis of a cluster-randomized clinical trial

Jensen-Battaglia† M, M Mohammed, KP Loh, M Wells, R Tylock, E Ramsdale, B Canin, J Geer, MA O'Rourke, JJ Liu, CL Seplaki, SG Mohile, TM Wildes.

Journal of Geriatric Oncology. 2023; .

Association of Prognostic Understanding With Health Care Use Among Older Adults With Advanced Cancer: A Secondary Analysis of a Cluster Randomized Clinical Trial.

Loh KP, Seplaki CL, Sanapala C, Yousefi-Nooraie R, Lund JL, Epstein RM, Duberstein PR, Flannery M, Culakova E, Xu H, McHugh C, Klepin HD, Lin PJ, Watson E, Grossman VA, Liu JJ, Geer J, O'Rourke MA, Mustian K, Mohile SG

JAMA network open.. 2022 February 15 (2):e220018. Epub 02/01/2022.

Assessment of absolute risk of life-threatening cardiac events in long QT syndrome patients

Wang M†, DR Peterson, E Pagan, V Bagnardi, A Mazzanti, S McNitt, DQ Rich, CL Seplaki, V Kutyifa, B Polonsky, A Barsheshet, D Kukavica, S Rosero, I Goldenberg, S Priori, W Zareba.

Cardiovasc Med. 2022; .

Breastfeeding Motivation Predicts Infant Feeding Intention and Outcomes: Evaluation of a Novel Adaptation of the Treatment Self-Regulation Questionnaire

Martin, H.; van Wijngaarden, E.; Seplaki, C.; Stringer, J.; Williams, GC.; Dozier, AM.

Forthcoming in the Journal of Human Lactation. 2021; .

Moderate to Severe Chronic Pain in Later Life: Risk and Resilience Factors for Recovery.

Li, R†.; Dworkin, RH.; Chapman, BP.; Becerra, AZ.; Yang, L.; Mooney, CJ.; Seplaki, CL.

Forthcoming in The Journal of Pain. 2021; .

Effectiveness of Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillators to Reduce Mortality in Patients With Long QT Syndrome.

Wang M, Peterson DR, Rosero S, McNitt S, Rich DQ, Seplaki CL, Polonsky B, Goldenberg I, Zareba W.

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2021; 78(21): 2076-2088.

Principles and Issues for Physical Frailty Measurement and its Clinical Application.

Bandeen-Roche K, Gross AL, Varadhan R, Buta B, Carlson MC, Huisingh-Scheetz M, McAdams-DeMarco M, Piggott DA, Brown TT, Hasan RK, Kalyani RR, Seplaki CL, Walston JD, Xue QL

The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences.. 2019 July 9 Epub 07/09/2019.

Rehabilitation Providers' Prediction of the Likely Success of the SNF-to-Home Transition Differs by Discipline.

Simning A, Caprio TV, Seplaki CL, Conwell Y

Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.. 2019 January 7 Epub 01/07/2019.

Association of the cumulative burden of late-life anxiety and depressive symptoms with functional impairment

Simning A., C.L. Seplaki.

International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. 2019; .

Principles and Issues for Physical Frailty Measurement and its Clinical Application.

Simning, A.; Caprio, TV.; Infurna, FJ.; Seplaki, C.

Aging Mental Health. 2019; .

Longitudinal and reciprocal associations between financial strain, home characteristics and mobility in the National Health and Aging Trends Study.

Samuel, LJ.; Szanton, SL.; Seplaki, C.; Cudjoe, TKM.; Thorpe Jr., RJ.; Agree, EM.

BMC Geriatric. 2019; .

Patient-Reported Outcomes in Functioning Following Nursing Home or Inpatient Rehabilitation.

Simning A, Caprio TV, Seplaki CL, Temkin-Greener H, Szanton SL, Conwell Y

Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.. 2018 October 19 (10):864-870. Epub 07/25/2018.

