Wassim Tarraf

Wassim Tarraf

Assistant Professor


Wassim Tarraf

Bio Sketch

I am an assistant professor at the Institute of Gerontology and in the Department of Healthcare Sciences at Wayne State University. I am a health services researcher, policy analyst, and gerontologist. My primary interest is in research on minority aging and racial/ethnic healthcare disparities. My research evaluates disparities in health, health behavior, and healthcare access and use among race/ethnic minorities in the United States, and investigating the social determinants of health and healthcare. My work relies primarily on analyses of large complex data sets. I have specific interests in data from the Medical Expenditures Panel Survey, the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos, the National Health Interview Survey, the Health and Retirement Study, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys (and its three subcomponent surveys), and the Medicare Current Beneficiary Surveys. I have served as a principal investigator or co-investigator and statistical consultant on several university and federally funded projects.


PhD, Wayne State University, 2010

MBA, Wayne State University, 2002

BS, Lebanese American University, 1999

Research Focus

Minority aging and racial/ethnic health and healthcare disparities.

Office Location

212 Knapp Bldg

Areas of Expertise

Minority Aging, Health Policy, Health Services, Public Health, Statistical Methods


Institute for Statistical Genetics, University of Washington, Department of Biostatistics (2017):
Population Genetic Data Analysis, Quantitative Genetics and Advanced Quantitative Genetics, Association Mapping, Pathway and Network Analysis for Omics Data

Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, Program in Quantitative Methods, University of Michigan Ann Arbor (2005, 2006, 2010):
Bayesian Modeling, Advanced Bayesian Modeling, Longitudinal Analysis, Time Series Analysis, Advanced Maximum Likelihood Estimation, Structural Equation Modeling, Statistical Analysis for Incomplete Data

Institute of Gerontology, Wayne State University (2007-2009):
Pre-Doctoral Trainee



NIH/NIA (R21 AG056952: 2017-2019 ; PI Ramos)
Title: Exploring Sleep in Neurocognitive Aging and Alzheimer's Research
Role: Site PI and Co-Investigator

NIH/NIA (R01 AG054548: 2017-2022; PI DeCarli & Gonzlez)
Title: MRI Measures of Cerebrovascular Injury and AD Atrophy in a Study of Latinos
Role: Site PI and Co-Investigator

NIH/NIA ( R01 AG48642: 2015-2020; PI Gonzalez)
Title: Investigation of Neurocognitive Aging (INCA)
Role: Site PI and Lead Statistician

NIH/NIA (P30 AG053760 ; PI Paulson)
Title: Michigan Alzheimer Disease Core Center
Role: Junior Faculty Trainee


Wayne State University/Henry Ford Health System (2014-2016)
Title: Effects of the Affordable Care Act on Preventive Care Use and Disparities in Use
Role: Principal Investigator

Michigan State University (Subcontract; 2014-2016)
Title: Investigation of Latino Health and Aging
Role: Principal Investigator

NIA (P30 AG015281; Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research Pilot Scholar)
Title: Enhanced Primary Care and Healthcare Disparities among Aging Ethnic/Racial Minorities
Role: Principal Investigator

NIH/NIMH (R01 MH 84994: 2009- 2014; PI Gonzalez/Lichtenberg)
Title: Epidemiology of late-life depression and ethnicity research study (ELLDERS)
Role: Co-Investigator

NIH/NHLBI (N01 HC 65233 (subcontract): 2011-2013; PI Gonzalez)
Title: Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos
Role: Co-Investigator


Courses Taught


Health, Disease, and aging

Statistics for the social sciences


Research methods


Office Phone


Professional Associations

Academy Health

American Publich Health Association

Gerontological Society of America


Vasquez E, Strizich G, Isasi CR, Echeverria SE, Sotres-Alvarez D, Evenson KR, Gellman MD, Palta P, Qi Q, Lamar M, Tarraf, W., Gonzalez HM, Kaplan R (2017). Is there a relationship between accelerometer-assessed physical activity and sedentary behavior and cognitive function in US Hispanic/Latino adults? The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL). Prev Med. 2017 Jul 29. pii: S0091-7435(17)30271-2.

