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Yamnia I. Cortés, PhD, MPH, FNP

Assistant Professor
Cardiovascular Nursing, Health Disparities, Women’s Health


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Nursing
Carrington Hall, CB #7460
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7460

Office: 539

Currently Accepting PhD Students

Dr. Cortés obtained her BA in Biology and completed a concentration in Latino/a Studies at Williams College in 2006. She completed her MPH in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University in 2009, where she also received her BS/MS in Nursing and FNP-BC. In 2015, she received her PhD at Columbia University School of Nursing. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health from 2015-2018 in Cardiovascular Epidemiology. Dr. Cortés leads an interdisciplinary research program focusing on cardiovascular disease in midlife women. She has a longstanding interest in understanding how women’s reproductive health may be an indicator of future cardiovascular disease risk, including measures of subclinical vascular disease. Another area of research focuses on racial/ethnic disparities in women’s reproductive and cardiovascular health, as well as the role of sociocultural factors.

2020 – 2022 NIH Loan Repayment Program Awardee, NHLBI – Clinical Research
2020 Fellow of the American Heart Association, Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing
2020 The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing Faculty Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentorship and Education (Nominated)
2020 Minority Travel Award, American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention
Scholar, NHLBI Programs to Increase Diversity among Individuals Engaged in Health Related Research (PRIDE), Behavioral and Sleep Medicine
2019 North American Menopause Society New Investigator Award
2016-2017 Career Education and Enhancement for Health Care Research Diversity Scholar, Institute for Clinical Research Education, University of Pittsburgh
2015 First Place, Eastern Nursing Research Society Poster Award
2012-Present Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nursing
2012 Selected as an Academy Health/Aetna Foundation Minority Scholar
2009 Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute – United Health Foundation Scholar
2008 Third Place, Goldmann Student Paper Merit Award, Public Health Association of New York City
2008 Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholar, National Hispanic Health Foundation
2007 Community Scholar, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
2007 Honorable Mention, Graduate Research Fellowship Program, National Science Foundation
2005 Americorps State and National Segal Education Award
2004 Williams College Class of 1960 Biology Scholar, Williams College

Refereed Papers/Articles

*data-based manuscript

†student mentored manuscript

‡ senior author

Complete bibliography available here

*Cortés, YI., Conant, R., Catov, J., Matthews, K., Crawford, S., Hedderson, M., Thurston, R. Impact of nulliparity, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, and gestational diabetes on vasomotor symptoms in midlife women. (2020). [Epub ahead of print August 10, 2020]. Menopause. DOI: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001628. PMID: 32796290. PMCID: pending.

 *Cortés, Y.I., Barinas-Mitchell, E., Suder Egnot, N., Bhasin S., Jasuja, R., Santoro, N., Thurston, RC. (2020). Associations of endogenous sex hormones with carotid plaque burden and characteristics in midlife women. [Epub ahead of print January 4, 2020]. Journal of Clinical and Endocrinology and Metabolism, 105(4):1126-1136. DOI: 10.1210/clinem/dgz327. PMID: 31900485. PMCID: PMC7077951.

Berry, D.C., Gonzales, C., Peragallo Montano, N., Perreria, K.M., Faith, Ammerman, A.S., Crandell, J., Evenson, K.R., Faith, M.S., Waters, H., Linares, C., Cortés, Y.I., Perrin, E.M. (2019). Rationale, design, and methodology for the Healthy Mothers-Healthy Children Study: A randomized controlled trial. BMC Nutrition, Dec 16;5:58. DOI: 10.1186/s40795-019-0322-7. PMID: 32153971. PMCID: PMC7050912.

*Cortés, Y.I., Catov, J.M., Brooks, M., El Khoudary, SR. Thurston, RC., Matthews, KA. Isasi, CR., Jackson, EA., Barinas-Mitchell, E. Pregnancy-related events associated with subclinical cardiovascular disease burden in late midlife: SWAN [Epub ahead of print July 30,2019].  Atherosclerosis. Doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2019.07.012. PMID: 31446211.

*Kariuki, J.K., Cortés, Y.I., Imes, C.C., Weiss, P.M., Engber, S. (2019). The impact of lifestyle modification on absolute cardiovascular disease risk: A systematic review protocol [Epub ahead of print March 7, 2019]. JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports. Doi: 10.11124/JBISRIR-2017-003847. PMCID: pending.