Perceived Control Mediates Effects of Socioeconomic Status and Chronic Stress on Physical Frailty: Findings From the Health and Retirement Study.

Mooney CJ, Elliot AJ, Douthit KZ, Marquis A, Seplaki CL

The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences.. 2018 September 2073 (7):1175-1184. Epub 1900 01 01.

Impact of Length of Residence in the United States on Risk of Diabetes and Hypertension in Resettled Refugees.

Golub N, Seplaki C, Stockman D, Thevenet-Morrison K, Fernandez D, Fisher S

Journal of immigrant and minority health. 2018 April 20 (2):296-306. Epub 1900 01 01.

The Relative Costs of High- vs. Low-Energy-Density Foods and More vs. Less Healthful Beverages Consumed by Children.

Evans KA, Stewart PA, Cook SR, Seplaki CL, Rich DQ, Fernandez ID

Journal of hunger & environmental nutrition.. 2018 13 (2):240-254. Epub 01/02/2018.

A Quiescent Phase in Human Mortality? Exploring the Ages of Least Vulnerability.

Engelman M, Seplaki CL, Varadhan R

Demography.. 2017 June 54 (3):1097-1118. Epub 1900 01 01.

Cumulative Physiologic Dysfunction and Pregnancy: Characterization and Association with Birth Outcomes.

McKee KS, Seplaki C, Fisher S, Groth SW, Fernandez ID

Maternal and child health journal.. 2017 January 21 (1):147-155. Epub 1900 01 01.

Home but still engaged: participation in social activities among the homebound.

Szanton SL, Roberts L, Leff B, Walker JL, Seplaki CL, Soones T, Thorpe RJ, Ornstein KA

Quality of life research : an international journal of quality of life aspects of treatment, care and rehabilitation.. 2016 August 25 (8):1913-20. Epub 02/17/2016.

The association of an inability to form and maintain close relationships due to a medical condition with anxiety and depressive disorders.

Simning A, Seplaki CL, Conwell Y

Journal of affective disorders.. 2016 March 15193 :130-6. Epub 01/06/2016.

Prehospital Trauma Triage Decision-making: A Model of What Happens between the 9-1-1 Call and the Hospital.

Jones CM, Cushman JT, Lerner EB, Fisher SG, Seplaki CL, Veazie PJ, Wasserman EB, Dozier A, Shah MN

Prehospital emergency care.. 2016 20 (1):6-14. Epub 05/27/2015.

Frailty in Older Adults: A Nationally Representative Profile in the United States.

Bandeen-Roche K, Seplaki CL, Huang J, Buta B, Kalyani RR, Varadhan R, Xue QL, Walston JD, Kasper JD

The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences.. 2015 November 70 (11):1427-34. Epub 08/21/2015.

Disability Trajectories At The End Of Life: A Countdown Model." Journals of Gerontology B: Social Sciences. 2015; : [Epub ahead of print] PMCID Pending.

Wolf DA; VA Freedman; JI Ondrich; CL Seplaki; BC Spillman.

Reply. Journals of Gerontology B:

Older adults' favorite activities are resoundingly active: findings from the NHATS study.

Szanton SL, Walker RK, Roberts L, Thorpe RJ, Wolff J, Agree E, Roth DL, Gitlin LN, Seplaki C

Geriatric nursing.. 2015 36 (2):131-5. Epub 01/23/2015.

Assistive devices in context: cross-sectional association between challenges in the home environment and use of assistive devices for mobility.

Seplaki CL, Agree EM, Weiss CO, Szanton SL, Bandeen-Roche K, Fried LP

The Gerontologist.. 2014 August 54 (4):651-60. Epub 04/24/2013.

"Physical Activity as a Coping Strategy for Smoking Cessation in Mid-Life and Older Adults."

Treviño LA†, L Baker, S McIntosh, K Mustian, CL Seplaki, JJ Guido, & DJ Ossip.

Addictive Behaviors. 2014; : May 2014; 39(5):885-8. Epub 2014 Feb 4. PMCID: PMC3999960.

