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About me

I am senior lecturer at the division of physiotherapy, KI, associate professor in Aging Research at KI, and physiotherapist at Karolinska University Hospital. I am also vice-principal investigator of the Swedish National study on Aging and Care in Kungsholmen (SNAC-K: www.snac-k.se) population-study. I obtained my PhD in physiotherapy at KI. Thereafter, I did my postdoctoral training first at the Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg and then at the Aging Research Center, KI.

Research description

My primary area of research interest is the epidemiology of physical function, physical activity/sedentary behavior and falls in older persons. 

My research has been supported by various foundations, including Stockholm County Council, the Swedish Research Council (VR), Vårdalinstitutet and the Research School in Health Care Science. I was WP-leader in the EU-financed MPI-age project (2014-2017: http://www.mpiage.eu/). I am principal supervisor for two PhD students and one postdoc, and co-supervisor of three PhD students.

Currently I am working with the following research lines:
1.Exploring the complex interactions between biological, demographic, and social factors; chronic diseases; and lifestyle that may explain the development of disability in old age.

2) Investigating how and which patterns of sedentary behavior are linked to poor health among older adults. In this project,objective instruments are used to assess physical activity and sedentary behavior, which permits a more valid and detailed examination than previously possible in population-based studies of older adults.   

3.The body-mind connection.

4.The VR-financed project: “Thinking, moving, and falling: Early detection of fall-prone phenotypes as targets for primary interventions—a translational study”. The goal of this project is to enable early detection of fall risk in older adults who can be targets for primary interventions.

Teaching portfolio

I have arranged several courses in physiotherapy and geriatric epidemiology/public health. I have for example been course coordinator for the PhD course "Application of epidemiological methods in aging research" and the course "Geriatric epidemiology: Health assessments in old ages", which is part of the master’s program in Public Health at KI. I have extensive experience from lecturing and leading seminars at the undergraduate, master’s and PhD levels, as well as from supervising students.

Academic honours, awards and prizes

In 2015, I received the Karolina Prize (Karolinapriset; the Karolinska Hospital research prize): https://www.karolinska.se/om-oss/centrala-nyheter/2015/05/karolinapriset2015/

Links

Publications

Association of Antidementia Drugs and Mortality in Community-Dwelling Frail Older Patients With Dementia: The Role of Mortality Risk Assessment
Multidimensional Prognostic Index (mpi)_age Project Investigators, Pilotto A, Polidori Mc, Veronese N, Panza F, Arboretti Giancristofaro R, et al
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association 2018;19(2):162-168

Cardiovascular Risk Factors and the Risk of Disability in Older Adults: Variation by Age and Functional Status
Heiland Eg, Welmer Ak, Wang R, Santoni G, Fratiglioni L, Qiu C
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association 2018;():-

Geriatric health charts for individual assessment and prediction of care needs: a population-based prospective study
Santoni G, Calderón-larañaga A, Vetrano Dl, Welmer Ak, Orsini N, Fratiglioni L
The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences 2018;():-

Rapidly developing multimorbidity and disability in older adults: does social background matter?
Calderón-larrañaga A, Santoni G, Wang Hx, Welmer Ak, Rizzuto D, Vetrano Dl, et al
Journal of internal medicine 2018;283(5):489-499

Relationships Between Frequency of Moderate Physical Activity and Longevity: An 11-Year Follow-up Study
Rennemark M, Jogréus C, Elmståhl S, Welmer Ak, Wimo A, Sanmartin-berglund J
Gerontology & geriatric medicine 2018;4():2333721418786565-

Risk Factors for Injurious Falls in Older Adults: The Role of Sex and Length of Follow-Up
Ek S, Rizzuto D, Fratiglioni L, Calderón-larrañaga A, Johnell K, Sjöberg L, et al
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2018;():-

Risk Profiles for Injurious Falls in People Over 60: A Population-Based Cohort Study
Ek S, Rizzuto D, Fratiglioni L, Johnell K, Xu W, Welmer Ak
The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences 2018;73(2):233-239

Temporal trends in impairments of physical function among older adults during 2001-16 in Sweden: towards a healthier ageing
Santoni G, Angleman Sb, Ek S, Heiland Eg, Lagergren M, Fratiglioni L, et al
Age and ageing 2018;47(5):698-704

Tooth loss is associated with accelerated cognitive decline and volumetric brain differences: a population-based study
Dintica Cs, Rizzuto D, Marseglia A, Kalpouzos G, Welmer Ak, Wårdh I, et al
Neurobiology of aging 2018;67():23-30

