Ryan Carnahan


Prof. Ryan Carnahan of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

Title(s): Professor, Director of Graduate Studies
Department: Epidemiology
Office: S437 CPHB
Phone: (319) 384-1556

Dr. Carnahan is a pharmacoepidemiologist and board certified psychiatric pharmacist. His work focuses on evaluating and improving medication use and safety, particularly in older adults and people with mental health or cognitive disorders. He has led projects to improve care and medication use for people with dementia and delirium. Dr. Carnahan is known particularly for his work on anticholinergic and antipsychotic use. He was the lead developer of the Anticholinergic Drug Scale, which has been used extensively in research to evaluate anticholinergic use and adverse effects, and also led development of a widely used training program and toolkit to improve care for people with dementia and behavioral or psychiatric symptoms.

Dr. Carnahan is currently involved in projects to implement age-friendly principles in health care, reduce the use of high risk medications in older adults to prevent falls, address issues related to opioid use and misuse, and evaluate cancer care and outcomes, among others. He has particular expertise in the use of administrative and claims data from insurers and data derived from electronic health records.

Courses Taught

  • Patient-Oriented Research Data Analysis
  • Intermediate Epi Data Analysis - SAS and R
  • Applied Public Health Methods
  • Applied Administrative Data Analysis
  • Comparative Effectiveness and Patient Centered Outcomes Research

Research Interests

  • Pharmacoepidemiology
  • Psychiatry
  • Dementia
  • Delirium
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Anticholinergics
  • Antipsychotics
  • Medication adverse effects