"Depressive Symptoms are Associated with Allostatic Load among Community-Dwelling Older Adults."

Kobrosly RW; E van Wijngaarden; CL Seplaki; DA Cory-Slechta; J Moynihan.

Physiology & Behavior. 2014; : January 2014; 123: 223-30. PMCID: PMC3934832.

Multisystem physiological dysfunction is associated with depressive symptoms in a population-based sample of older adults.

Kobrosly RW, Seplaki CL, Cory-Slechta DA, Moynihan J, van Wijngaarden E

International journal of geriatric psychiatry.. 2013 July 28 (7):718-27. Epub 09/07/2012.

A novel statistical approach shows evidence for multi-system physiological dysregulation during aging.

Cohen AA, Milot E, Yong J, Seplaki CL, Fülöp T, Bandeen-Roche K, Fried LP

Mechanisms of ageing and development.. 2013 March 134 (3-4):110-7. Epub 01/31/2013.

HIV risk among women from domestic violence agencies: Prevalence and correlates

Mittal, M, JK Stockman, CL Seplaki, K Thevenet-Morrison, J Guido, MPCarey.

Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care. 2013; : 322-30.

"Low-intensity walking activity is associated with better health."

Journal of Applied Gerontology. 2013; : [Epub ahead of print] Dec 11, 2013. PMCID:.

Patterns of 12-year change in physical activity levels in community-dwelling older women: can modest levels of physical activity help older women live longer?

Xue QL, Bandeen-Roche K, Mielenz TJ, Seplaki CL, Szanton SL, Thorpe RJ, Kalyani RR, Chaves PH, Dam TT, Ornstein K, RoyChoudhury A, Varadhan R, Yao W, Fried LP

American journal of epidemiology.. 2012 September 15176 (6):534-43. Epub 08/30/2012.

Physiologic dysfunction scores and cognitive function test performance in U.S. adults.

Kobrosly RW, Seplaki CL, Jones CM, van Wijngaarden E

Psychosomatic medicine.. 2012 January 74 (1):81-8. Epub 12/07/2011.

Incident preclinical mobility disability (PCMD) increases future risk of new difficulty walking and reduction in walking activity.

Weiss CO, Wolff JL, Egleston B, Seplaki CL, Fried LP

Archives of gerontology and geriatrics.. 2012 54 (3):e329-33. Epub 09/23/2011.

Community aging in place, advancing better living for elders: a bio-behavioral-environmental intervention to improve function and health-related quality of life in disabled older adults.

Szanton SL, Thorpe RJ, Boyd C, Tanner EK, Leff B, Agree E, Xue QL, Allen JK, Seplaki CL, Weiss CO, Guralnik JM, Gitlin LN

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.. 2011 December 59 (12):2314-20. Epub 10/21/2011.

Blunted diurnal decline of cortisol among older adults with low socioeconomic status.

Agbedia OO, Varma VR, Seplaki CL, Seeman TE, Fried LP, Li L, Harris GC, Rebok GW, Xue QL, Tan EJ, Tanner E, Parisi JM, McGill S, Carlson MC

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.. 2011 August 1231 :56-64. Epub 1900 01 01.

Openness and conscientiousness predict 34-week patterns of Interleukin-6 in older persons.

Chapman BP, van Wingaarden E, Seplaki CL, Talbot N, Duberstein P, Moynihan J

Brain, behavior, and immunity.. 2011 May 25 (4):667-73. Epub 01/15/2011.

Socioeconomic status is associated with frailty: the Women's Health and Aging Studies.

Szanton SL, Seplaki CL, Thorpe RJ, Allen JK, Fried LP

Journal of epidemiology and community health.. 2010 January 64 (1):63-7. Epub 1900 01 01.

Allostatic load and frailty in the women's health and aging studies.

Szanton SL, Allen JK, Seplaki CL, Bandeen-Roche K, Fried LP

Biological research for nursing.. 2009 January 10 (3):248-56. Epub 09/30/2008.

