Snorri Rafnsson

Dr Rafnsson holds a PhD in Epidemiology from the Department of Public Health Sciences, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh. Prior to joining London Metropolitan University in 2016, he worked as a research associate in ageing and well-being (from 2013-2014) and as Dementia Research Associate (from 2015-2016) in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London (UCL).

Image of Snorri Rafnsson

Snorri Rafnsson

Dr Rafnsson worked as Senior Epidemiologist at the Hellenic Health Foundation (HHF) from 2010 - 2013, a not-for-profit research organisation in public health in Athens, Greece, and as Research Fellow in Ethnicity and Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology (from 2007-2010) in the Centre for Population Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh. Dr Rafnsson was Honorary Fellow in Epidemiology (from 2010-2015) at the University of Edinburgh, and Adjunct Associate Professor (from 2013-2015) in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Akureyri, Iceland.

Dr. Rafnsson is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health UK, a member of the International Epidemiological Association, an Associate member of the UK Faculty of Public Health, a member of the International Society for Vascular Behavioural and Cognitive Disorders, a member of the Icelandic Epidemiology Association, and an honorary member of the Edinburgh Ethnicity and Health Research group.

At London Metropolitan University, Dr Rafnsson serves as a Senior Lecturer in Public Health and Social Care.

Dr Rafnsson currently lectures, runs small-group seminars and supervises student projects (at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels) in diverse areas within public health, including on epidemiology, social determinants of health, health and social policy, mental health, effective communication, ageing and well-being, as well as in relation to systematic literature review and quantitative research methodology. 

Dr Rafnsson has authored a number of original publications in international, peer-reviewed, scientific journals related to migration, ethnicity and health, vitamin B12 deficiency and chronic diseases, and health and well-being of older people. For example, he has participated in primary studies investigating (i) the frequency and aetiology of cardiovascular diseases in migrant and minority ethnic populations in Europe, (ii) the influence of cardiovascular diseases on cognitive function in older people, (iii) the impact of nutritional, inflammatory and haemostatic factors on age-related cognitive decline, (iv) the role of vitamin B12 deficiency in the occurrence of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in adults, (v) the use of nutritional supplements among older persons, and (vi) social connections and well-being in older adults. In addition, Dr Rafnsson has written, and contributed to, review articles and book chapters on topics including the influence of cardiovascular diseases on the age-related cognitive decline, the population burden of sepsis and septicaemia, and the susceptibility of South Asians to diabetes and coronary heart disease.

Representative publications (full list available on Pubmed):

Peer-reviewed journal articles

  1. Sukumar N, Rafnsson SB, Bawazeer N, Kandala NB, Bhopal R, Yajnik CS, Saravanan P, Prevalence of vitamin B12 insufficiency in pregnancy and its effect on offspring birthweight: a systematic review and meta-analysis. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2016 May;103(5):1232-51.
  2. Rafnsson SB, Shankar A, Steptoe A, Informal caregiving transitions, subjective wellbeing and depressed mood: Findings from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Aging and Mental Health 2015 Sept 24. 1-9.
  3. Rafnsson SB, Shankar A, Steptoe A. Longitudinal influences of social network characteristics on subjective well-being of older adults: Findings from the ELSA Study. Journal of Ageing and Health 2015 Mar 24.
  4. Shankar A, Rafnsson SB, Steptoe A, Longitudinal associations between social connections and subjective wellbeing in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Psychology and Health 2014; 1-13.
  5. Rafnsson SB, Dilis V, Trichopoulou A, Antioxidant nutrients and age-related cognitive decline: a systematic review of population-based prospective studies. European Journal of Nutrition 2013: doi: 10.1007/s00394-013-0541-7.
  6. Rafnsson SB, Bhopal RS, Agyemang CO et al. Sizable variations in circulatory disease mortality by region and country of birth in six European countries. European Journal of Public Health 2013: doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckt023.
  7. Issrah J, Ivana Luksic, Rafnsson S, Assessing available information on the burden of sepsis: Global estimates of incidence, prevalence and mortality. Journal of Global Health 2012; 2: 010404 doi: 10.7189/jogh.02.010404.
  8. Bhopal RS, Rafnsson SB. Global inequalities in assessment of migrant and ethnic variations in health. Public Health 2012; 126(3): 241-244. 2011.
  9. Vandenheede H, Deboosere P, Stirbu I, Agyemang CO, Harding S, Juel K, Rafnsson SB et al. Migrant mortality from diabetes mellitus across Europe: the importance of socio-economic change. European Journal of Epidemiology 2011 Dec 14.
  10. Bhopal RS, Rafnsson SB et al. Mortality from circulatory diseases by country of birth: test of concept exploration across six European countries. European Journal of Public Health 2011 doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckr062. 2010
  11. Rafnsson SB, Saravanan P, Bhopal RS, Yajnik CS, Is a low blood level of vitamin B12 a cardiovascular and diabetes risk factor? A systematic review of cohort studies. European Journal of Nutrition 2010; doi:10.1007/s00394-010-0119-6.
  12. Rafnsson SB, Deary IJ, Whiteman MC et al. Haemorheological predictors of cognitive decline: The Edinburgh Artery Study. Age and Ageing 2010; doi: 10.1093/ageing/afp227.
  13. Johnson W, Price JF, Rafnsson SB et al. Ankle brachial index predicts level of but not change in cognitive function: The Edinburgh Artery Study at 15-year follow-up. Vascular Medicine 2010: doi:10.1177/1358863X09356321. 2009
  14. Marioni RE, Deary IJ, Murray GD, Strachan MWJ, Lowe GDO, Rafnsson SB et al. Genetic variants of C-reactive protein are not associated with late-life cognitive ability in four Scottish samples. Behavior Genetics 2009: doi 10.1007/s10519-009-9302-z.
  15. Deary IJ, Corley J, Gow AJ, Harris SE, Houlihan LM, Marioni RE, Penke L, Rafnsson SB, Starr JM. Age-associated cognitive decline. British Medical Bulletin 2009: DOI 10.1093/bmb/ldp033.
  16. Rafnsson SB, Bhopal RS. Large-scale epidemiological data on CVD and diabetes in migrant and ethnic minority groups in Europe. European Journal of Public Health 2009: DOI 10.1093/eurpub/ckp073.
  17. Rafnsson SB, Deary IJ, Fowkes FGR. Peripheral Arterial Disease and Cognitive Function. Vascular Medicine 2009; 14: 51-61. 2008
  18. Rafnsson SB, Bhopal RS. Migrant and ethnic health research: Report on the European Public Health Association Conference 2007. Conference Report. Public Health 2008; 122: 532-4. 2007
  19. Rafnsson SB, Deary IJ, Smith FB et al. Cardiovascular diseases and decline in cognitive function in an elderly community population: The Edinburgh Artery Study. Psychosomatic Medicine 2007; 69: 425-34.
  20. Rafnsson SB, Deary IJ, Smith FB et al. Cognitive decline and markers of inflammation and hemostasis: The Edinburgh Artery Study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2007; 55: 700-707(8)

