Amy Byers, PhD, MPH

Professor of Medicine

Dr. Byers is Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences with a joint appointment in the Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics. She is an epidemiologist with a background in aging research, methods, and biostatistics. Her research focuses on the epidemiology of late-life mental health and employs advanced epidemiological and biostatistical techniques to determine the incidence, prevalence, risk factors, and outcomes of late-life mental health disorders with the objective of reducing the burden of these disorders by informing long-term clinical care. Dr. Byers has been heavily involved in research to determine nationally representative estimates of psychiatric disorders and health care utilization among older community-dwelling adults. As a clinical epidemiologist studying geropsychiatry with an expertise in mathematical epidemiology, Dr. Byers is involved in the application of advanced methodology to address complex clinical questions at the intersection of physical and mental health in aging adults.

Dr. Byers has been funded by several agencies, including NIH (i.e., NIMH and NIMHD), Department of Defense, and VA. She is PI of the first VA R01-level grant longitudinally investigating suicide and suicidal behavior at a national level in older U.S. Veterans. Dr. Byers’ NIH-funded research program currently focuses on suicide and suicide-related outcomes among older Veterans and individuals reentering the community from incarceration. Leveraging national databases, Dr. Byers has built large longitudinal cohorts to study how complex and salient risk factors, such as comorbidities, polypharmacy, and history of incarceration, contribute to late-life suicide and related disorders and will lead to targeted late-life risk assessment tools. Recently, Dr. Byers has been awarded a Genius Award from UCSF’s Older Americans Independence Center to provide innovative methodologic advancements to estimate associations of suicide risk linked to specific medications.
Research Fellowship, - Geriatric Psychiatry, Cornell University
BA, - Anthropology, Scripps College
MPH, - Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale University
PhD, - Epidemiology of Aging, Yale University
  1. Portacolone E, Byers A, Halpern J, Barnes DE. Addressing suicide risk in patients living with dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. 2022. PMID: 35365827

  2. Hargrave AS, Maguen S, Inslicht SS, Byers AL, Seal KH, Huang AJ, Gibson CJ. Veterans Health Administration Screening for Military Sexual Trauma May Miss Over Half of Cases Among Midlife Women Veterans. 2022. PMID: 35821182

  3. Blanken A, Gibson CJ, Li Y, Huang AJ, Byers AL, Maguen S, Inslicht S, Seal K. Racial/ethnic disparities in the diagnosis and management of menopause symptoms among midlife women veterans. 2022. PMID: 35796560

  4. Kuffel RL, Byers AL, Williams B, Fortinsky R, Li Y, Ruderman MA, Barry LC. Prevalence of dementia and mild cognitive impairment before incarceration. 2022. PMID: 35212389

  5. Wray CM, Vali M, Walter LC, Christensen L, Chapman W, Austin PC, Byers AL, Keyhani S. Examining the association of social risk with heart failure readmission in the Veterans Health Administration. 2021. PMID: 34445974

  6. Günak MM, Barnes DE, Yaffe K, Li Y, Byers AL. Risk of Suicide Attempt in Patients With Recent Diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment or Dementia. 2021. PMID: 33760039

  7. Martinez S, Yaffe K, Li Y, Byers AL, Peltz CB, Barnes DE. Agent Orange Exposure and Dementia Diagnosis in US Veterans of the Vietnam Era. 2021. PMID: 33492338

  8. Gibson CJ, Li Y, Jasuja GK, Self KJ, Seal KH, Byers AL. Menopausal Hormone Therapy and Suicide in a National Sample of Midlife and Older Women Veterans. 2021. PMID: 33438886

  9. Wray CM, Byers AL. Methodological Progress Note: Classification and Regression Tree Analysis. Volume 15. 2020. PMID: 32195654

  10. Byers AL, Li Y, Barnes DE, Seal KH, Boscardin WJ, Yaffe K. A national study of TBI and risk of suicide and unintended death by overdose and firearms. 2019. PMID: 31822136

  11. Morin RT, Li Y, Mackin RS, Whooley MA, Conwell Y, Byers AL. Comorbidity Profiles Identified in Older Primary Care Patients Who Attempt Suicide. Volume 67 of Issue 12. 2019. PMID: 31469184

  12. Wray CM, Vali M, Walter LC, Lopez L, Austin PC, Byers A, Keyhani S. Examining the Utility of 30-day Readmission Rates and Hospital Profiling in the Veterans Health Administration. 2019. PMID: 30794141

  13. Dismuke-Greer CE, Gebregziabher M, Byers AL, Taber D, Axon N, Yaffe K, Egede LE. Comorbid TBI-depression costs in veterans: a chronic effect of neurotrauma consortium (CENC) study. 2018. PMID: 30403538

  14. Gibson CJ, Li Y, Inslicht SS, Seal KH, Byers AL. Gender Differences in Cardiovascular Risk Related to Diabetes and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. 2018. PMID: 30314941