Stimulus-response paradigm for characterizing the loss of resilience in homeostatic regulation associated with frailty.

Varadhan R, Seplaki CL, Xue QL, Bandeen-Roche K, Fried LP

Mechanisms of ageing and development.. 2008 November 129 (11):666-70. Epub 09/30/2008.

Self-selected walking speed was consistent when recorded while using a cane.

Weiss CO, Seplaki CL, Wolff JL, Kasper JD, Agree EM

Journal of clinical epidemiology.. 2008 June 61 (6):622-7. Epub 03/10/2008.

Characterizing hospice services in the United States.

Smith MA, Seplaki C, Biagtan M, DuPreez A, Cleary J

The Gerontologist.. 2008 February 48 (1):25-31. Epub 1900 01 01.

Predicting mortality from clinical and nonclinical biomarkers.

Goldman N, Turra CM, Glei DA, Seplaki CL, Lin YH, Weinstein M

The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences.. 2006 October 61 (10):1070-4. Epub 1900 01 01.

Before and after the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake: traumatic events and depressive symptoms in an older population.

Seplaki CL, Goldman N, Weinstein M, Lin YH

Social science & medicine.. 2006 June 62 (12):3121-32. Epub 01/19/2006.

Measurement of cumulative physiological dysregulation in an older population.

Seplaki CL, Goldman N, Weinstein M, Lin YH

Demography.. 2006 February 43 (1):165-83. Epub 1900 01 01.

Perceived stress and physiological dysregulation in older adults.

Goldman N, Glei DA, Seplaki C, Liu IW, Weinstein M

Stress : the international journal on the biology of stress.. 2005 June 8 (2):95-105. Epub 1900 01 01.

A comparative analysis of measurement approaches for physiological dysregulation in an older population.

Seplaki CL, Goldman N, Glei D, Weinstein M

Experimental gerontology.. 2005 May 40 (5):438-49. Epub 04/26/2005.

Determinants of Mortality at Older Ages: The Role of Biological Markers of Chronic Disease

Turra, C.M.; Goldman, N.; Seplaki, C.L.; Glei, D.A.; Lin, Y-H; Weinstein, M.

Population and Development Review. 2005; 31(4): 677-701.

How are biomarkers related to physical and mental well-being?

Seplaki CL, Goldman N, Weinstein M, Lin YH

The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences.. 2004 March 59 (3):201-17. Epub 1900 01 01.

Causes, Problems, and Benefits of Different Between and Within Effects in the Analysis of Clustered Data

Palta, M.; Seplaki, C.

Health Services and Outcomes Research Methodology. 2002; 3(3-4): 177-193.

Death rate variation in US subpopulations.

Kindig DA, Seplaki CL, Libby DL

Bulletin of the World Health Organization.. 2002 80 (1):9-15. Epub 1900 01 01.

Jones CMC, Cushman JT, Lerner EB, Veazie PJ, Seplaki CL, Wasserman EB, Dozier A, Shah MN.

Prehospital Trauma Triage Decision-Making: A Model of What Happens Between the 911 Call

Mental Health Outcomes and Correlates in Cancer Patients Entering Survivorship

Kitttel, JA†.; Seplaki, CL.; van Wijngaarden, E.; Richman, J.; Magnuson, A.; Conwell, Y.


The role of mobility devices in person-environment fit: Implications for household accessibility

Jensen-Battaglia, M†.; Agree, E.; Seplaki C.

Journal of Aging and Environment. .

Empirical review of the association between assistive devices and the environment.

Jensen-Battaglia, M.; Agree, E.; Seplaki, C.

Assistive Device use and Frailty: Evidence from the NHATS

Anand, M.; Jensen-Battaglia, M.; Seplaki, C.


Disparities in Frailty Dynamics in the U.S.: Findings from the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS).

Seplaki, C.; Huang, J.; Bandeen-Roche, K.

