Kobayashi_0013Dr. Lindsay Kobayashi is a social epidemiologist who researches cancer-preventive health behaviors and cognitive outcomes in aging populations. Her research uses large population-based datasets, in particular longitudinal cohort studies of aging.

Dr. Kobayashi holds a PhD in Epidemiology and Public Health from University College London, UK and an MSc in Epidemiology from Queen’s University, Canada.

For an overview of existing work, see PubMed or Google Scholar.


Area 1: Social & economic influences on cognitive function during aging

South Africa is undergoing rapid population aging, while being a country with extreme social inequalities in health outcomes. A key data source for research in this area is “Health and Aging in Africa: A Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community in South Africa” (HAALSI), a population-based study of over 5,000 men and women aged 40+ living in a former Apartheid-era ‘homeland’ area of forced segregation for black South Africans. Current research investigates the relationships of early-life socioeconomic conditions, health, and education with later-life cognitive function among the HAALSI study participants.

Education is a key determinant of cognitive health in later life. Less is known about how cognitive health in later life may be shaped by mid-life experiences. Current research uses data from the U.S. Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) to investigate mid-life trajectories of employment and later-life performance on assessments of literacy, numeracy, and verbal reasoning. A focus is on understanding the racial and gender-based disparities that were observed in performance on these tests, which were wider than those observed for tests of ‘fluid’ cognitive domains such as short-term memory and executive function. This project is funded by a U.S. National Institute of Aging sub-grant (sub-P01AG029409 PI: Kobayashi).

Area 2: Cancer-preventive health behaviors in older adults

Cancer-preventive health behaviors, such as screening and aspects of lifestyle, become particularly important during aging as physical health risks increase. At the same, social isolation becomes more common and cognitive and health literacy skills decline during aging. Current research uses data from “Health and Aging in Africa: A Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community in South Africa” (HAALSI), the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) and the Attitudes and Beliefs about Cancer UK Survey (ABACUS) to examine the relationships between social isolation, loneliness, expectations of the future, access to and use of health information, and cancer-preventive health behaviors in aging populations.

Area 3: Cross-national comparisons of cognitive function in older adults

“Health and Aging in Africa: A Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community in South Africa” (HAALSI) is an international sister study to the U.S. Health and Retirement Study (HRS), and many of the interview questions and measures are harmonized with those used in the HRS and other sister studies. Current research aims to understand the limits of the validity as well as the opportunities for cross-national harmonization presented by the cognitive assessments in the HAALSI, which have been adapted from the HRS.

For more information about HAALSI, click here.




See full publication list at Pubmed.

Kobayashi LC, Glymour MM, Kahn K, Payne CF, Wagner RG, Montana L, Mateen FJ, Tollman SM, Berkman LF. Childhood deprivation and later-life cognitive function in a population-based study of older, rural South Africans. Soc Sci Med 2017 (in press)

Kobayashi LC, Steptoe A. Social isolation, loneliness, and health behaviors at older ages: longitudinal cohort study. Ann Behav Med 2017 (in press)

Smith SG, Jackson SE, Kobayashi LC, Steptoe A. Social isolation, health literacy, and mortality risk: findings from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Health Psychol 2017 (in press)

Shi J*, Kobayashi LC*, Grundy A, Richardson H, SenGupta S, Lohrisch C, Spinelli JJ, Aronson KJ. Lifetime moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and ER/PR/HER2-defined post-menopausal breast cancer risk. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2017 [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1007/s10549-017-4323-4. *co-first authors

Hirst Y, Skrobanksi H, Kerrison R, Kobayashi LC, Counsell N, Djedovic N, Ruwende J, Stewart M, von Wagner C. Text-message reminders in colorectal cancer screening (TRICCS): a randomised controlled trial. Br J Cancer 2017;116:1408-14.

Smith SG, Foy R, McGowan J, Kobayashi LC, Burn J, Brown K, Side L, Cuzick J. General practitioner attitudes towards prescribing aspirin to carriers of Lynch Syndrome: findings from a national survey. Fam Cancer 2017 [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1007/s10689-017-9986-9.

Vrinten C, Boniface D, Lo SH, Kobayashi LC, von Wagner C, Waller J. Does psychosocial stress exacerbate avoidant responses to cancer information in those who are afraid of cancer? A population-based survey among older adults in the UK. Psychol Health 2017 [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1080/08870446.2017.1314475

Kobayashi LC, Jackson SE, Lee SJ, Wardle J, Steptoe A. The development and validation of a 10-year mortality risk index in a longitudinal cohort of older English adults. Age Ageing 2016 [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1093/ageing/afw199

Kobayashi LC, von Wagner C, Wardle J. Perceived life expectancy is associated with colorectal cancer screening uptake in England. Ann Behav Med 2017;51:327-336. doi: 10.1007/s12160-016-9855-z

Smith SG, Foy R, McGowan JA, Kobayashi LC, Brown K, de Censi A, Side L, Cuzick J. Prescribing tamoxifen in primary care for the prevention of breast cancer: a national online survey of GPs’ attitudes. Br J Gen Pract 2017;67:e414-e427. doi: 10.3399/bjgp17X689377

Boyle T, Fritschi L, Kobayashi LC, Heyworth JS, Lee DG, Si S, Aronson KJ, Spinelli JJ. Sedentary work and the risk of breast cancer in pre- and post-menopausal women: a pooled analysis of two case-control studies. Occ Environ Med 2016;73:735-41.

