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Professor Diana Sarfati,
Head of Department, Department of Public Health

DiSarfati-web

MBChB, MPH, PhD, FNZCPHM

Head of Department
Professor, Director; Cancer and Chronic Conditions (C3) research group

Contact details 

Tel 64 4 918 6042
Fax 64 4 389 5319
Email diana.sarfati@otago.ac.nz

Research interests and activities 

Professor Diana Sarfati (MBChB, MPH, PhD, FNZCPHM) is a public health physician, cancer epidemiologist and health services researcher. She is Head of the Department of Public Health and the Director of the Cancer and Chronic Conditions (C3) research group at University of Otago, Wellington.

Diana has led a large body of research relating to ethnic disparities in cancer outcomes, particularly those affecting Indigenous peoples. This work has resulted in the identification of key patient and health system factors that influence cancer survival. It has been used extensively by health policy makers, clinicians and other researchers to develop policies and practices that aim to reduce inequities in cancer outcomes.

Her broader research on health services relates to cancer, maternity systems, and services for people with long-term conditions and complex healthcare needs. Her work in screening has included both research and policy elements. She is a former member of the National Screening Advisory Group and the National Bowel Cancer Screening Advisory Committee. She also has research interests in interventions to improve outcomes for those with cancer, type II diabetes and multimorbidity. For more information see C3 research.

Diana is currently a member of the National Cancer Leadership Board (NZ), the Advisory Committee to International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) Pacific cancer hub, IARC’s international expert group on social inequalities in cancer, the Academic Advisory Committee on the International Cancer Benchmarking Project, and she is currently leading a Lancet Oncology series on cancer in small island developing states. Diana’s primary teaching focus is on post-graduate courses in epidemiology.

Diana is a past member of the National Ethics Advisory Committee, the Bowel Cancer Screening Taskforce, the National Bowel Cancer Working Group, the Board of the Cancer Society (Wellington Division), the Cancer Society Medical and Scientific Assessment Committee (Wellington) and the National Cancer Society Health Promotion Committee.

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Publications

Gurney, J., McLeod, M., Stanley, J., Sarfati, D., Campbell, D., Davies, C., Dennett, E., … Ongley, D., Robson, B., Rumball-Smith, J., Signal, V., Stairmand, J., Thomas, C., & Koea, J. (2021). Disparities in post-operative mortality between Māori and non-indigenous ethnic groups in New Zealand. New Zealand Medical Journal, 134(1542), 15-28. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Gurney, J. K., Stanley, J., Adler, J., McLeod, H., Atkinson, J., & Sarfati, D. (2021). National study of pain medicine access among Māori and non-Māori patients with lung cancer in New Zealand. JCO Global Oncology, 7, 1276-1285. doi: 10.1200/go.21.00141

Millar, E., Gurney, J., Beuker, S., Goza, M., Hamilton, M.-A., Hardie, C., Jackson, C. G. C. A., … Sarfati, D. (2021). Maintaining cancer services during the COVID-19 pandemic: The Aotearoa New Zealand experience. Lancet Regional Health: Western Pacific, 11, 100172. doi: 10.1016/j.lanwpc.2021.100172

Pilleron, S., Maringe, C., Charvat, H., Atkinson, J., Morris, E., & Sarfati, D. (2021). Age disparities in lung cancer survival in New Zealand: The role of patient and clinical factors. Lung Cancer. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2021.05.015

Pilleron, S., Maringe, C., Charvat, H., Atkinson, J., Morris, E. J. A., & Sarfati, D. (2021). The impact of timely cancer diagnosis on age disparities in colon cancer survival. Journal of Geriatric Oncology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.jgo.2021.04.003

Sarfati, D., & Scott, K. (1999). Taking the Pulse: the 1996/97 New Zealand Health Survey. Wellington: Ministry of Health.

