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DSM staff profile

Associate Professor Debra Waters

PositionDirector of Gerontology Research
DepartmentDepartment of Medicine (DSM)
QualificationsBS PhD
Research summaryBody composition and physical function during ageing

Research

  • Determinants and prevalence of sarcopenia and sarcopenic-obesity.
  • Impact of sarcopenia and sarcopenic-obesity on physical function.
  • Community-based exercise interventions to maintain physical function during ageing.

Publications

Waters, D. L., Qualls, C. R., Cesari, M., Rolland, Y., Vlietstra, L., & Vellas, B. (2018). Relationship of incident falls with balance deficits and body composition in male and female community-dwelling elders. Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s12603-018-1087-4

Vlietstra, L., Hendrickx, W., & Waters, D. L. (2018). Exercise interventions in healthy older adults with sarcopenia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Australasian Journal on Ageing. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/ajag.12521

Lilley, R., Jaye, C., Davie, G., Keeling, S., Waters, D., & Egan, R. (2017). Age-related patterns in work-related injury claims from older New Zealanders, 2009–2013: Implications of injury for an aging workforce. Accident Analysis & Prevention. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2017.10.022

Popp, J., Waters, D. L., Leekity, K., Ghahate, D., Bobelu, J., Tsikewa, R., … Shah, V. (2017). Using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Stay Independent checklist to engage a community of American Indians and raise awareness about risk of falls, 2016. Preventing Chronic Disease, 14, E05. doi: 10.5888/pcd14.160395

Villareal, D. T., Aguirre, L., Gurney, A. B., Waters, D. L., Sinacore, D. R., Colombo, E., … Qualls, C. (2017). Aerobic or resistance exercise, or both, in dieting obese older adults. New England Journal of Medicine, 376(20), 1943-1955. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1616338

Chapter in Book - Research

Baumgartner, R. N., & Waters, D. L. (2006). Sarcopenia and sarcopenic-obesity. In M. S. J. Pathy, A. J. Sinclair & J. E. Morley (Eds.), Principles and practice of geriatric medicine (Vol. 1). (4th ed.) (pp. 909-933). Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons.

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Journal - Research Article

Waters, D. L., Qualls, C. R., Cesari, M., Rolland, Y., Vlietstra, L., & Vellas, B. (2018). Relationship of incident falls with balance deficits and body composition in male and female community-dwelling elders. Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s12603-018-1087-4

Lilley, R., Jaye, C., Davie, G., Keeling, S., Waters, D., & Egan, R. (2017). Age-related patterns in work-related injury claims from older New Zealanders, 2009–2013: Implications of injury for an aging workforce. Accident Analysis & Prevention. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2017.10.022

Villareal, D. T., Aguirre, L., Gurney, A. B., Waters, D. L., Sinacore, D. R., Colombo, E., … Qualls, C. (2017). Aerobic or resistance exercise, or both, in dieting obese older adults. New England Journal of Medicine, 376(20), 1943-1955. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1616338

Popp, J., Waters, D. L., Leekity, K., Ghahate, D., Bobelu, J., Tsikewa, R., … Shah, V. (2017). Using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Stay Independent checklist to engage a community of American Indians and raise awareness about risk of falls, 2016. Preventing Chronic Disease, 14, E05. doi: 10.5888/pcd14.160395

Wurzer, B. M., Hurkmans, E. J., & Waters, D. L. (2017). The use of peer-led community-based programs to promote healthy aging. Current Geriatrics Reports, 6(3), 202-211. doi: 10.1007/s13670-017-0217-x

Qualls, C., Waters, D. L., Vellas, B., Villareal, D. T., Garry, P. J., Gallini, A., & Andrieu, S. (2017). Reversible states of physical and/or cognitive dysfunction: A 9-year longitudinal study. Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 21(3), 271-275. doi: 10.1007/s12603-017-0878-3

