Senior Advisor, Health Services Research

Kate Gillespie is an epidemiologist and senior advisor at the AARP Public Policy Institute. She spends much of her time studying health services utilization in order to identify opportunities to improve health care delivery in the United States.

AARP DataExplorer Updates: Jump in Diabetes Prevalence among Hispanics

Diabetes is on the rise among Americans 50 years and older, and trends among older Hispanics are particularly noteworthy, according to recently released government data that the AARP Public Policy Institute has incorporated into its interactive research and data visualization tool AARP DataExplorer. In June, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the latest wave of diabetes data from the physical examination component of its National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). We combined the laboratory results with survey …

Have Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment Guidelines Been Left on the Shelf?

Screening for osteoporosis among high-risk populations, including postmenopausal women, is essential. Women found to have low bone density due to osteoporosis or osteopenia (a precursor to osteoporosis) can reduce their risk of future bone fracture with lifestyle changes and drug therapies. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that all women ages 65 years and older undergo bone density testing to screen for osteoporosis, and that some younger women receive targeted screening based on individual risk assessments. In …

One Risk Factor Often Left Unchecked After Fragility Fracture

Fragility fractures are a common — but not inevitable — part of aging. These bone fractures, which occur during normal activities or following a fall, are a leading cause of pain, disability and loss of independence among older adults. Approximately half of all women and a quarter of all men age 50 and older will suffer from one or more fragility fractures in their remaining lifetime. Factors that can increase a person’s fracture risk include older age, family history and …