Authored Book - Other

Ramsdale, E. E., Zittel, J., & Sarfati, D. (2020). Comorbidity in aging and cancer. In M. Extermann (Ed.), Geriatric oncology. (pp. 365-393). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1016/j.jgo.2015.12.002

Chapter in Book - Research

Sarfati, D. (2019). Why social inequalities matter in the cancer continuum. In S. Vaccarella, J. Lortet-Tieulent, R. Saracci, D. I. Conway, K. Straif & C. P. Wild (Eds.), Reducing social inequalities in cancer: Evidence and priorities for research (IARC Scientific Publication No. 168). (pp. 15-24). Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Chapter in Book - Research

Teng, A., Blakely, T., & Sarfati, D. (2019). Changing social inequalities in cancer mortality: The value of linking census and health data. In S. Vaccarella, J. Lortet-Tieulent, R. Saracci, D. I. Conway, K. Straif & C. P. Wild (Eds.), Reducing social inequalities in cancer: Evidence and priorities for research [IARC Scientific Publication No. 168]. (pp. 25-27). Lyon, France: international Agency for Research on Cancer.

Chapter in Book - Research

Dew, K., Cunningham, C., Davies, C., Tavite, H., Stairmand, J., Sarfati, D., & Signal, L. (2017). Māori-centered research and ethnomethodology: Cancer inequities and research by and for indigenous peoples. In SAGE research methods: Cases part 2. SAGE. doi: 10.4135/9781526409218

Chapter in Book - Research

Fleming, S. T., Sarfati, D., Kimmick, G., Schoenberg, N., & Cunningham, R. (2016). Impact of comorbidity on cancer screening and diagnosis. In B. Koczwara (Ed.), Cancer and chronic conditions: Addressing the problem of multimorbidity in cancer patients and survivors. (pp. 105-129). Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-981-10-1844-2

Chapter in Book - Research

Sarfati, D. (2016). How do we measure comorbidity? In B. Koczwara (Ed.), Cancer and chronic conditions: Addressing the problem of multimorbidity in cancer patients and survivors. (pp. 35-70). Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-981-10-1844-2

Chapter in Book - Research

Sarfati, D., & Gurney, J. (2016). What is comorbidity? In B. Koczwara (Ed.), Cancer and chronic conditions: Addressing the problem of multimorbidity in cancer patients and survivors. (pp. 1-33). Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-981-10-1844-2

Chapter in Book - Research

Gurney, J. K., Millar, E., Dunn, A., Pirie, R., Mako, M., Manderson, J., … Jackson, C. G. C. A., … Sarfati, D. (2021). The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer diagnosis and service access in New Zealand: A country pursuing COVID-19 elimination. Lancet Regional Health: Western Pacific, 10, 100127. doi: 10.1016/j.lanwpc.2021.100127

Journal - Research Article

Gurney, J. K., Stanley, J., Adler, J., McLeod, H., Atkinson, J., & Sarfati, D. (2021). National study of pain medicine access among Māori and non-Māori patients with lung cancer in New Zealand. JCO Global Oncology, 7, 1276-1285. doi: 10.1200/go.21.00141

Journal - Research Article

Gurney, J., McLeod, M., Stanley, J., Sarfati, D., Campbell, D., Davies, C., Dennett, E., … Ongley, D., Robson, B., Rumball-Smith, J., Signal, V., Stairmand, J., Thomas, C., & Koea, J. (2021). Disparities in post-operative mortality between Māori and non-indigenous ethnic groups in New Zealand. New Zealand Medical Journal, 134(1542), 15-28. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Journal - Research Article

Millar, E., Gurney, J., Beuker, S., Goza, M., Hamilton, M.-A., Hardie, C., Jackson, C. G. C. A., … Sarfati, D. (2021). Maintaining cancer services during the COVID-19 pandemic: The Aotearoa New Zealand experience. Lancet Regional Health: Western Pacific, 11, 100172. doi: 10.1016/j.lanwpc.2021.100172

Journal - Research Article

Pilleron, S., Maringe, C., Charvat, H., Atkinson, J., Morris, E. J. A., & Sarfati, D. (2021). The impact of timely cancer diagnosis on age disparities in colon cancer survival. Journal of Geriatric Oncology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.jgo.2021.04.003