Trajectories of functional decline in older adults with neuropsychiatric and cardiovascular multimorbidity: A Swedish cohort study
Vetrano Dl, Rizzuto D, Calderón-larrañaga A, Onder G, Welmer Ak, Bernabei R, et al
PLoS medicine 2018;15(3):e1002503-

Assessing and Measuring Chronic Multimorbidity in the Older Population: A Proposal for Its Operationalization
Calderón-larrañaga A, Vetrano Dl, Onder G, Gimeno-feliu La, Coscollar-santaliestra C, Carfí A, et al
The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences 2017;72(10):1417-1423

Cardiovascular Risk Burden and Future Risk of Walking Speed Limitation in Older Adults
Heiland Eg, Qiu C, Wang R, Santoni G, Liang Y, Fratiglioni L, et al
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2017;65(11):2418-2424

Cognitive and Physical Function in Relation to the Risk of Injurious Falls in Older Adults: A Population-Based Study
Welmer Ak, Rizzuto D, Laukka Ej, Johnell K, Fratiglioni L
The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences 2017;72(5):669-675

Defining Health Trajectories in Older Adults With Five Clinical Indicators
Santoni G, Marengoni A, Calderón-larrañaga A, Angleman S, Rizzuto D, Welmer Ak, et al
The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences 2017;72(8):1123-1129

Impact of tooth loss on walking speed decline over time in older adults: a population-based cohort study
Welmer Ak, Rizzuto D, Parker Mg, Xu W
Aging clinical and experimental research 2017;29(4):793-800

Sex Differences in the Association Between Pain and Injurious Falls in Older Adults: A Population-Based Longitudinal Study
Welmer Ak, Rizzuto D, Calderon-larranaga A, Johnell K
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF EPIDEMIOLOGY 2017;186(9):1049-1056

Trends in disability of instrumental activities of daily living among older Chinese adults, 1997-2006: population based study
Liang Y, Welmer Ak, Möller J, Qiu C
BMJ open 2017;7(8):e016996-

Trends in Incidence of Disability in Activities of Daily Living in Chinese Older Adults: 1993-2006
Liang Y, Welmer Ak, Wang R, Song A, Fratiglioni L, Qiu C
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2017;65(2):306-312

Association of mobility limitations with incident disability among older adults: a population-based study
Heiland Eg, Welmer Ak, Wang R, Santoni G, Angleman S, Fratiglioni L, et al
Age and ageing 2016;45(6):812-819

Effects of biological age on the associations of blood pressure with cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular mortality in old age: A population-based study
Liang Y, Fratiglioni L, Wang R, Santoni G, Welmer Ak, Qiu C
International journal of cardiology 2016;220():508-13

Relation of Statin Use and Mortality in Community-Dwelling Frail Older Patients With Coronary Artery Disease
Mpi_age Project Investigators, Pilotto A, Gallina P, Panza F, Copetti M, Cella A, et al
The American journal of cardiology 2016;118(11):1624-1630

The Effects of "Physical Activity on Prescription" in Persons With Transient Ischemic Attack: A Randomized Controlled Study
Morén C, Welmer Ak, Hagströmer M, Karlsson E, Sommerfeld Dk
Journal of neurologic physical therapy : JNPT 2016;40(3):176-83

Age-related variation in health status after age 60
Santoni G, Angleman S, Welmer Ak, Mangialasche F, Marengoni A, Fratiglioni L
PloS one 2015;10(3):e0120077-

Multidimensional Prognostic Index in Association with Future Mortality and Number of Hospital Days in a Population-Based Sample of Older Adults: Results of the EU Funded MPI_AGE Project
Mpi_age Project Investigators, Angleman Sb, Santoni G, Pilotto A, Fratiglioni L, Welmer Ak
PloS one 2015;10(7):e0133789-

Prevalence, pharmacological treatment, and control of cardiometabolic risk factors among older people in central Stockholm: a population-based study
Wang R, Fratiglioni L, Liang Y, Welmer Ak, Xu W, Mangialasche F, et al
PloS one 2015;10(3):e0119582-

Statin Treatment and Mortality in Community-Dwelling Frail Older Patients with Diabetes Mellitus: A Retrospective Observational Study
Mpi_age Project Investigators, Pilotto A, Panza F, Copetti M, Simonato M, Sancarlo D, et al
PloS one 2015;10(6):e0130946-

The MPI_AGE European Project: Using Multidimensional Prognostic Indices (MPI) to improve cost-effectiveness of interventions in multimorbid frail older persons. Background, aim and design
Mpi Age Investigators, Pilotto A, Sancarlo D, Polidori Mc, Cruz-jentoft Aj, Mattace-raso F, et al
EUROPEAN GERIATRIC MEDICINE 2015;6(2):184-188