Kobayashi LC, Wardle J, Wolf MS, von Wagner C. Aging and functional health literacy: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 2016;71(3):445-57.

Kobayashi LC, Wardle J, Wolf MS, von Wagner C. Health literacy and moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity during ageing, 2004-13. Am J Prev Med 2016;51(4):463-72.

Kobayashi LC, Waller J, von Wagner C, Wardle J. A lack of information engagement among non-participants in colorectal cancer screening: cross-sectional survey. BMC Public Health 2016;6:659.

Smith SG, Kobayashi LC, Wolf MS, Raine R, Wardle J, von Wagner C. The associations between objective numeracy and colorectal cancer screening knowledge, attitudes and defensive processing in a deprived community sample. J Health Psychol 2016;21(8):1665-75.

Shi J, Aronson KJ, Grundy A, Kobayashi LC, Burstyn I, Scheutz JM, Lohrisch CA, SenGupta SK, Lai AS, Brooks-Wilson A, Spinelli J, Richardson H. Polymorphisms of insulin-like growth factor 1 pathway genes and breast cancer risk. Front Oncol 2016;6:136.

Hirst Y, Kerrison R, Kobayashi LC, Djedovic N, Ruwende J, Stewart M, Wardle J, von Wagner C. Primary care-based text reminders in colorectal cancer screening (TRICCS): protocol for a randomised controlled trial. BMC Public Health 2016;16(1):74.

Kobayashi LC, Smith SG. Cancer fatalism, literacy, and cancer information seeking in the American public. Health Educ Behav 2016;43(4):461-70.

Kobayashi LC, von Wagner C. Health literacy during aging. J Gen Intern Med 2015; 30(12):1732.

Lo SH, Waller J, Vrinten C, Kobayashi LC, von Wagner C. Social cognitive mediators of sociodemographic differences in colorectal cancer screening uptake. Biomed Res Int 2015; 2015:165074.

Smith SG, Forster A, Kobayashi LC. Predictors of human papillomavirus awareness and knowledge in 2013: the importance of health literacy. Am J Prev Med 2015;49(1):e5-e7.

Solmi F, von Wagner C, Kobayashi LC, Wardle J, Raine R, Morris S. Decomposing socio-economic inequality in colorectal cancer screening uptake in England. Soc Sci Med 2015;134:76-86.

Kobayashi LC, Wardle J, Wolf MS, von Wagner C. Cognitive function and health literacy decline in a cohort of older English adults. J Gen Intern Med 2015;30(7):958-64.

Kobayashi LC, Smith SG, O’Conor R, Curtis LM, Park D, von Wagner C, Deary IJ, Wolf MS. The role of cognitive function in the relationship between age and health literacy: a cross-sectional analysis of older adults in Chicago, USA. BMJ Open 2015;5(4):e007222.

Kobayashi LC, Wardle J, von Wagner C. Internet use, social engagement, and health literacy decline during ageing in a longitudinal cohort of older English adults. J Epidemiol Community Health 2015;69:278-83.

Kobayashi LC, Wardle J, von Wagner C. Limited health literacy is a barrier to colorectal cancer screening in England: evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Prev Med 2014;61:100-5.

Kobayashi LC, Janssen I, Richardson H, Lai AS, Spinelli JJ, Aronson KJ. A case-control study of lifetime light intensity physical activity and breast cancer risk. Cancer Causes Control 2014;25(1):133-40.

Wallingford S, Jones G, Kobayashi LC, Grundy A, Miao Q, Tranmer J, Aronson KJ. UV and dietary predictors of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations among young working nurses and implications for bone density and skin cancer. Public Health Nutr 2014;17(4):772-9.

Kobayashi LC, Janssen I, Richardson H, Lai AS, Spinelli JJ, Aronson KJ. Moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity across the life course and risk of pre- and post-menopausal breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2013;139:851-61.

Kobayashi LC, Limburg H, Miao Q, Bedard L, Woolcott C, Massey TE, Aronson KJ. Folate intake, alcohol consumption, and the methylenetetrahydrofolate (MTHFR) C677T gene polymorphism: influence on prostate cancer risk and interactions. Front Oncol 2012;2:100 doi: 10.3389/fonc.2012.00100

Kobayashi LC. The future of primary cancer prevention in Canada: Reaching for every ounce of prevention means reaching for equity. Health Science Inquiry 2011;2:52-3.
(Winner: Top Cancer Prevention Submission, 2011)



Lindsay C. Kobayashi
Havard Center for Population and Development Studies
9 Bow St., Cambridge MA, USA, 02138
email: kobayashi@hsph.harvard.edu
tel: +1 (617) 496-8225

Twitter: @1lindsayk
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