Journal - Research Article

Pilleron, S., Maringe, C., Charvat, H., Atkinson, J., Morris, E., & Sarfati, D. (2021). Age disparities in lung cancer survival in New Zealand: The role of patient and clinical factors. Lung Cancer. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2021.05.015

Journal - Research Article

Aggarwal, A., Patel, P., Lewison, G., Ekzayez, A., Coutts, A., Fouad, F. M., … Sarfati, D., & Sullivan, R. (2020). The profile of Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) research in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region: Analyzing the NCD burden, research outputs and international research collaboration. PLoS ONE, 15(4), e0232077. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0232077

Journal - Research Article

Fowler, H., Belot, A., Ellis, L., Maringe, C., Luque-Fernandez, M. A., Njagi, E. N., … Sarfati, D., … Rachet, B. (2020). Comorbidity prevalence among cancer patients: A population-based cohort study of four cancers. BMC Cancer, 20, 2. doi: 10.1186/s12885-019-6472-9

Journal - Research Article

Gurney, J. K., McLeod, M., Stanley, J., Campbell, D., Boyle, L., Dennett, E., … Sarfati, D. (2020). Postoperative mortality in New Zealand following general anaesthetic: Demographic patterns and temporal trends. BMJ Open, 10(9), e036451. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-036451

Journal - Research Article

Gurney, J., Stanley, J., & Sarfati, D. (2020). The inequity of morbidity: Disparities in the prevalence of morbidity between ethnic groups in New Zealand. Journal of Comorbidity, 10, 1-11. doi: 10.1177/2235042x20971168

Journal - Research Article

Gurney, J., Stanley, J., Jackson, C., & Sarfati, D. (2020). Stage at diagnosis for Māori cancer patients: Disparities, similarities and data limitations. New Zealand Medical Journal, 133(1508), 43-64. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Journal - Research Article

Gurney, J., Stanley, J., McLeod, M., Koea, J., Jackson, C., & Sarfati, D. (2020). Disparities in cancer-specific survival between Māori and non-Māori New Zealanders, 2007-2016. JCO Global Oncology, 6, 766-774. doi: 10.1200/go.20.00028

Journal - Research Article

McLeod, M., Stanley, J., Signal, V., Stairmand, J., Thompson, D., Henderson, K., Davies, C., Krebs, J., Dowell, A., Grainger, R., & Sarfati, D. (2020). Impact of a comprehensive digital health programme on HbA1c and weight after 12 months for people with diabetes and prediabetes: A randomised controlled trial. Diabetologia. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s00125-020-05261-x

Journal - Research Article

Pilleron, S., Soto-Perez-de-Celis, E., Vignat, J., Ferlay, J., Soerjomataram, I., Bray, F., & Sarfati, D. (2020). Estimated global cancer incidence in the oldest adults in 2018 and projections to 2050. International Journal of Cancer. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/ijc.33232

Journal - Research Article

Sam, F. A.-L., Akinremi, A., Mery, L., Sarfati, D., Stanley, J., & Gurney, J. (2020). Cancer Incidence in Samoa: A 10-Year Retrospective Survey (2007-2016). Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1010539520975261

Journal - Research Article

Signal, L. N., Edwards, R., Gage, R., Jackson, N., McKerchar, C., & Sarfati, D. (2020). The state of cancer prevention in Aotearoa New Zealand: Slow progress requires political leadership and investment for health and equity. Journal of Cancer Policy, 23, 100212. doi: 10.1016/j.jcpo.2019.100212

Journal - Research Article

Signal, V., Jackson, C., Signal, L., Hardie, C., Holst, K., McLaughlin, M., Steele, C., & Sarfati, D. (2020). Improving management of comorbidity in patients with colorectal cancer using comprehensive medical assessment: A pilot study. BMC Cancer, 20, 50. doi: 10.1186/s12885-020-6526-z

Journal - Research Article

Signal, V., McLeod, M., Stanley, J., Stairmand, J., Sukumaran, N., Thompson, D.-M., Henderson, K., Davies, C., Krebs, J., Dowell, A., Grainger, R., & Sarfati, D. (2020). A mobile- and web-based health intervention program for diabetes and prediabetes self-management (BetaMe/Melon): Process evaluation following a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 22(12), e19150. doi: 10.2196/19150

