Dale Hesdorffer

Dale Hesdorffer

Dale Hesdorffer

Epidemiology (in the Sergievsky Center) at the Columbia University Medical Center


630 West 168th Street, P & S unit 16, PH19, room 308

New York NY 10032

Email: CV:


Dr. Dale Hesdorffer has worked in the field of epilepsy epidemiology for the past 28 years. Her signature interest and expertise is in epilepsy comorbidities, including a range of neurological and psychiatric disorders. She also has a strong interest in febrile seizures and mortality in epilepsy. She has authored many studies on risk factors for developing epilepsy, including major depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder-Inattentive type, both major depression and suicide attempt, suicide attempt, antiepileptic drugs and psychiatric disorders, developmental delay and duration of first febrile seizure, migraine with aura, diuretics as prevention of epilepsy in the elderly, incidence of Status Epilepticus, risk for unprovoked seizures after acute symptomatic seizures, and the effect of SE on incident epilepsy. Dr. Hesdorffer has an interest in potentially preventable causes of death in epilepsy, including status epilepticus (SE), Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy and suicide. Her work in the task force on mortality of the Internaional League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) Commission on Epidemiology assessed risk factors for Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilespy (SUDEP) and found that generalized tonic-clonic seizure frequency, but not number or type of AEDs, was associated with increased SUDEP risk.



PhD, 1993, Columbia University
M Phil, 1991, Columbia University
MPH, 1989, Columbia University
BA, 1981, Barnard College

Editorial Boards

Associate Editor, Epilepsia

Editorial Board, Epilepsy and Behavior

Columbia Affiliations

Professor of Epidemiology at CUMC, The Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center, College of Physicians and Surgeons

Other Affiliations

Honors & Awards

American Epilepsy Society Epilepsy Research Recognition Award Finalist 2012-2014
International League Against Epilepsy and the International Bureau for Epilepsy, Ambassador for Epilepsy Award 2013
Institute of Medicine Committee Member, Committee on the Public Health Aspects of Epilepsy 2011
Institute of Medicine Committee Member, Committee on Traumatic Brain Injury in veterans, 2007-2008

Areas of Expertise

Longitudinal Studies, Nonparametric Methods, Outcomes Research, Patient-Oriented Research, Research Design and Methods, Survival Analysis, Epilepsy, Minority Health, Depression, Mental Health, Schizophrenia, Addiction/Drug Abuse, Alcoholism

Select Global Activities

Incidence and risk factors for epilepsy in Iceland: The purpose of this study wa to describe the incidence of first unprovoked seizure and epilepsy in Iceland and to examine risk factors for seizures in a case-control study.

Select Publications

Hesdorffer DC, Ishihara L, Webb DJ, Mynepalli L, Galwey NW, Hauser WA. Occurrence and recurrence of attempted suicide among people with epilepsy. JAMA Psychiatry 2016;73;80-86

Hesdorffer DC, Ishihara L, Mynepalli L, Webb DJ, Weil J, Hauser WA. Epilepsy, suicidality and psychiatric disorders: A bidirectional association. Annals of Neurology 2012;72:184-91

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