Camacho A, Tarraf, W., Jimenez DE, Gallo LC, Gonzalez P, Kaplan RC, Lamar M, Khambaty T, Thyagarajan B, Perreira KM, Hernandez R, Cai J, Daviglus ML,Wassertheil-Smoller S, Gonzalez HM (2017). Anxious Depression and Neurocognition among Middle-Aged and Older Hispanic/Latino Adults: Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) Results. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2017 Jul 3. pii: S1064-7481(17)30346-9.

Lamar M, Wu D, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Brickman AM, Gonzalez HM, Tarraf, W., Daviglus ML (2017). Cognitive Associates of Current and More Intensive Control of Hypertension: Findings From the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos. Am J Hypertens. 2017 Jun

Tarraf, W, Rodriguez CJ, Daviglus ML, Lamar M, Schneiderman N, Gallo L, Talavera GA, Kaplan RC, Fornage M, Conceicao A, Gonzalez HM (2017). Blood Pressure and Hispanic/Latino Cognitive Function: Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos Re-
sults. J Alzheimers Dis. 2017;59(1):31-42.

Ferdows NB, Jensen GA, Tarraf, W. (2017). Healthy Aging After Age 65: A Life-Span Health Production Function Approach. Res Aging. 2017 Jan 1 [epub ahead of print]

Samuel, P. S., Tarraf, W., Marsack, C. N. (2017). Family Quality of Life Survey (FQOLS-2006): Evaluation of internal consistency, construct, and criterion validity for socioeconomically disadvantaged families. Phys Occup Ther Pediatr. 2017 May 8:1-18. [Epub ahead of

Fritz, H., Tarraf, W., Saleh, D.J. and Cutchin, M.P., (2017). Using a Smartphone-Based Ecological Momentary Assessment Protocol With Community Dwelling Older African Americans. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2017 Jan 4. pii: gbw166. [Epub ahead of print]

Tarraf, W., Jensen, G., Gonzlez, H. M. (2016). Patient Centered Medical Home Care Among Near-Old and Older Race/Ethnic Minorities in the US: Findings from the Medical Expenditures Panel Survey. Journal of immigrant and minority health.

Ramos, A. R., Tarraf, W., Daviglus, M., Davis, S., Gallo, L. C., et al. (2016). Sleep Duration and Neurocognitive Function in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos. Sleep.

Gonzalez, H. M., Tarraf, W., Gouskova, N., Rodriguez, C. J., et al (2016). Life Simple 7s cardiovascular health metrics are associated with Hispanic/Latino neurocognitive function: HCHS/SOL results. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

Kershaw, K.N., Giacinto, R.E., Gonzalez, F., Isasi, C.R., Salgado, H., Stamler, J., Talavera, G.A., Tarraf, W., Van Horn, L., Wu, D. and Daviglus, M.L. (2016). Relationships of nativity and length of residence in the US with favorable cardiovascular health among Hispanics/Latinos: The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL).Preventive medicine.

Mahmoudi, E., Tarraf, W. Maroukis, B., Levy, H. (2016). Does Medicare Managed Care Reduce Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Diabetes Management and Healthcare Expenditure? The American Journal of Managed Care.

Gonzalez, H. M., Tarraf, W., Rodriguez, C. J., et al (2016). Cardiovascular health among diverse Hispanics/Latinos: Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) results. American Heart Journal.

Tarraf, W., Mahmoudi, E., Dillaway, H., Gonzlez, H. M. (2016) Health spending among working-age immigrants with disabilities compared to those born in the US. Disability and Health Journal.

Tarraf, W. Jensen, G. A., Gonzalez, H. M. (2015) Impact of Medicare Age Eligibility on Health Spending among US and Foreign-born Adults. Health Services Research.

Hu, J., Jensen, G. A., Nerenz, D., Tarraf, W. (2015). Medicare's Annual Wellness Visit in a Large Healthcare Organization: Who Is Using It? . Annals of Internal Medicine.

Jensen, G. A., Salloum, R., Hu, J., Ferdows, N., Tarraf, W. (2015). A Slow Start: Use of Preventive Services among Seniors Following the Affordable Care Act's Enhancement of Medicare Benefits. Preventive Medicine

Mahmoudi, E., G. A. Jensen, Tarraf, W. (2015). Effects of Medicare Part D on Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Hospital Utilization among Seniors. Journal of Aging and Health

Ramos, A. R., Tarraf, W., T. Rundek, S. Redline, W. K. Wohlgemuth, J. S. Loredo, R. L. Sacco, D. J. Lee, R. Arens, P. Lazalde, J. P. Choca, T. Mosley, Jr. and H. M. Gonzalez (2014). "Obstructive sleep apnea and neurocognitive function in a Hispanic/Latino population." Neurology.

