Peggy Cawthon, Ph.D., M.P.H., Senior Scientist

California Pacific CURRENTS: The online journal of CPMC Research Institute

Using large-cohort studies to understand age-related physical decline
  • Predicted probability of frailty status at follow-up

    Predicted probability of frailty status at follow-up, by quartile of bioavailable testosterone and frailty status at baseline for a 73.4-yr-old man. Cut-points for quartiles of bioavailable testosterone: Q1, _165.4 ng/dl; Q2, 165.4 to _201.5 ng/dl; Q3, 201.5 to _241.9 ng/dl; and Q4, _241.9 ng/dl. Probabilities derived from a partial proportional odds model, with age and bioavailable testosterone meeting the proportionality assumption, and frailty status at baseline not meeting the proportional odds assumption. The age assumed for the model (73.4 yr) is the mean age of the population at baseline.
    Source: Cawthon PM, et al, for the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Research Group. J Clin Endocrinol Metab October 2009, 94(10):0000–0000. (Figure 3) First published ahead of print September 15, 2009 as doi:10.1210/jc.2009-0417

  • Adjusted survival plots for participants in the MrOS study

    Adjusted survival plots for participants in the MrOS study, by quartile of total intact PTH or 25(OH)D. Plots are adjusted for age, clinic, season of blood draw, serum calcium and phosphate, GFR, percentage body fat, weight, race, health status, presence of at least one medical condition, alcohol use, education, activity level (PASE score), marital status, and presence of a functional or mobility limitation.

    Source: Cawthon PM, et al, for the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Research Group. Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D, Parathyroid Hormone, and Mortality in Older Men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab October 2010, 95(10):4625–4634. (Figure 1)


Research Overview

  • Dr. Cawthon’s research on sarcopenia and age-related physical decline showed that tests of muscle strength and walking speed can help predict disability in older adults.
  • Using data from several ongoing large-cohort studies, she and colleagues at the San Francisco Coordinating Center (SFCC) study bone loss in older men; the association between vitamin D and mortality; risk factors for osteoporotic fractures in older women and men; and predictors of frailty in the elderly.
  • As part of her role at the SFCC, Dr. Cawthon co-leads multi-center observational studies, including the Study of Osteoporosis in Men (MrOS) and the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures (SOF) in women, and has analyzed data from the Health, Aging and Body Composition (Health ABC) and Framingham studies.

Learn more about research in the Center for Research on Human Aging.

A new documentary features Dr. Cawthon and other aging and longevity experts at CPMCRI. Review a blog post that describes the documentary and includes a link to the trailer. 


Dr. Cawthon received her Ph.D. and M.P.H. from the University of California, Berkeley.