Use of medications and functional dependence among Chinese older adults in a rural community: A population-based study
Liang Y, Johnell K, Yan Z, Cai C, Jiang H, Welmer Ak, et al
Geriatrics & gerontology international 2015;15(12):1242-8

The benefits of staying active in old age: physical activity counteracts the negative influence of PICALM, BIN1, and CLU risk alleles on episodic memory functioning
Ferencz B, Laukka Ej, Welmer Ak, Kalpouzos G, Angleman S, Keller L, et al
Psychology and aging 2014;29(2):440-9

Walking speed, processing speed, and dementia: a population-based longitudinal study
Welmer Ak, Rizzuto D, Qiu C, Caracciolo B, Laukka Ej
The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences 2014;69(12):1503-10

Vascular risk factor burden, atherosclerosis, and functional dependence in old age: a population-based study
Welmer Ak, Liang Y, Angleman S, Santoni G, Yan Z, Cai C, et al
International journal of behavioral medicine 2014;21(4):597-604

Adherence to physical exercise recommendations in people over 65--the SNAC-Kungsholmen study
Rydwik E, Welmer Ak, Kåreholt I, Angleman S, Fratiglioni L, Wang Hx
European journal of public health 2013;23(5):799-804

Association of cardiovascular burden with mobility limitation among elderly people: a population-based study
Welmer Ak, Angleman S, Rydwik E, Fratiglioni L, Qiu C
PloS one 2013;8(5):e65815-

Education-related differences in physical performance after age 60: a cross-sectional study assessing variation by age, gender and occupation
Welmer Ak, Kareholt I, Rydwik E, Angleman S, Wang Hx
BMC PUBLIC HEALTH 2013;:641-

Is midlife occupational physical activity related to disability in old age? The SNAC-Kungsholmen study
Rydwik E, Welmer Ak, Angleman S, Fratiglioni L, Wang Hx
PloS one 2013;8(7):e70471-

Can chronic multimorbidity explain the age-related differences in strength, speed and balance in older adults?
Welmer Ak, Kåreholt I, Angleman S, Rydwik E, Fratiglioni L
Aging clinical and experimental research 2012;24(5):480-9

Pain following stroke, initially and at 3 and 18 months after stroke, and its association with other disabilities
Sommerfeld Dk, Welmer Ak
European journal of neurology 2012;19(10):1325-30

Physical activity in people age 80 years and older as a means of counteracting disability, balanced in relation to frailty
Welmer Ak, Mörck A, Dahlin-ivanoff S
Journal of aging and physical activity 2012;20(3):317-31

Spasticity after stroke: an overview of prevalence, test instruments, and treatments
Sommerfeld Dk, Gripenstedt U, Welmer Ak
American journal of physical medicine & rehabilitation 2012;91(9):814-20

Use of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) in social services for elderly in Sweden
Almborg Ah, Welmer Ak
DISABILITY AND REHABILITATION 2012;34(11):959-64

Elderly persons in the risk zone. Design of a multidimensional, health-promoting, randomised three-armed controlled trial for "prefrail" people of 80+ years living at home
Dahlin-ivanoff S, Gosman-hedström G, Edberg Ak, Wilhelmson K, Eklund K, Duner A, et al
BMC geriatrics 2010;10():27-

Location and severity of spasticity in the first 1-2 weeks and at 3 and 18 months after stroke
Welmer Ak, Holmqvist Lw, Sommerfeld Dk
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NEUROLOGY 2010;17(5):720-5

Limited fine hand use after stroke and its association with other disabilities
Welmer Ak, Holmqvist Lw, Sommerfeld Dk
JOURNAL OF REHABILITATION MEDICINE 2008;40(8):603-8

Determinants of mobility and self-care in older people with stroke: Importance of somatosensory and perceptual functions
Welmer Ak, Von Arbin M, Murray V, Holmqvist Lw, Sommerfeld Dk
PHYSICAL THERAPY 2007;87(12):1633-41

Hemiplegic limb synergies in stroke patients
Welmer Ak, Holmqvist Lw, Sommerfeld Dk
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL MEDICINE & REHABILITATION 2006;85(2):112-9

Spasticity and its association with functioning and health-related quality of life 18 months after stroke
Welmer Ak, Von Arbin M, Holmqvist Lw, Sommerfeld Dk
CEREBROVASCULAR DISEASES 2006;21(4):247-53

Spasticity after stroke - Its occurrence and association with motor impairments and activity limitations
Sommerfeld Dk, Eek Eub, Svensson Ak, Holmqvist Lw, Von Arbin Mh
STROKE 2004;35(1):134-9

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