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Elizabeth Barrett-Connor

Expert Profile

Elizabeth Barrett-Connor

Distinguished Professor and Chief of the Epidemiology Division, Family and Preventive Medicine
University of California, San Diego
healthy aging
gender differences in diseases, especially women's health
cardiovascular disease
breast cancer
diabetes as a risk factor for heart disease
female hormone replacement therapy


Dr. Elizabeth Barrett-Connor is a professor of family and preventive medicine at the UCSD School of Medicine. An internationally recognized expert in epidemiology, Barrett-Connor's main focus is on the factors promoting a healthy old age. She is founder and director of the three-decade-old Rancho Bernardo Heart and Chronic Disease Study, which has produced data defining causal factors for diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis as well as cardiovascular disease. Her research focuses on healthy aging and gender differences in disease, with strong emphasis on women's health. She is principal investigator of the largest cardiovascular disease prevention trial ever conducted in women "- RUTH "- which also has breast cancer prevention as a co-primary outcome. As one of the first scientists to examine diabetes as a risk factor for heart disease, Barrett-Connor found that the blood-sugar metabolism disorder poses a greater risk to women than to men. She also was one of the first to question the validity of earlier observational studies, including her own, indicating that hormone replacement therapy protects the female heart. Her challenge to conventional wisdom -- ultimately validated by Women's Health Initiative findings that overall risks of postmenopausal hormone therapy outweigh benefits for chronic diseases -- reflects a career-long dedication to confirming epidemiological observations in randomized clinical trials.

Cancer Prevention & Control Program
9500 Gilman Drive # 0607
La Jolla  California  92093
United States
Office Phone: 
(858) 534-0511
Office Fax: 
(858) 534-8625


The pandemic has thrown into brutal relief the extent to which the U.S. health care system produces worse outcomes for patients of color. And yet there has been scant focus on one of the biggest drivers of structural racism in health care: How doctors and hospitals are paid. In this webinar, we’ll highlight the ways in which the health care system’s focus on money and good grades is shortchanging the health of communities of color. Sign-up here!

U.S. children and teens have struggled with increasing rates of depression, anxiety and suicidal behavior for much of the past decade. Join us as we explore the systemic causes and policy failures that have accelerated the crisis and its inequitable impact, as well as promising community-driven approaches and evidence-based practices. The webinar will provide fresh ideas for reporting on the mental health of youth and investigating the systems and services. Sign-up here!

The USC Center for Health Journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is seeking two Engagement Editors and a social media consultant to join its team. Learn more about the positions and apply.


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