Rafael Samper-Ternent, MD, PhD

Rafael Samper-Ternent, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor

Division: Geriatrics
Department: Internal Medicine


Rafael Samper-Ternent attended medical school at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia, where he also did his training in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics. He also completed his PhD in Clinical Sciences at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He is an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics and the Sealy Center on Aging at the University of Texas Medical Branch. He is a Co-Investigator in several grants and has published 30 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, 10 as first author and 20 as co-author. His main areas of interest are resilience at older ages, Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, multi-morbidity and frailty, mainly among Hispanic older adults. He is currently an attending faculty in the Geriatric Outpatient Clinic, he is also a REC Pepper Scholar and is actively involved in several research projects at the Sealy Center on Aging.


Geriatric Medicine

Internal Medicine


Fellow, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Internal Medicine- Geriatrics, Sealy Center of Aging, 2008

Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, 2011

  1. Cano-Gutierrez C, Samper-Ternent R, Cabrera J, Rosselli D. Uso de Medicamentos en adultos mayores de Bogotá, Colombia. Rev Peru Med Exp Salud Publica; 33(3): 419-424; 2016
  2. Cano-Gutierrez C, Arciniegas Rubio A, Borda MG, Samper-Ternent R, Gil Laverde F, Londoño Trujillo D. Perception of health-related quality of life using the EURO-QOL in older adults in Bogotá, Colombia. European Geriatric Medicine; 7(4): 340-345; 2016
  3. Cano-Gutierrez C, Reyes-Ortiz C, Samper-Ternent R, Gelvez-Rueda JS, Borda MG. Prevalence and Factors Associated to Hypertension, Among Older Adults in Bogotá, Colombia. Journal of Aging and Health; 27(6): 1046-65; 2015
  4. Chavarro-Carvajal D, Reyes-Ortiz C, Samper-Ternent R, Arciniegas AJ, Gutierrez CC. Nutritional Assessment and Factor Associated to Malnutrition in Older Adults: A Cross-Sectional Study in Bogota, Colombia. Journal of Aging and Health; 27(2): 304-29; 2015
  5. Ottenbacher AJ, Snih SA, Bindawas SM, Markides KS, Graham JE, Samper-Ternent R, Raji M, Ottenbacher KJ. Role of Physical Activity in Reducing Cognitive Decline in Older Mexican American Adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 62(9): 1786-91; 2014
  6. Padubidri A, Al Snih S, Samper-Ternent R, Markides KS, Ottenbacher KJ, Raji MA. Falls and Cognitive Decline in Mexican Americans 75 years and Older. Clinical Interventions on Aging; 22(9): 719-26; 2014
  7. González-González C, Samper-Ternent R, Wong R, Palloni A.Mortality inequality among older adults in Mexico: the combined role of infectious and chronic disease. Revista Panamericana de Salud Publica; 35(2): 89-95; 2014
  8. Runzer-Colmenares FM, Samper-Ternent R, Al Snih S, Ottenbacher KJ, Parodi JF, Wong R.Prevalence and factors associated with frailty among Peruvian older adults. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics.58(1):69-73; 2014
  9. Peek MK, Howrey B, Samper-Ternent R, Ottenbacher K. Social Support, Stressors, and Frailty among Older Mexican-American Adults. In Journals of Gerontology B: Psychological Sciences & Social Sciences; 67(6): 755-764; 2012
  10. Samper-Ternent R, Karmarkar A, Graham JE, Reistetter TA, Ottenbacher KJ. Frailty as a Predictor of Falls in Older Mexican Americans. Journal of Aging and Health; 24(4):641-53; 2012
  11. Samper-Ternent R, Michaels-Obregon A, Wong R, Palloni A. Older Mexican Adults in a Mixed Epidemiological Regime. Salud Pública de Mexico; 54(5):487-95; 2012