A Symposium Presentation, Annual Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, November 16, 2018. Boston, MA.

Pre-operative FEV1 is associated with increased hospital length of stay after LVAD implantation.

Kottman†, RM.; Alexis, J.; McGrane-Minton, H.; Seplaki, C.; Daimee, U.; Rich, D.; Love, T.; Chen, L.; Vidula, H.

Journal of Cardiac Failure. .

Assessment of absolute risk of life-threatening cardiac events in long QT syndrome patients.

Wang†, W.; Peterson, DR.; McNitt, S.; Rich, DQ.; Seplaki, C.; Kutyifa, V.; Barsheshet, A.; Goldenberg, I.; Zareba, W.

Circulation. .

A Missing Step: Assessing Breastfeeding Initiation at the Community Level

Dozier, AM,; Brownell, EA.; Thevenet-Morrison, K.; Yang, H.; Seplaki, C.; Lawrence, R.

Submitted/rejected at Maternal & Child Nutrition, April 2018. Resubmission pending.

Preventing rehospitalization in older patients: The role of specific post-acute home health services.

Wang, J.; Caprio, TV.; Seplaki, C.; Crean, HF.; Heffner, KL.

Accepted for Podium Presentation, 2018 State of the Science Congress on Nursing Research - Precision Health, Washington, DC, USA. Abstract also submitted to the Annual Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, November 2018.

Prehospital undertriage of injured older adults: a mixed methods analysis to explain disparities in field triage.

Jones, CM.; Shah, M.; Seplaki, C.; Lerner, EB.; Veazie, P.; Cushman, J.; Fisher, S.

Resubmission pending.

Effectiveness of implantable cardioverter defibrillators in patients with Long QT Syndrome.

Wang, M†.; McNitt, S.; Peterson, D.; Rosero, S.; Polonsky, B.; Rich, DQ.; Seplaki, C.; Zareba, W.

Abstract submitted to the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2018. .

Medical Toxicology beside consultation provides enhanced clearance compared to Poison Center based protocols in pediatric antidepressant ingestions

Do, M†.; Seplaki, C.; Abbassi, A.; Jones, C.; Wiegand, T.

Poster presentation at the American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) Annual Scientific Meeting, April 8, 2018, Washington, DC. Manuscript in preparation.

Advances in Survey Assessment of Disability in Older Adults: Measuring Physical and Cognitive Capacity in the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS).

Kasper, JD.; Edwards, B.; Freedman, VA.; Seplaki, C.; Weiss, C.; Carlson, M.; Bruce, T.; Guralnik, JM.; Plassman, BL.; Wallace, R.; Varma, V.; Niefeld, M.

National Center for Health Statistics. (In Press). 10th Conference


"Master of Public Health Program Self-Study Report: Submitted for Application for Re-accreditation By The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)". (2021)

Authors: Seplaki CL, with others

Publisher: Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Rochester School of Medicine 2021

The Biological Consequences of Socioeconomic Inequalities (2012)

Chapter: Reversing the impact of SES disparities over the life course on cognitive and brain aging

Authors: Carlson MC, CL Seplaki, TE Seeman

Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation, New York 2012

Encyclopedia of the Life Course and Human Development (2009)

Chapter: Frailty and Robustness

Authors: Seplaki, CL; Szanton, SL

Publisher: Macmillan Reference USA, Detroit 2009

Office of Population Research Working Paper Series (2004)

Chapter: Variation in Living Environments Among Community-Dwelling Elders

Authors: Seplaki CL, MA Smith, BH Singer

Publisher: Princeton, Princeton University 2004

Encyclopedia of Aging (2002)

Chapter: Health Insurance: National Approaches

Authors: Gould, E; et al

Publisher: Macmillan Reference, New York 2002

University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ph.D. Thesis, Department of Population Health (2002)

Chapter: The Measurement and Dynamic Analysis of Elderly Living Environment Transitions and Outcomes

Authors: Seplaki CL

Publisher: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ph.D. Thesis, Department 2002