Publication Search


Zillikens MC, Demissie S, Hsu YH, Yerges-Armstrong LM, Chou WC, Stolk L, Livshits G, Broer L, Johnson T, Koller DL, Kutalik Z, Luan J, Malkin I, Ried JS, Smith AV, Thorleifsson G, Vandenput L, Hua Zhao J, Zhang W, Aghdassi A, Åkesson K, Amin N, Baier LJ, Barroso I, Bennett DA, Bertram L, Biffar R, Bochud M, Boehnke M, Borecki IB, Buchman AS, Byberg L, Campbell H, Campos Obanda N, Cauley JA, Cawthon PM, Cederberg H, Chen Z, Cho NH, Jin Choi H, Claussnitzer M, Collins F, Cummings SR, De Jager PL, Demuth I, Dhonukshe-Rutten RAM, Diatchenko L, Eiriksdottir G, Enneman AW, Erdos M, Eriksson JG, Eriksson J, Estrada K, Evans DS, Feitosa MF, Fu M, Garcia M, Gieger C, Girke T, Glazer NL, Grallert H, Grewal J, Han BG, Hanson RL, Hayward C, Hofman A, Hoffman EP, Homuth G, Hsueh WC, Hubal MJ, Hubbard A, Huffman KM, Husted LB, Illig T, Ingelsson E, Ittermann T, Jansson JO, Jordan JM, Jula A, Karlsson M, Khaw KT, Kilpeläinen TO, Klopp N, Kloth JSL, Koistinen HA, Kraus WE, Kritchevsky S, Kuulasmaa T, Kuusisto J, Laakso M, Lahti J, Lang T, Langdahl BL, Launer LJ, Lee JY, Lerch MM, Lewis JR, Lind L, Lindgren C, Liu Y, Liu T, Liu Y, Ljunggren Ö, Lorentzon M, Luben RN, Maixner W, McGuigan FE, Medina-Gomez C, Meitinger T, Melhus H, Mellström D, Melov S, Michaëlsson K, Mitchell BD, Morris AP, Mosekilde L, Newman A, Nielson CM, O'Connell JR, Oostra BA, Orwoll ES, Palotie A, Parker S, Peacock M, Perola M, Peters A, Polasek O, Prince RL, Räikkönen K, Ralston SH, Ripatti S, Robbins JA, Rotter JI, Rudan I, Salomaa V, Satterfield S, Schadt EE, Schipf S, Scott L, Sehmi J, Shen J, Soo Shin C, Sigurdsson G, Smith S, Soranzo N, Stančáková A, Steinhagen-Thiessen E, Streeten EA, Styrkarsdottir U, Swart KMA, Tan ST, Tarnopolsky MA, Thompson P, Thomson CA, Thorsteinsdottir U, Tikkanen E, Tranah GJ, Tuomilehto J, van Schoor NM, Verma A, Vollenweider P, Völzke H, Wactawski-Wende J, Walker M, Weedon MN, Welch R, Wichmann HE, Widen E, Williams FMK, Wilson JF, Wright NC, Xie W, Yu L, Zhou Y, Chambers JC, Döring A, van Duijn CM, Econs MJ, Gudnason V, Kooner JS, Psaty BM, Spector TD, Stefansson K, Rivadeneira F, Uitterlinden AG, Wareham NJ, Ossowski V, Waterworth D, Loos RJF, Karasik D, Harris TB, Ohlsson C, Kiel DP, Large meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies identifies five loci for lean body mass. Nat Commun

Ensrud KE, Lui LY, Langsetmo L, Vo TN, Taylor BC, Cawthon PM, Kilgore ML, McCulloch CE, Cauley JA, Stefanick ML, Yaffe K, Orwoll ES, Schousboe JT, Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study Group., Effects of Mobility and Multimorbidity on Inpatient and Post-Acute Health Care Utilization. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci

Laddu DR, Cawthon PM, Parimi N, Hoffman AR, Orwoll E, Miljkovic I, Stefanick ML, Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study Research Group., Trajectories of the relationships of physical activity with body composition changes in older men: the MrOS study. BMC Geriatr

Raman D, Kaffashi F, Lui LY, Sauer WH, Redline S, Stone P, Cawthon PM, Stone KL, Ensrud KE, Ancoli-Israel S, Loparo K, Mehra R, Polysomnographic Heart Rate Variability Indices and Atrial Ectopy Associated with Incident Atrial Fibrillation Risk in Older Community-dwelling Men. JACC Clin Electrophysiol

Smagula SF, Harrison S, Cauley JA, Ancoli-Israel S, Cawthon PM, Cummings S, Stone KL, Determinants of Change in Objectively Assessed Sleep Duration Among Older Men. Am J Epidemiol

Shepherd JA, Ng BK, Fan B, Schwartz AV, Cawthon P, Cummings SR, Kritchevsky S, Nevitt M, Santanasto A, Cootes TF, Modeling the shape and composition of the human body using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry images. PLoS One

Peggy Cawthon, Ph.D., M.P.H., Senior Scientist
Primary Research Interests
  • Sarcopenia and age-related physical decline
  • The association between vitamin D and mortality
  • Risk factors for osteoporotic fractures in older women and men