  12. Samper-Ternent R, Asem H, Dong Z, Hatch S, Kuo YF, Freeman J, Berenson A. The effect of postoperative beam, implant, and combination radiation therapy on GI and bladder toxicities in women with stage I uterine cancer. Journal of Geriatric Oncology; 3(4):344-350. 2012
  13. Ottenbacher A, Al Snih S, Karmarkar A, Lee J, Samper-Ternent R, Kumar A, Bindawas S, Ottenbacher K. Routine Physical Activity and Mortality Among Mexican Americans Aged 75 years and Older. In Journal of the American Geriatrics Society; 60(6): 1085-1091; 2012
  14. Samper-Ternent R, Al Snih S, Kuo YF, Ray LA, Raji MA, Markides KS, Ottenbacher KJ. Prevalence of health conditions and predictors of mortality in oldest old Mexican Americans and Non Hispanic Whites. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association; 13(3): 254-259; 2012
  15. Samper-Ternent R, Michaels-Obregon A, Wong R. Coexistence of Anemia and Obesity in Older Mexican Adults. Ageing International; 37(1): 104-117; 2012 
  16. Cano C, Samper-Ternent R, Al Snih S, Markides K, Ottenbacher K. Frailty and Cognitive Impairment as Predictors of Mortality in Older Mexican Americans. Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging; 16(2):142-147; 2012
  17. Samper-Ternent R, Al Snih S. Obesity in Older Adults: epidemiology and implications for disability and disease. Reviews in Clinical Gerontology; 22(1): 10-34; 2012
  18. Gerst K, Ray L, Samper-Ternent R, Espino DV, Markides KS. Self-reported Urge Urinary Incontinence (UUI) among older Mexican American men: Risk factors and psycho-social consequences. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health; 13(6): 1110-1115; 2011
  19. Matallana D, de Santacruz C, Cano C, Reyes P, Samper-Ternent R, Markides KS, Ottenbacher KJ, Reyes-Ortiz C. The relationship between education level and Mini Mental State Examination Domains among older Mexican Americans. Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology; 24(1):9-18; 2011
  20. Samper-Ternent R, Zhang D, Kuo YF, Hatch S, Freeman J. Late GI and Bladder Toxicites after Radiation for Uterine Cancer. Gynecologic Oncology; 120(2):198-204; 2011
  21. Gerst K, Al-Ghatrif M, Beard HA, Samper-Ternent R, Markides K. High depressive symptomatology among older community-dwelling Mexican Americans: The impact of immigration. Aging & Mental Health; 14(3):347-354; 2010
  22. Beard HA, Al-Ghatrif M, Samper-Ternent R, Gerst K, Markides K. Trends in diabetes prevalence and diabetes-related complications in older Mexican Americans from 1993/1994 to 2004/2005. Diabetes Care, 32(12):2212-2217; 2009
  23. Al Snih S, Graham J, Samper-Ternent R, Ray LA, Markides KS, Ottenbacher KJ. Frailty and incidence of ADL disability among older Mexican Americans.  Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine; 41(11):892-897; 2009
  24. Ottenbacher, KJ, Graham J, Al Snih S, Raji M, Samper-Ternent R, Ostir GV, Markides KS. Mexican Americans and frailty: Findings from the Hispanic Established Populations Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly (EPESE). American Journal of Public Health; 99(4):673-679; 2009
  25. Samper-Ternent R, Duque G. Sarcopenia [in Spanish]. Revista de la Asociación Colombiana de Gerontología y Geriatría; 23(4): 1322-1332; 2009 
  26. Samper-Ternent R, Al Snih S, Raji MA, Markides KS, Ottenbacher KJ. Relationship Between Frailty and Cognitive Decline in Older Mexican Americans. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society; 56(10):1845-1852; 2008
Degree/Training CompletedYearName & Location
PhD - Clinical Science Program2012University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston TX
M.D.2004Pontificia Universidad JaverianaBogotá, Colombia