Journal - Research Article

Stanley, J., Doughty, R. N., & Sarfati, D. (2020). A pharmaceutical dispensing-based index of mortality risk from long-term conditions performed as well as hospital record-based indices. Medical Care, 58(2), e9-e16. doi: 10.1097/mlr.0000000000001217

Journal - Research Article

Znaor, A., Skakkebaek, N. E., Rajpert-De Meyts, E., Laversanne, M., Kuliš, T., Gurney, J., Sarfati, D., … Bray, F. (2020). Testicular cancer incidence predictions in Europe 2010-2035: A rising burden despite population ageing. International Journal of Cancer, 147, 820-828. doi: 10.1002/ijc.32810

Journal - Research Article

Dew, K., Barton, J., Stairmand, J., Sarfati, D., & Signal, L. (2019). Ascertaining patients’ understandings of their condition: A conversation analysis of contradictory norms in cancer specialist consultations. Health Sociology Review, 28(3), 229-244. doi: 10.1080/14461242.2019.1633945

Journal - Research Article

Gurney, J. K., Florio, A. A., Znaor, A., Ferlay, J., Laversanne, M., Sarfati, D., … McGlynn, K. A. (2019). International trends in the incidence of testicular cancer: Lessons from 35 years and 41 countries. European Urology, 76, 615-623. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2019.07.002

Journal - Research Article

Gurney, J. K., Stanley, J., York, S., & Sarfati, D. (2019). Regional variation in the risk of lower-limb amputation among patients with diabetes in New Zealand. ANZ Journal of Surgery, 89, 868-873. doi: 10.1111/ans.15079

Journal - Research Article

Lawrenson, R., Lao, C., Jacobson, G., Seneviratne, S., Scott, N., Sarfati, D., … Campbell, I. (2019). Outcomes in different ethnic groups of New Zealand patients with screen-detected vs. non-screen-detected breast cancer. Journal of Medical Screening, 26(4), 197-203. doi: 10.1177/0969141319844801

Journal - Research Article

Millar, E., Gurney, J., Stanley, J., Stairmand, J., Davies, C., Semper, K., Dowell, A., … Sarfati, D. (2019). Pill for this and a pill for that: A cross-sectional survey of use and understanding of medication among adults with multimorbidity. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 36(2), 91-97. doi: 10.1111/ajag.12606

Journal - Research Article

Pilleron, S., Sarfati, D., Janssen-Heijnen, M., Vignat, J., Ferlay, J., Bray, F., & Soerjomataram, I. (2019). Global cancer incidence in older adults, 2012 and 2035: A population-based study. International Journal of Cancer, 144(1), 49-58. doi: 10.1002/ijc.31664

Journal - Research Article

Sarfati, D., Dyer, R., Sam, F. A.-L., Barton, M., Bray, F., Buadromo, E., Ekeroma, A., … Puloka, V., … Teng, A., … Vivili, P. (2019). Cancer control in the Pacific: Big challenges facing small island states. Lancet Oncology, 20(9), e475-e492. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(19)30400-0

Journal - Research Article

Dew, K., Signal, L., Stairmand, J., Simpson, A., & Sarfati, D. (2018). Cancer care decision-making and treatment consent: An observational study of patients’ and clinicians’ rights. Journal of Sociology, 55(1), 161-178. doi: 10.1177/1440783318773880

Journal - Research Article

Diaz, A., Baade, P. D., Valery, P. C., Whop, L. J., Moore, S. P., Cunningham, J., … Sarfati, D., … Condon, J. R. (2018). Comorbidity and cervical cancer survival of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian women: A semi-national registry-based cohort study (2003-2012). PLoS ONE, 13(5), e0196764. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0196764

Journal - Research Article

Gurney, J. K., Stanley, J., & Sarfati, D. (2018). The M3 multimorbidity index outperformed both Charlson and Elixhauser indices when predicting adverse outcomes in people with diabetes. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 99, 144-152. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2018.04.002

