Carlos F. Mendes de Leon, Ph.D.

Carlos Mendes de Leon

Professor, Epidemiology

Director of the Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health

Director of the Center for Integrative Approaches to Health Disparities

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1415 Washington Heights
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2029

Office: 734-615-2134; Fax: 734-763-5706


Website(s): Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Professional Summary

Dr. Carlos Mendes de Leon is a Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, where he has been a faculty member since 2011. Prior to joining the University of Michigan, he was first and Associate Professor and then a Professor of Internal Medicine (Epidemiology) and Preventive Medicine at Rush University Medical Center. From 2008-210, he served as the Director of the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging. Before joining the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging in 1995, he was an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Yale University School of Public Health.

Dr. Mendes de Leon is a social epidemiologist with a primary interest in the major health problems and health disparities in late life. His work focuses on a broad array of social and psychological determinants that affect the development and progression of disability, cognitive decline and other common, age-related health outcomes. Specific areas of interest include the role of neighborhood-level social processes and environments in late-life health, and the complex interplay between life-course social conditions and biological processes and their functional consequences in older age. His current studies focus on the role of neighborhood contexts and inflammatory processes in social disparities in late-life disability and cognitive impairment. In other research, he is investigating the cumulative and interactive effects of racial background and life-course socio-economic disadvantage in subclinical disease and disability in older adults. He is an active member in professional organizations in the fields of gerontology, epidemiology, and behavioral medicine, and serves on the editorial board of several scientific journals in these disciplines.

Courses Taught

BIOSTAT698: Modern Statistical Methods in Epidemiologic Studies
EPID641: Measurement Theory and Instrument Design
EPID677: Epidemiology of Aging
EPID804: Population Health and its Determinants
EPID811: Critical Appraisal of Epidemiologic Studies
EPID813: Advanced seminar on public health and aging
EPID815: Modern Statistical Methods in Epidemiologic Studies    Syllabus (PDF)


Ph.D., Preventive Medicine and Community Health, University of Texas Medical Branch, TX, 1988
M.A. , Clinical Psychology, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, 1983
B.A., Psychology, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, 1979

Research Interests & Projects

Social epidemiology

Epidemiology of aging

Health disparities

Biological mechanisms

Longitudinal data analysis methods

Selected Publications

Search PubMed for publications by Carlos Mendes de Leon >>

Lucas, B.P., Mendes de Leon, C.F., Prineas, R.J., Bienias, J.L., Evans, D.A. (2011). Cardiac ventricular repolarization and global cognitive performance in a community population: a cross-sectional study. American Journal of Cardiology, 106, 1169-1173. PMID: 20920659. PMCID: PMC2955511.

Skaruspki KA, Fitchett G, Evans DA, Mendes de Leon CF. (2010). Daily spiritual experiences in a biracial, community based population of older adults. Aging & Mental Health, 14, 779-789. PMID: 20635237. PMCID: PMC2928403.

Barnes, L.L., Mendes de Leon, C.F., Bienias, J.L., Wilson, R.S., Everson-Rose, S.A., Evans, D.A. (2009). Hostility and cognition in a biracial older population. Psychosomatic Medicine, 71, 652-658. PMID: 19483119. PMCID: PMC2740719.

Dong, X., Simon, M., Mendes de Leon, C.F., Fulmer, T., Beck, T., Hebert, L., Dyer, C., Paveza, G., Evans, D.A. (2009). Prospective population based study of elder self neglect and elder abuse report and mortality in a community dwelling population. JAMA, 302, 517-526. PMID: 19654386. PMCID: PMC2965589.

Mendes de Leon, C.F., Cagney, K.A., Bienias, J.L., Barnes, L.L., Skarupski, K.A., Scherr, P.A., Evans, D.A. (2009). Neighborhood conditions and walking in community-dwelling older adults: A multi-level analysis. Journal of Aging and Health, 21, 155-171. PMC2650086 PMID: 19144973.

Professional Affiliations

Gerontological Society of America
Society for Epidemiologic Research
American College of Epidemiology
American Public Health Association
Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research