Book chapters

  1. Rafnsson SB. Major types of cardiovascular diseases and cognitive function: a review of patient and population-based investigations. In: Gariépy Q and Ménard R (eds), Handbook of Cognitive Aging: Causes, Processes and Effects. New York: Nova Publishers, 2010, pp 1-45.
  2. Rafnsson SB. Peripheral arterial disease and cognitive function in older people. In: Sher L (ed.). Psychological Factors and Cardiovascular Disorders: The Role of Psychiatric Pathology and Maladaptive Personality Features. New York: Nova Publishers, 2008, pp. 207-225.


  1. The links between social connections and wellbeing in later life. International Longevity Centre–UK (2015), London: UK.
  2. The emotional wellbeing of older carers. International Longevity Centre–UK (2015), London: UK.

Selected conference presentations

  1. Positive and negative experiences of social support and risk of dementia in later life: an investigation using the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. 23rd National Congress of the Spanish Psychogeriatrics Society, Bilbao, Spain (February 23-25 2017).
  2. The links between social networks and wellbeing in later life. “Prevention, Wellbeing and Loneliness” – A joint conference of the Campaign to End Loneliness and the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) School for Social Care Research, London, UK (April 17 2015). 2) Social connections and wellbeing in older age. Report launch event, International Longevity Centre – UK, London, UK (February 19 2015).
  3. Caregiving transitions, subjective wellbeing and depressed mood in later life. English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) Wave 6 launch event, Royal College of Physicians of London, UK (October 23 2014).
  4. Social network characteristics and subjective wellbeing over six years in later life. 43rd Annual Conference of the British Society of Gerontology (BSG), Southampton, UK (September 1 – 3 2014).
  5. Caregiving transitions, subjective wellbeing and depressed mood in later life. 43rd Annual Conference of the British Society of Gerontology (BSG), Southampton, UK (September 1 – 3 2014).
  6. Social connections and wellbeing among older adults. Open meeting of the Lewisham Pensioners Forum Health and Wellbeing Forum, Lewisham Civic Centre, Catford, London, UK (July 30 2014).
  7. Rafnsson SB, Shankar A, Steptoe A, Social network characteristics and subjective wellbeing over six years: The English Longitudinal study of Ageing. Lifelong Health and Wellbeing programme (LLHW) conference, London, UK (November 6-8 2013).
  8. The relationship of cardiovascular diseases with cognitive function and country of birth – results from two studies in the context of population ageing and international migration. Unit for Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK (November 16 2011).
  9. Differences in cardiovascular disease mortality by geographical region and country of birth in six European countries. European Public Health Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark (November 9-11 2011).
  10. Inequalities in CVD mortality by country of birth in six European countries. 3rd Conference on Migrant and Ethnic Minority Health in Europe, Pecs, Hungary (May 27-29 2010).
  11. Cardiovascular risk factors and maintenance of cognitive function. European Society of Cardiology – EuroPRevent, Prague, Czech Republic (May 5-7 2010).

Dr Snorri Bjorn Rafnsson
Senior Lecturer in Public Health and Social Care