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Lara Vlietstra

Lecturer
BSc (Netherlands), MSc (Clinical), PhD (Otago)
Tel +64 3 479 5415
Email lara.vlietstra@otago.ac.nz
Orcid: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7397-1308
ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Lara-Vlietstra

Deputy Director of CARE (Collaboration of Ageing Research Excellence, a University of Otago Research theme)

Background

Lara Vlietstra joined the School in 2022 as a lecturer. After successfully graduating as a physiotherapist (2014, Avans, the Netherlands), she obtained two master’s degrees (2017, Clinical Health Sciences, Utrecht University/University Medical Centre Utrecht, and Geriatric Physiotherapy, Avans+) before coming to Otago to complete her PhD in pre-sarcopenia (2021, Department of Medicine & School of Physiotherapy).

Besides her ongoing research projects and her teaching, she is currently the Deputy Director for CARE, a National Executive member of the New Zealand Association of Gerontology (NZAG), Council member for the Australian and New Zealand Society for Sarcopenia and Frailty Research (ANZSSFR) and an Associate Editor for the Australasian Journal on Ageing.

Teaching

  • SPEX 205 Physical Activity and Health
  • SPEX 310 Exercise for Clinical Populations

Research

Since being awarded a PhD for her thesis on pre-sarcopenia in middle-aged adults, Lara’s research has focused on healthy ageing and the prevention of age-related diseases, with a particular focus on physical activity and sarcopenia.

She is currently the co-primary investigator of the GAMES Study. The Games Athletes Medical Evaluation and Status (GAMES) Study is a study that is researching New Zealand Olympians, Paralympians, and Commonwealth Games athletes as they age. Additional research interests include falls and frailty in older adults.

Lara has active research collaborations in Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, and the United States.

Postgraduate Students

Lara is currently welcoming Honour’s and Master’s students beginning 2023.

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Publications

Davies, J. W. T., Waters, D. L., Hale, L., Vlietstra, L., & Pelicioni, P. H. S. (2022). Reliability of remote gait and balance assessment of people with Parkinson's disease. New Zealand Medical Journal, 135(1557), (pp. 102-103). Retrieved from https://journal.nzma.org.nz/

Reynolds, A. N., Hodson, L., de Souza, R., Diep Pham, H. T., Vlietstra, L., & Mann, J. (2022). Saturated and trans fat intakes on mortality and non-communicable disease incidence: Systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective observational studies. Proceedings of the New Zealand Society for the Study of Diabetes (NZSSD) Annual Scientific Meeting. (pp. 27). Retrieved from https://www.ivvy.com.au/event/NZSSD22/welcome.html

Vlietstra, L. (2021, October). Emerging research in ageing, possibilities and opportunities. Verbal presentation at the Hope Foundation for Research on Ageing Meeting, [Online].

Vlietstra, L. (2021). Screening and treating pre-sarcopenia in middle-aged adults (PhD). University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/12078

Vlietstra, L. (2021, May). High-intensity interval aerobic resistance training to counteract pre-sarcopenia in middle age, a randomised controlled trial. Verbal presentation at the Asia Pacific Virtual Symposium on Sarcopenia and Frailty Research, [Online].

Meredith-Jones, K., Taylor, R., Brown, R., Cooke, R., Vlietstra, L., Manning, P., Poulton, R., & Haszard, J. (2021). Age- and sex-specific visceral fat reference cutoffs and their association with cardio-metabolic risk. International Journal of Obesity, 45, 808-817. doi: 10.1038/s41366-021-00743-3

Journal - Research Article

Hendrickx, W., Vlietstra, L., Valkenet, K., Wondergem, R., Veenhof, C., English, C., & Pisters, M. F. (2020). General lifestyle interventions on their own seem insufficient to improve the level of physical activity after stroke or TIA: A systematic review. BMC Neurology, 20, 168. doi: 10.1186/s12883-020-01730-3

Journal - Research Article

Waters, D. L., Vlietstra, L., Qualls, C., Morley, J. E., & Vellas, B. (2020). Sex-specific muscle and metabolic biomarkers associated with gait speed and cognitive transitions in older adults: A 9-year follow-up. GeroScience, 42, 585-593. doi: 10.1007/s11357-020-00163-7

Journal - Research Article

Vlietstra, L., Stebbings, S., Meredith-Jones, K., Abbott, J. H., Treharne, G. J., & Waters, D. L. (2019). Sarcopenia in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis: The association with self-reported fatigue, physical function and obesity. PLoS ONE, 14(6), e0217462. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0217462

