Kelly R. Ylitalo, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
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Assistant Professor

Research Area

  • Physical Functioning
  • Obesity and Diabetes
  • Quantitative Methods

Dr. Ylitalo’s research interests include physical functioning, obesity, and diabetes. Specifically, she is interested in the role of obesity and cardio-metabolic health in the development of peripheral neuropathy, the role of neuropathy as a leading contributor to limitations in physical functioning and disability, and subsequently, how physical functioning and disability contribute to quality of life and mortality. Dr. Ylitalo applies complex statistical methods to longitudinal cohort studies and large data sets in order to better understand chronic disease. As an epidemiologist, she works with national and local partners to evaluate and understand the health of individuals and their communities throughout the life course.

Current Courses Taught

  • HED 3351 Epidemiology/Vital Statistics
  • HED 5337 Public Health Concepts in Epidemiology

Select Publications

  • Ylitalo KR, McEwen LN, Karter AJ, Lee P, Herman WH. Self-reported physical functioning and mortality among individuals with type 2 diabetes: Insights from Translating Research Into Action for Diabetes. J Diabetes Complications 2013;27(6):565-9.
  • Karvonen-Gutierrez CA, Ylitalo KR. Prevalence and correlates of disability in a late middle-aged population of women. J Aging Health 2013;25(4):701-17.
  • Ylitalo KR, Karvonen-Gutierrez CA, Fitzgerald M, Zheng H, Sternfeld B, El Kouhoudray S, Harlow SD. Relationship of race/ethnicity, body mass index, and economic strain with longitudinal self-report of physical functioning: The Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation. Annals of Epidemiology 2013;23(7):401-8.
  • Ylitalo KR, Herman WH, Harlow SD. Performance-based physical functioning and peripheral neuropathy in a population-based cohort of mid-life women. American Journal of Epidemiology 2013;177(8):810-7.

Contact Information

Baylor University
Robbins College of Health & Human Sciences, HHPR
One Bear Place #97313
Waco, TX 76798-7313

Office:  Rena Marrs McLean Gym 224
Phone:  254- 710 – 4271
Fax:  254 - 710 - 3527
Email:   Kelly_Ylitalo@baylor.edu