  15. Lai AX, Kaup AR, Yaffe K, Byers AL. High Occurrence of Psychiatric Disorders and Suicidal Behavior Across Dementia Subtypes. 2018. PMID: 30392777

  16. Barnes DE, Byers AL, Gardner RC, Seal KH, Boscardin WJ, Yaffe K. Association of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury With and Without Loss of Consciousness With Dementia in US Military Veterans. 2018. PMID: 29801145

  17. Byers AL, Lui LY, Vittinghoff E, Covinsky KE, Ensrud KE, Taylor B, Yaffe K. Burden of Depressive Symptoms Over 2 Decades and Risk of Nursing Home Placement in Older Women. 2018. PMID: 30094824

  18. Barry LC, Steffens DC, Covinsky KE, Conwell Y, Li Y, Byers AL. Increased Risk of Suicide Attempts and Unintended Death Among Those Transitioning From Prison to Community in Later Life. 2018. PMID: 30146371

  19. Gardner RC, Byers AL, Barnes DE, Li Y, Boscardin J, Yaffe K. Mild TBI and risk of Parkinson disease: A Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium Study. 2018. PMID: 29669907

  20. Kaup AR, Byers AL, Falvey C, Simonsick EM, Satterfield S, Ayonayon HN, Smagula SF, Rubin SM, Yaffe K. Trajectories of Depressive Symptoms in Older Adults and Risk of Dementia. 2016. PMID: 26982217

  21. Beristianos MH, Maguen S, Neylan TC, Byers AL. TRAUMA EXPOSURE AND RISK OF SUICIDAL IDEATION AMONG ETHNICALLY DIVERSE ADULTS. Volume 33 of Issue 6. 2016. PMID: 26992150

  22. Beristianos MH, Maguen S, Neylan TC, Byers AL. Trauma Exposure and Risk of Suicidal Ideation Among Older Adults. Volume 24 of Issue 8. 2016. PMID: 27067069

  23. Kargel JS, Leonard GJ, Shugar DH, Haritashya UK, Bevington A, Fielding EJ, Fujita K, Geertsema M, Miles ES, Steiner J, Anderson E, Bajracharya S, Bawden GW, Breashears DF, Byers A, Collins B, Dhital MR, Donnellan A, Evans TL, Geai ML, Glasscoe MT, Green D, Gurung DR, Heijenk R, Hilborn A, Hudnut K, Huyck C, Immerzeel WW, Liming J, Jibson R, Kääb A, Khanal NR, Kirschbaum D, Kraaijenbrink PD, Lamsal D, Shiyin L, Mingyang L, McKinney D, Nahirnick NK, Zhuotong N, Ojha S, Olsenholler J, Painter TH, Pleasants M, Pratima KC, Yuan QI, Raup BH, Regmi D, Rounce DR, Sakai A, Donghui S, Shea JM, Shrestha AB, Shukla A, Stumm D, van der Kooij M, Voss K, Xin W, Weihs B, Wolfe D, Lizong W, Xiaojun Y, Yoder MR, Young N. Geomorphic and geologic controls of geohazards induced by Nepal's 2015 Gorkha earthquake. Volume 351 of Issue 6269. 2015. PMID: 26676355

  24. Poelke G, Ventura MI, Byers AL, Yaffe K, Sudore R, Barnes DE. Leisure activities and depressive symptoms in older adults with cognitive complaints. Volume 28 of Issue 1. 2015. PMID: 26299193

  25. Yaffe K, Nettiksimmons J, Yesavage J, Byers A. Sleep Quality and Risk of Dementia Among Older Male Veterans. 2015. PMID: 25794635

  26. Beristianos MH, Yaffe K, Cohen B, Byers AL. PTSD and Risk of Incident Cardiovascular Disease in Aging Veterans. 2014. PMID: 25555625

  27. Barnes DE, Kaup A, Kirby KA, Byers AL, Diaz-Arrastia R, Yaffe K. Traumatic brain injury and risk of dementia in older veterans. 2014. PMID: 24966406

  28. Byers AL, Yaffe K. Depression and dementias among military veterans. 2014. PMID: 24924668

  29. Yaffe K, Hoang TD, Byers AL, Barnes DE, Friedl KE. Lifestyle and health-related risk factors and risk of cognitive aging among older veterans. 2014. PMID: 24924664

  30. Meziab O, Kirby KA, Williams B, Yaffe K, Byers AL, Barnes DE. Prisoner of war status, posttraumatic stress disorder, and dementia in older veterans. 2014. PMID: 24924674

  31. Byers AL, Covinsky KE, Neylan TC, Yaffe K. Chronicity of posttraumatic stress disorder and risk of disability in older persons. 2014. PMID: 24647756

  32. Hoang TD, Byers AL, Barnes DE, Yaffe K. Alcohol consumption patterns and cognitive impairment in older women. 2014. PMID: 24862680