Journal - Research Article

Waters, D. L., Qualls, C. R., Cesari, M., Rolland, Y., Vlietstra, L., & Vellas, B. (2019). Relationship of incident falls with balance deficits and body composition in male and female community-dwelling elders. Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 23(1), 9-13. doi: 10.1007/s12603-018-1087-4

Journal - Research Article

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, 37(3), 169-183. doi: 10.1111/ajag.12521

Journal - Research Article

Vlietstra, L., Waters, D. L., Jones, L. M., & Meredith-Jones, K. (2020). High-intensity interval aerobic resistance training to counteract low relative appendicular lean soft tissue mass in middle age: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. JMIR Research Protocols, 9(10), e22989. doi: 10.2196/22989

Journal - Research Other

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

Journal - Research Other

Davies, J. W. T., Waters, D. L., Hale, L., Vlietstra, L., & Pelicioni, P. H. S. (2022). Reliability of remote gait and balance assessment of people with Parkinson's disease. New Zealand Medical Journal, 135(1557), (pp. 102-103). Retrieved from https://journal.nzma.org.nz/

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Reynolds, A. N., Hodson, L., de Souza, R., Diep Pham, H. T., Vlietstra, L., & Mann, J. (2022). Saturated and trans fat intakes on mortality and non-communicable disease incidence: Systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective observational studies. Proceedings of the New Zealand Society for the Study of Diabetes (NZSSD) Annual Scientific Meeting. (pp. 27). Retrieved from https://www.ivvy.com.au/event/NZSSD22/welcome.html

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Vlietstra, L., Waters, D. L., & Meredith-Jones, K. (2020). Protective and harmful factors associated with pro-dromal sarcopenia in an early middle-aged birth cohort. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 39(Suppl. 2), (pp. 29-30). doi: 10.1111/ajag.12811

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Hendrickx, W., Vlietstra, L., Valkenet, K., Wondergem, R., Veenhof, C., English, C., & Pisters, M. F. (2019). The effect of lifestyle interventions on the amount of physical activity after stroke or transient ischemic attack: A systematic review. Proceedings of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) Congress. PLSoA-2232. Retrieved from https://www.wcpt.org

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Meredith-Jones, K., Vlietstra, L., Haszard, J., & Waters, D. (2018). Repeated childhood fracture is not related to abnormal bone or body composition in middle age. Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society (ANZBMS) 28th Annual Scientific Meeting. (pp. 117). Retrieved from https://www.anzbms.org.au/

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Vlietstra, L. (2018). Exercise interventions in healthy older adults with sarcopenia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Proceedings of the Physiotherapy New Zealand Conference. (pp. 95). Retrieved from https://pnz.org.nz/conference

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Vlietstra, L., Meredith-Jones, K., & Waters, D. (2018). Early middle-age prevalence of sarcopenia, osteopenia and osteosarcopenia in a birth cohort. Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society (ANZBMS) 28th Annual Scientific Meeting. (pp. 118). Retrieved from https://www.anzbms.org.au/

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Vlietstra, L., Waters, D. L., & Meredith-Jones, K. (2018). Prevalence of pro-dromal sarcopenic-obesity in middle-aged adults: Association with BMI and physical function. Proceedings of the Australian & New Zealand Society for Sarcopenia & Frality Research (ANZSSFR) Annual Meeting. (pp. 53). Retrieved from https://anzssfr.org/past-meetings

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Vlietstra, L., Meredith-Jones, K., Stebbings, S., Abbott, J., Treharne, G., & Waters, D. (2017). Sarco-osteopenia in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis: Implications for clinical practice. Internal Medicine Journal, 47(Suppl. 2), (pp. 5). doi: 10.1111/imj.13426

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Vlietstra, L. (2021, May). High-intensity interval aerobic resistance training to counteract pre-sarcopenia in middle age, a randomised controlled trial. Verbal presentation at the Asia Pacific Virtual Symposium on Sarcopenia and Frailty Research, [Online].

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Vlietstra, L. (2021, October). Emerging research in ageing, possibilities and opportunities. Verbal presentation at the Hope Foundation for Research on Ageing Meeting, [Online].

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Vlietstra, L. (2021, March). Screening and treating pre-sarcopenia in middle-aged adults. Centre for Health, Activity and Rehabilitation Research Seminar, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Department Seminar (University of Otago)].

Other Research Output

Vlietstra, L. (2018, July). Screening and treating pro-dromal sarcopenia and sarcopenic-obesity in middle-aged adults. Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Department Seminar (University of Otago)].

Other Research Output

Vlietstra, L. (2021). Screening and treating pre-sarcopenia in middle-aged adults (PhD). University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/12078

Awarded Doctoral Degree

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