Johnson-Jennings, M. D., Tarraf, W., Gonzlez, H. M. (2014) United States colorectal screening practices among American Indians/Alaska Natives, Blacks and non-Hispanic Whites in the New Millennium (2001 to 2010).Cancer

Gonzalez, H. M., Tarraf, W., Bowen, M. E., Johnson-Jennings, M. D., Fisher, G. G.. What Do Parents Have to Do with My Cognitive Reserve Life Course Perspectives on Twelve-Year Cognitive Decline. Neuroepidemiology, 2013;41(2), 101-109.

Tarraf, W., Vega W, Gonzlez HM. Emergency Department Services Use Among Immigrant and Non-immigrant Groups in the United States. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health. 2013;1-12.

Gonzalez HM, Tarraf, W. Comorbid cardiovascular disease and major depression among ethnic and racial groups in the United States. International psychogeriatrics. 2013; 25(05), 833-841.

Miranda PY, Tarraf, W., Gonzalez P, Johnson-Jennings M, Gonzalez HM. Breast cancer screening trends in the United States and ethnicity. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention. 2012;21(2):351-357.

Tarraf, W., Miranda PY, Gonzalez HM. Medical expenditures among immigrant and non-immigrant groups in the United States: Findings from the Medical Expenditures Panel Survey (2000-2008). Med Care. 2012;50(3):233-242.

Gonzalez HM, Tarraf, W., Whiteld K, Gallo JJ. Vascular depression prevalence and epidemiology in the United States. J Psychiatr Res. 2012;46(4):456-461.

Miranda PY, Johnson-Jennings M, Tarraf, W., Gonzalez P, Vega WA, Gonzalez HM. Using colorectal trends in the U.S. to identify unmet primary care needs of vulnerable populations. Prev Med. 2012;55(2):131-136.

Miranda PY, Tarraf, W., Gonzalez HM. Breast cancer screening and ethnicity in the United States: implications for health disparities research. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2011;128(2):535-542.

Miranda PY, Gonzlez HM, Tarraf, W. Pathways Between Acculturation and Health Does the Measure Matter? Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences. 2011;33(4):524-539.

Gonzalez HM, Tarraf, W., Haan MN. The metabolic syndrome, biomarkers, and the acculturation-health relationship among older Mexican Americans. J Aging Health. 2011;23(7):1101-1115.

Gonzalez HM, Vega WA, Williams DR, Tarraf, W., West BT, Neighbors HW. Depression care in the United States: too little for too few. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2010;67(1):37-46. Gonzalez HM, VegaWA, Tarraf, W. Health care quality perceptions among foreign-born Latinos and the importance of speaking the same language. J Am Board Fam Med. 2010;23(6):745-752.

Gonzalez HM, Tarraf, W., Whiteld KE, Vega WA. The epidemiology of major depression and ethnicity in the United States. J Psychiatr Res. 2010;44(15):1043-1051.

Gonzalez HM, Tarraf, W., West BT, Chan D, Miranda PY, Leong FT. Antidepressant use among Asians in the United States. Depress Anxiety. 2010;27(1):46-55.

Gonzalez HM, Vega WA, Rodriguez MA, Tarraf, W., Sribney WM. Diabetes awareness and knowledge among Latinos: does a usual source of healthcare matter? J Gen Intern Med. 2009;24 Suppl 3:528-533.

Gonzalez HM, Tarraf, W., West BT, et al. Antidepressant use in a nationally representative sample of community-dwelling US Latinos with and without depressive and anxiety disorders. Depress Anxiety. 2009;26(7):674-681.

Gonzalez HM, Ceballos M, Tarraf, W., West BT, Bowen ME, Vega WA. The health of older Mexican Americans in the long run. Am J Public Health. 2009;99(10):1879-1885.

Gonzalez, H.M., Croghan, T.,West, B., Williams, D., Nesse, R, Tarraf, W., Taylor, R., Hinton, L.,Neighbors, H., Jackson, J. Antidepressant use in black and white populations in the United States. Psychiatr Serv. 2008;59(10):1131-1138.