Journal - Research Article

Gurney, J. K., Stanley, J., York, S., Rosenbaum, D., & Sarfati, D. (2018). Risk of lower limb amputation in a national prevalent cohort of patients with diabetes. Diabetologia, 61(3), 626-635. doi: 10.1007/s00125-017-4488-8

Journal - Research Article

Gurney, J., Stanley, J., Rumball-Smith, J., York, S., & Sarfati, D. (2018). Postoperative death after lower-limb amputation in a national prevalent cohort of patients with diabetes. Diabetes Care, 41(6), 1204-1211. doi: 10.2337/dc17-2557

Journal - Research Article

Huang, S., Signal, V., Sarfati, D., Shaw, C., Stanley, J., McGlynn, K., & Gurney, J. (2018). Physical activity and risk of testicular cancer: A systematic review. BMC Cancer, 18, 189. doi: 10.1186/s12885-018-4093-3

Journal - Research Article

Lawrenson, R., Lao, C., Campbell, I., Harvey, V., Seneviratne, S., Elwood, M., Sarfati, D., & Kuper-Hommel, M. (2018). The impact of different tumour subtypes on management and survival of New Zealand women with Stage I-III breast cancer. New Zealand Medical Journal, 131(1475), 51-60. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Journal - Research Article

Lew, J.-B., St John, D. J. B., Macrae, F. A., Emery, J. D., Ee, H. C., Jenkins, M. A., … Sarfati, D., … Canfell, K. (2018). Evaluation of the benefits, harms and cost-effectiveness of potential alternatives to iFOBT testing for colorectal cancer screening in Australia. International Journal of Cancer, 143(2), 269-282. doi: 10.1002/ijc.31314

Journal - Research Article

Millar, E., Stanley, J., Gurney, J., Stairmand, J., Davies, C., Semper, K., Dowell, A., … Sarfati, D. (2018). Effect of multimorbidity on health service utilisation and health care experiences. Journal of Primary Health Care, 10(1), 44-53. doi: 10.1071/HC17074

Journal - Research Article

O'Brien, I., Signal, L., & Sarfati, D. (2018). Wide-ranging impacts reported by NZ cancer survivors: Is supporting cancer survivor resilience a health sector role? Supportive Care in Cancer, 26(4), 1207-1213. doi: 10.1007/s00520-017-3943-x

Journal - Research Article

Sharples, K., Firth, M., Hinder, V., Hill, A., Jeffery, M., Sarfati, D., … Atmore, C., … Derrett, S., … Keating, J., … Jackson, C., & Findlay, M. (2018). The New Zealand PIPER Project: Colorectal cancer survival according to rurality, ethnicity and socioeconomic deprivation: Results from a retrospective cohort study. New Zealand Medical Journal, 1476(131), 24-39. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Journal - Research Article

Stairmand, J., Gurney, J., Stanley, J., Millar, E., Davies, C., Semper, K., Dowell, A., Mangin, D., Lawrenson, R., & Sarfati, D. (2018). The impact of multimorbidity on people's lives: A cross-sectional survey. New Zealand Medical Journal, 131(1477), 78-90. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Journal - Research Article

Stanley, J., Semper, K., Millar, E., & Sarfati, D. (2018). Epidemiology of multimorbidity in New Zealand: A cross-sectional study using national-level hospital and pharmaceutical data. BMJ Open, 8(5), e021689. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-021689

Journal - Research Article

Tin Tin, S., Mark Elwood, J., Brown, C., Sarfati, D., Campbell, I., Scott, N., … Lawrenson, R. (2018). Ethnic disparities in breast cancer survival in New Zealand: Which factors contribute? BMC Cancer, 18, 58. doi: 10.1186/s12885-017-3797-0

Journal - Research Article

Ginsburg, O., Badwe, R., Boyle, P., Derricks, G., Dare, A., Evans, T., … Sarfati, D., … Sullivan, R. (2017). Changing global policy to deliver safe, equitable, and affordable care for women's cancers. Lancet, 389(10071), 871-880. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(16)31393-9

Journal - Research Article

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