  33. Mackin RS, Nelson JC, Delucchi K, Raue P, Byers A, Barnes D, Satre DD, Yaffe K, Alexopoulos GS, Arean PA. Cognitive outcomes after psychotherapeutic interventions for major depression in older adults with executive dysfunction. 2013. PMID: 24378255

  34. Zeki Al Hazzouri A, Vittinghoff E, Byers A, Covinsky K, Blazer D, Diem S, Ensrud KE, Yaffe K. Long-term cumulative depressive symptom burden and risk of cognitive decline and dementia among very old women. 2013. PMID: 24097423

  35. Byers AL, Vittinghoff E, Lui LY, Hoang T, Blazer DG, Covinsky KE, Ensrud KE, Cauley JA, Hillier TA, Fredman L, Yaffe K. Twenty-year depressive trajectories among older women. 2012. PMID: 23026957

  36. Byers AL, Covinsky KE, Barnes DE, Yaffe K. Dysthymia and depression increase risk of dementia and mortality among older veterans. 2012. PMID: 21597358

  37. Barnes DE, Yaffe K, Byers AL, McCormick M, Schaefer C, Whitmer RA. Midlife vs late-life depressive symptoms and risk of dementia: differential effects for Alzheimer disease and vascular dementia. 2012. PMID: 22566581

  38. Byers AL, Yaffe K. Depression and risk of developing dementia. 2011. PMID: 21537355

  39. Byers AL, Yaffe K, Covinsky KE, Friedman MB, Bruce ML. High occurrence of mood and anxiety disorders among older adults: The National Comorbidity Survey Replication. 2010. PMID: 20439830

  40. Byers AL, Levy BR, Kasl SV, Bruce ML, Allore HG. Heritability of depressive symptoms: a case study using a multilevel approach. Volume 18 of Issue 4. 2009. PMID: 19757480

  41. Gallo WT, Brand JE, Teng HM, Leo-Summers L, Byers AL. Differential Impact of Involuntary Job Loss on Physical Disability Among Older Workers Does Predisposition Matter? Volume 31 of Issue 3. 2009. PMID: 19924265

  42. Byers AL, Sheeran T, Mlodzianowski AE, Meyers BS, Nassisi P, Bruce ML. Depression and risk for adverse falls in older home health care patients. Volume 1 of Issue 4. 2008. PMID: 20077999

  43. Byers AL, Levy BR, Allore HG, Bruce ML, Kasl SV. When parents matter to their adult children: filial reliance associated with parents' depressive symptoms. Volume 63 of Issue 1. 2008. PMID: 18332193

  44. Walke LM, Byers AL, Tinetti ME, Dubin JA, McCorkle R, Fried TR. Range and severity of symptoms over time among older adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart failure. Volume 167 of Issue 22. 2007. PMID: 18071174

  45. Bruce ML, Brown EL, Raue PJ, Mlodzianowski AE, Meyers BS, Leon AC, Heo M, Byers AL, Greenberg RL, Rinder S, Katt W, Nassisi P. A randomized trial of depression assessment intervention in home health care. Volume 55 of Issue 11. 2007. PMID: 17916119

  46. Fried TR, Van Ness PH, Byers AL, Towle VR, O'Leary JR, Dubin JA. Changes in preferences for life-sustaining treatment among older persons with advanced illness. Volume 22 of Issue 4. 2007. PMID: 17372799

  47. Walke LM, Byers AL, Gallo WT, Endrass J, Fried TR. The association of symptoms with health outcomes in chronically ill adults. Volume 33 of Issue 1. 2007. PMID: 17196907

  48. Fried TR, Byers AL, Gallo WT, Van Ness PH, Towle VR, O'Leary JR, Dubin JA. Prospective study of health status preferences and changes in preferences over time in older adults. Volume 166 of Issue 8. 2006. PMID: 16636215

  49. Walke LM, Byers AL, McCorkle R, Fried TR. Symptom assessment in community-dwelling older adults with advanced chronic disease. Volume 31 of Issue 1. 2006. PMID: 16442480

  50. Fried TR, Bradley EH, O'Leary JR, Byers AL. Unmet desire for caregiver-patient communication and increased caregiver burden. Volume 53 of Issue 1. 2005. PMID: 15667377

  51. Byers AL, Allore H, Gill TM, Peduzzi PN. Application of negative binomial modeling for discrete outcomes: a case study in aging research. Volume 56 of Issue 6. 2003. PMID: 12873651

  52. Gill TM, Baker DI, Gottschalk M, Peduzzi PN, Allore H, Byers A. A program to prevent functional decline in physically frail, elderly persons who live at home. Volume 347 of Issue 14. 2002. PMID: 12362007

  53. Yaffe K, Haan M, Byers A, Tangen C, Kuller L. Estrogen use, APOE, and cognitive decline: evidence of gene-environment interaction. 2000. PMID: 10822435