*Lucero, R., Jaime-Lara, R., Cortés, Y.I., Kearney, J., Suero-Tejeda, N., Bakken, S., Mittelman, M., Luchsinger, JA. (2019). Hispanic dementia family caregiver’s knowledge, experience, and awareness of self-management: Foundations for health information technology interventions. Hispanic Health Care International, 17(2):49-58. Doi: 10.1177/1540415318819220. PMID 30590959. PMCID: pending.

*Cortés, Y.I., Parikh, N., Allison, M., Criqui, M., Suder Egnot, N., Barinas-Mitchell, E., Wassel, C. (2018). Women’s reproductive history and pre-clinical peripheral arterial disease in late life: The San Diego Population Study [Epub ahead of print December 1, 2018]. Journal of Women’s Health. Doi: 10.1089/jwh.2018.7080. PMID: 30508411. PMCID: pending.

*Cortés, Y.I., Catov, J.M., Brooks, M., Harlow, S.D., Isasi, C., Jackson, E.A., Matthews, KA., Thurston, RC., Barinas-Mitchell, E. (2018). History of adverse pregnancy outcomes, blood pressure, and subclinical vascular measures in late midlife: SWAN. Journal of the American Heart Association, 7(1). doi: 10.1161/JAHA.117.007138. PMCID: PMC5778964.

*Rowell-Cunsolo, T.L., Cortés, Y.I., Long, Y., Castro-Rivas, E., Liu, J. Acceptability of rapid HIV testing among Latinos in Washington Heights, New York City, New York, USA. (2017) Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 19(4), 861-867. PMCID: PMC5418111.

*Cortés, Y.I., Reame, N., Zeana, C., Ferris, D.C., Shane, E., Yin, M.T. Cardiovascular risk in HIV-infected and uninfected postmenopausal minority women: Use of the Framingham Risk Score. (2017). Journal of Women’s Health, 26(3), 241-248. PMCID: PMC5361765.

*Cortés, Y.I., Arcia, A., Kearney, J., Luchsinger, J., Lucero, J. Urban-dwelling community members’ views on biomedical research engagement: A qualitative study. (2017). Qualitative Health Research, 27(1), 130-137. PMCID: PMC5166984.

*Lucero, R.J., Kearney, J., Cortés, Y.I., Arcia, A., Appelbaum, P., Fernandez, R., Luchsinger, J. Benefits and risks in secondary use of digitized clinical data: Views of community members living in a predominantly ethnic minority urban neighborhood. (2015). AJOB Empirical Bioethics, 6(2), 12-22. PMCID: PMC4475405.

Cortés, Y.I., Yin, M.T., Reame, N.K. Low bone mineral density and fractures in postmenopausal HIV-infected women: A systematic review. (2015). Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 26(4), 387-398. PMCID: PMC4573531.

*Smaldone, A., Stockwell, M., Osborne, J.C., Cortés, Y. Bekele, E., Green, N.S. Adolescent and parent use of mobile technologies and health communication preferences in an urban Latino community. (2015). Journal of Public Health Research, 4(1), 376-381. PMCID: PMC4407036.

Dong, H.V., Cortés, Y.I., Shiau, S., Yin, M.T. Fractures and osteoporosis in HIV/HCV co-infected persons: A systematic review and meta-analysis. (2014). AIDS, 28(14), 2119-2131. PMCID: PMC4940983.



2KR1262004, Reproductive hormones as risk factors for progression of carotid plaque burden and characteristics in midlife women (PI: Cortés)

UNC Provost’s Faculty Development Award, Menopausia, Salud, Corazón: A multi-component intervention to reduce cardiovascular risk in perimenopausal Latinas, Provost’s Junior Faculty Development Award (PI: Cortés)

K23 MD014767, Reducing Cardiovascular Risk in Perimenopausal Latinas: Pilot study of a Multi-Component Intervention (PI: Cortés).

Funded (Completed)

R25 HL105444, Programs to increase diversity in faculty engaged in behavioral and sleep medicine (PI: Jean-Louis & Olugbenga)

T32 HL083825, Cardiovascular Epidemiology Training Program (PI: Orchard).

T32 NR013454, Training in Interdisciplinary Research to Prevent Infections (PI: Larson).