Parkinson, L., Waters, D. L., & Franck, L. (2017). Systematic review of the impact of osteoarthritis on health outcomes for comorbid disease in older people. Osteoarthritis & Cartilage, 25(11), 1751-1770. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2017.07.008

Fisken, A. L., Waters, D. L., Hing, W. A., & Keogh, J. W. (2016). Perceptions towards aqua-based exercise among older adults with osteoarthritis who have discontinued participation in this exercise mode. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 35(1), 12-17. doi: 10.1111/ajag.12167

Diab, A. S., Hale, L. A., Skinner, M. A., Hammond-Tooke, G., Ward, A. L., & Waters, D. L. (2016). Body composition and postural instability in people with idiopathic Parkinson's disease. Journal of Aging Research & Clinical Practice, 5(1), 14-19. doi: 10.14283/jarcp.2016.86

MacDonell, S. O., Miller, J. C., Harper, M. J., Waters, D. L., & Houghton, L. A. (2016). Vitamin D status and its predictors in New Zealand aged-care residents eligible for a government-funded universal vitamin D supplementation programme. Public Health Nutrition, 19(18), 3349-3360. doi: 10.1017/S1368980016001683

MacDonell, S. O., Miller, J. C., Waters, D. L., & Houghton, L. A. (2016). Dietary patterns in the frail elderly. Current Nutrition Reports, 5(1), 68-75. doi: 10.1007/s13668-016-0156-8

Wurzer, B., Waters, D. L., & Hale, L. A. (2016). Fall-related injuries in a cohort of community-dwelling older adults attending peer-led fall prevention exercise classes. Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy, 39(3), 110-116. doi: 10.1519/jpt.0000000000000061

Sharma, M., Tuaine, J., McLaren, B., Waters, D. L., Black, K., Jones, L. M., & McCormick, S. P. A. (2016). Chemotherapy agents alter plasma lipids in breast cancer patients and show differential effects on lipid metabolism genes in liver cells. PLoS ONE, 11(1), e0148049. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148049

Quigg, R., Gray, A., Reeder, A. I., Holt, A., & Waters, D. L. (2015). Development of a 15-item scale to measure parental perceptions of their neighborhood. Health Education & Behavior, 42(1), 100-108. doi: 10.1177/1090198114540460

MacDonell, S. O., Miller, J. C., Waters, D. L., & Houghton, L. A. (2015). Obesity in older adults: Prevalence, health risk and management of care among nursing home residents. Current Geriatrics Reports, 4(3), 211-220. doi: 10.1007/s13670-015-0137-6

Fisken, A. L., Waters, D. L., Hing, W. A., Steele, M., & Keogh, J. W. (2015). Comparative effects of 2 aqua exercise programs on physical function, balance, and perceived quality of life in older adults with osteoarthritis. Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy, 38(1), 17-27. doi: 10.1519/jpt.0000000000000019

Doolan Noble, F., Gauld, R., & Waters, D. L. (2015). Are nurses more likely to report providing care plans for chronic disease patients than doctors? Findings from a New Zealand study. Chronic Illness, 11(3), 210-217. doi: 10.1177/1742395314567479

Fisken, A., Keogh, J. W. L., Waters, D. L., & Hing, W. A. (2015). Perceived benefits, motives, and barriers to aqua-based exercise among older adults with and without osteoarthritis. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 34(3), 377-396. doi: 10.1177/0733464812463431

Doolan-Noble, F., Gauld, R., Waters, D. L., & Leon de la Barra, S. (2015). New Zealand health professional and patient perceptions of chronic illness care. European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare, 3(1), 4-10. doi: 10.5750/ejpch.v3i1.852

Napoli, N., Shah, K., Waters, D. L., Sinacore, D. R., Qualls, C., & Villareal, D. T. (2014). Effect of weight loss, exercise, or both on cognition and quality of life in obese older adults. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 100(1), 189-198. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.082883

Aguirre, L., Napoli, N., Waters, D., Qualls, C., Villareal, D. T., & Armamento-Villareal, R. (2014). Increasing adiposity is associated with higher adipokine levels and lower bone mineral density in obese older adults. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 99(9), 3290-3297. doi: 10.1210/jc.2013-3200

Robertson, L., Hale, B., Waters, D., Hale, L., & Andrew, A. (2014). Community peer-led exercise groups: Reasons for success. Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences & Practice, 12(2). Retrieved from http://ijahsp.nova.edu/articles/Vol12Num2/Robertson.htm

Aguirre, L. E., Jan, I. Z., Fowler, K., Waters, D. L., Villareal, D. T., & Armamento-Villareal, R. (2014). Testosterone and adipokines are determinants of physical performance, strength, and aerobic fitness in frail, obese, older adults. International Journal of Endocrinology, 507395. doi: 10.1155/2014/507395

Wurzer, B., Waters, D. L., Hale, L. A., & Leon de la Barra, S. (2014). Long-term participation in peer-led fall prevention classes predicts lower fall incidence. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 95(6), 1060-1066. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2014.01.018

Waters, D. L., Wayne, S. J., Andrieu, S., Cesari, M., Villareal, D. T., Garry, P., & Vellas, B. (2014). Sexually dimorphic patterns of nutritional intake and eating behaviors in community-dwelling older adults with normal and slow gait speed. Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 18(3), 228-233. doi: 10.1007/s12603-014-0004-8

Fisken, A., Waters, D. L., Hing, W. A., Steele, M., & Keogh, J. W. (2014). Perception and responses to different forms of aqua-based exercise among older adults with osteoarthritis. International Journal of Aquatic Research & Education, 8(1), 32-52. doi: 10.1123/iiare.2013-0007

Diab, K. S., Hale, L. A., Waters, D. L., & Skinner, M. A. (2014). Factors contributing to postural instability in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease: A systematic review. Physical Therapy Reviews, 19(5), 302-327. doi: 10.1179/1743288X14Y.0000000148

Waters, D. L., Ward, A. L., & Villareal, D. T. (2013). Weight loss in obese adults 65 years and older: A review of the controversy. Experimental Gerontology, 48(10), 1054-1061. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2013.02.005

Doolan-Noble, F., Smith, D., Gauld, R., Waters, D. L., Cooke, A., & Reriti, H. (2013). Evolution of a health navigator model of care within a primary care setting: A case study. Australian Health Review, 37(4), 523-528. doi: 10.1071/AH12038

Waters, D. L., Vawter, R., Qualls, C., Chode, S., Armamento-Villareal, R., & Villareal, D. T. (2013). Long-term maintenance of weight loss after lifestyle intervention in frail, obese older adults. Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 17(1), 3-7. doi: 10.1007/s12603-012-0421-5

Moody, J., Hale, L., & Waters, D. (2012). Perceptions of a water-based exercise programme to improve physical function and falls risk in older adults with lower extremity osteoarthritis: Barriers, motivators and sustainability. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 40(2), 64-70.

Quigg, R., Reeder, A. I., Gray, A., Holt, A., & Waters, D. (2012). The effectiveness of a community playground intervention. Journal of Urban Health, 89(1), 171-184. doi: 10.1007/s11524-011-9622-1

Barusch, A., & Waters, D. L. (2012). Social engagement of frail elders. Journal of Frailty & Aging, 1(4), 189-194.

Waters, D. L., Abellan Van Kan, G., Cesari, M., Vidal, K., Rolland, Y., & Vellas, B. (2012). Gender specific associations between frailty and body composition. Journal of Frailty & Aging, 1(1), 18-23.

Hale, L. A., Waters, D., & Herbison, P. (2012). A randomized controlled trial to investigate the effects of water-based exercise to improve falls risk and physical function in older adults with lower-extremity osteoarthritis. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 93(1), 27-34. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2011.08.004

Taylor, D., Hale, L., Schluter, P., Waters, D. L., Binns, E., McCracken, H., McPherson, K., & Wolf, S. L. (2012). Effectiveness of tai chi as a community-based falls prevention intervention: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 60(5), 841-848. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2012.03928.x

Meredith-Jones, K., Waters, D., Legge, M., & Jones, L. (2011). Upright water-based exercise to improve cardiovascular and metabolic health: A qualitative review. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 19(2), 93-103. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2011.02.002

Waters, D. L., Hale, L. A., Robertson, L., Hale, B. A., & Herbison, P. (2011). Evaluation of a peer-led falls prevention program for older adults. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 92(10), 1581-1586. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2011.05.014

Leong, S. L., Madden, C., Gray, A., Waters, D., & Horwath, C. (2011). Faster self-reported speed of eating is related to higher body mass index in a nationwide survey of middle-aged women. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 111(8), 1192-1197. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2011.05.012

Rehrer, N. J., Freeman, C., Cassidy, T., Waters, D. L., Barclay, G. E., & Wilson, N. (2011). Through the eyes of young people: Favourite places for physical activity. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 39, 492-500. doi: 10.1177/1403494811401478

Waters, D. L., & Baumgartner, R. N. (2011). Sarcopenia and obesity. Clinics in Geriatric Medicine, 27(3), 401-421. doi: 10.1016/j.cger.2011.03.007

Waters, D. L., Baumgartner, R. N., Garry, P. J., & Vellas, B. (2010). Advantages of dietary, exercise-related, and therapeutic interventions to prevent and treat sarcopenia in adult patients: An update. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 5, 259-270. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S6920

Waters, D. L., Hale, L., Grant, A. M., Herbison, P., & Goulding, A. (2010). Osteoporosis and gait and balance disturbances in older sarcopenic obese New Zealanders. Osteoporosis International, 21(2), 351-357. doi: 10.1007/s00198-009-0947-5

Quigg, R., Gray, A., Reeder, A. I., Holt, A., & Waters, D. L. (2010). Using accelerometers and GPS units to identify the proportion of daily physical activity located in parks with playgrounds in New Zealand children. Preventive Medicine, 50, 235-240. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2010.02.002

Waters, D. L., Mullins, P. G., Qualls, C. R., Raj, D. S. C., Gasparovic, C., & Baumgartner, R. N. (2009). Mitochondrial function in physically active elders with sarcopenia. Mechanisms of Ageing & Development, 130(5), 315-319. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2009.01.006

Shah, V. O., Scariano, J., Waters, D., Qualls, C., Morgan, M., Pickett, G., … Raj, D. S. C. (2009). Mitochondrial DNA deletion and sarcopenia. Genetics in Medicine, 11(3), 147-152.

Jones, L. M., Waters, D. L., & Legge, M. (2009). Walking speed at self-selected exercise pace is lower but energy cost higher in older versus younger women. Journal of Physical Activity & Health, 6(3), 327-332.

Hutton, L., Frame, R., Maggo, H., Shirakawa, H., Mulligan, H., Waters, D., & Hale, L. (2009). The perceptions of physical activity in an elderly population at risk of falling: A focus group study. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy, 37(2), 85-92.

Tarawhiti, L., Waters, D., Goulding, A., Jones, L., & Hale, L. (2009). Sarcopenic-obesity with polypharmacy is associated with gait and balance disturbances in older adults. New Zealand Medical Student Journal, 9, 19-25.

Waters, D. L., Qualls, C. R., Dorin, R. I., Veldhuis, J. D., & Baumgartner, R. N. (2008). Altered growth hormone, cortisol, and leptin secretion in healthy elderly persons with sarcopenia and mixed body composition phenotypes. Journals of Gerontology Series A, 63(5), 536-541.

Wold, R. S., Wayne, S. J., Waters, D. L., & Baumgartner, R. N. (2007). Behaviors underlying the use of nonvitamin nonmineral dietary supplements in a healthy elderly cohort. Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 11(1), 3-7.

Waters, D., & Hale, L. (2007). Do aqua-aerobics improve gait and balance in older people? A pilot study. International Journal of Therapy & Rehabilitation, 14(12), 538-542.

Wold, R. S., Lopez, S. T., Yau, C. L., Butler, L. M., Pareo-Tubbeh, S. L., Waters, D. L., … Baumgartner, R. N. (2005). Increasing trends in elderly persons' use of nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements and concurrent use of medications. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 105, 54-63.

Raj, D. S. C., Welbourne, T., Dominic, E. A., Waters, D., Wolfe, R., & Ferrando, A. (2005). Glutamine kinetics and protein turnover in end-stage renal disease. American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology & Metabolism, 288, E37-E46.

Baumgartner, R. N., Wayne, S. J., Waters, D. L., Janssen, I., Gallagher, D., & Morley, J. E. (2004). Sarcopenic obesity predicts instrumental activities of daily living disability in the elderly. Obesity Research, 12(12), 1995-2004.

Sisk, E. R., Lockner, D. W., Wold, R., Waters, D. L., & Baumgartner, R. N. (2004). The impact of folic acid fortification of enriched grains on an elderly population: The New Mexico Aging Process Study. Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 8(3), 140-143.

Waters, D. L., Yau, C. L., Montoya, G. D., & Baumgartner, R. N. (2003). Serum sex hormones, IGF-1, and IGFBP3 exert a sexually dimorphic effect on lean body mass in aging. Journals of Gerontology Series A, 58(7), 648-652.

Waters, D. L., Dorin, R. I., Qualls, C. R., Ruby, B. C., Baumgartner, R. N., & Robergs, R. A. (2003). Estradiol effects on the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-1 axis in amenorrheic athletes. Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology, 28(1), 64-78.

Waters, D. L., Brooks, W. M., Qualls, C. R., & Baumgartner, R. N. (2003). Skeletal muscle mitochondrial function and lean body mass in healthy exercising elderly. Mechanisms of Ageing & Development, 124, 301-309.

Waters, D. L., Qualls, C. R., Dorin, R., Veldhuis, J. D., & Baumgartner, R. N. (2001). Increased pulsatility, process irregularity, and nocturnal trough concentrations of growth hormone in amenorrheic compared to eumonrrheic athletes. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 86(3), 1013-1019.

Waters, D. L., Baumgartner, R. N., & Garry, P. J. (2000). Sarcopenia: Current perspectives. Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 4(3), 133-139.

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Journal - Research Other

Vlietstra, L., Hendrickx, W., & Waters, D. L. (2018). Exercise interventions in healthy older adults with sarcopenia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Australasian Journal on Ageing. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/ajag.12521

Wurzer, B. M., Waters, D. L., Robertson, L., Hale, B., & Hale, L. A. (2017). Adding self-management of chronic conditions to fall prevention: A feasibility study [Brief report]. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 36(1), E23-E25. doi: 10.1111/ajag.12356

Vlietstra, L., Meredith-Jones, K., Stebbings, S., Abbott, J. H., Treharne, G. J., & Waters, D. L. (2017). Sarcopenic obesity is more prevalent in osteoarthritis than rheumatoid arthritis: Are different processes involved? Rheumatology, 56(10), 1816-1818. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kex303

Armamento-Villareal, R., Napoli, N., Waters, D., & Villareal, D. T. (2014). Fat, muscle, and bone interactions in obesity and the metabolic syndrome. International Journal of Endocrinology, 2014, 247076. doi: 10.1155/2014/247076

Waters, D. L. (2003). Basic endocrinology for medical students [Review of the book Basic Medical Endocrinology]. Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, 14(7), 302.

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