Cardiovascular Health

“One in four deaths in the United States is attributed to heart disease. Our researchers study how behavior, environment, and genetics affect heart health and how screening and treatment can reduce risk.”

Laura B. Harrington, PhD, MPH
Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute Assistant Investigator

Research overview

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for Americans. Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) scientists are working to understand how to reduce our risk of heart attacks, stroke, irregular heartbeats, deep-vein blood clots, and other cardiovascular diseases.

“We’re studying how genes, medications, and everyday choices influence cardiovascular health,” says  Bruce M. Psaty, MD, PhD, KPWHRI senior investigator and co-director of the University of Washington Cardiovascular Health Research Unit. “One of our goals is to know when people are especially susceptible to either the benefits or risks of a drug, so they receive the safest and most effective therapies."

Beverly B. Green, MD, MPH, senior investigator, is finding simple, practical, innovative ways to help people control their blood pressure. “We’ve found that helping patients and health care teams work together on personalized care plans is the best path to lifelong heart health,” she says.

Kaiser Permanente Washington cardiovascular research includes studies by:

Recent publications on Cardiovascular Health

Agha G, Mendelson MM, Ward-Caviness CK, Joehanes R, Huan T, Gondalia R, Salfati E, Brody JA, Fiorito G, Bressler J, Chen BH, Ligthart S, Guarrera S, Colicino E, Just AC, Wahl S, Gieger C, Vandiver AR, Tanaka T, Hernandez DG, Pilling LC, Singleton AB, Sacerdote C, Krogh V, Panico S, Tumino R, Li Y, Zhang G, Stewart JD, Floyd JS, Wiggins KL, Rotter JI, Multhaup M, Bakulski K, Horvath S, Tsao PS, Absher DM, Vokonas P, Hirschhorn J, Fallin MD, Liu C, Bandinelli S, Boerwinkle E, Dehghan A, Schwartz JD, Psaty BM, Feinberg AP, Hou L, Ferrucci L, Sotoodehnia N, Matullo G, Peters A, Fornage M, Assimes TL, Whitsel EA, Levy D, Baccarelli AA. Blood leukocyte DNA methylation predicts risk of future myocardial infarction and coronary heart disease. Circulation. 2019;140(8):645-657. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.118.039357. Epub 2019 Aug 19. PubMed

Lindstrom S, Wang L, Smith EN, Gordon W, van Hylckama Vlieg A, de Andrade M, Brody JA, Pattee JW, Haessler J, Brumpton BM, Chasman DI, Suchon P, Chen MH, Turman C, Germain M, Wiggins KL, MacDonald J, Braekkan SK, Armasu SM, Pankratz N, Jackson RD, Nielsen JB, Giulianini F, Puurunen MK, Ibrahim M, Heckbert SR, Damrauer SM, Natarajan P, Klarin D, de Vries PS, Sabater-Lleal M, Huffman JE, Bammler TK, Frazer KA, McCauley BM, Taylor K, Pankow JS, Reiner AP, Gabrielsen ME, Deleuze JF, O'Donnell CJ, Kim J, McKnight B, Kraft P, Hansen JB, Rosendaal FR, Heit JA, Psaty BM, Tang W, Kooperberg C, Hveem K, Ridker PM, Morange PE, Johnson AD, Kabrhel C, Trégouët DA, Smith NL. Genomic and transcriptomic association studies identify 16 novel susceptibility loci for venous thromboembolism. Blood. 2019 Aug 16. pii: blood.2019000435. doi: 10.1182/blood.2019000435. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Deelen J, Evans DS, Arking DE, Tesi N, Nygaard M, Liu X, Wojczynski MK, Biggs ML, van der Spek A, Atzmon G, Ware EB, Sarnowski C, Smith AV, Seppälä I, Cordell HJ, Dose J, Amin N, Arnold AM, Ayers KL, Barzilai N, Becker EJ, Beekman M, Blanché H, Christensen K, Christiansen L, Collerton JC, Cubaynes S, Cummings SR, Davies K, Debrabant B, Deleuze JF, Duncan R, Faul JD, Franceschi C, Galan P, Gudnason V, Harris TB, Huisman M, Hurme MA, Jagger C, Jansen I, Jylhä M, Kähönen M, Karasik D, Kardia SLR, Kingston A, Kirkwood TBL, Launer LJ, Lehtimäki T, Lieb W, Lyytikäinen LP, Martin-Ruiz C, Min J, Nebel A, Newman AB, Nie C, Nohr EA, Orwoll ES, Perls TT, Province MA, Psaty BM, Raitakari OT, Reinders MJT, Robine JM, Rotter JI, Sebastiani P, Smith J, Sørensen TIA, Taylor KD, Uitterlinden AG, van der Flier W, van der Lee SJ, van Duijn CM, van Heemst D, Vaupel JW, Weir D, Ye K, Zeng Y, Zheng W, Holstege H, Kiel DP, Lunetta KL, Slagboom PE, Murabito JM. A meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies identifies multiple longevity genes. Nat Commun. 2019 Aug 14;10(1):3669. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-11558-2. PubMed

Do AN, Zhao W, Baldridge AS, Raffield LM, Wiggins KL, Shah SJ, Aslibekyan S, Tiwari HK, Limdi N, Zhi D, Sitlani CM, Taylor KD, Psaty BM, Sotoodehnia N, Brody JA, Rasmussen-Torvik LJ, Lloyd-Jones D, Lange LA, Wilson JG, Smith JA, Kardia SLR, Mosley TH, Vasan RS, Arnett DK, Irvin MR. Genome-wide meta-analysis of SNP and antihypertensive medication interactions on left ventricular traits in African Americans. Mol Genet Genomic Med. 2019 Aug 13:e788. doi: 10.1002/mgg3.788. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Parchman ML, Anderson ML, Dorr DA, Fagnan LJ, O’Meara ES, Tuzzio L, Penfold RB, Cook AJ, Hummel J, Conway C, Cholan R, Baldwin LM. A randomized trial of external practice support to improve cardiovascular risk factors in primary care.  Ann Fam Med. 2019 Aug 12;17(Suppl 1):S40-S49. doi: 10.1370/afm.2407. PubMed

Researchers in Cardiovascular Health

Bruce M. Psaty, MD, PhD

Senior Investigator, KPWHRI; Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, and Health Services, University of Washington
206-221-7775
psaty@uw.edu

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Katherine M. Newton, PhD

Senior Investigator (Emeritus)
206-287-2973
Katherine.M.Newton@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Jennifer C. Nelson, PhD

Director of Biostatistics; Senior Investigator
206-287-2004
Jen.Nelson@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Michael L. Parchman, MD, MPH

Senior Investigator, MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation
206-287-2704
Michael.X.Parchman@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD

Senior Investigator
206-287-2870
Sascha.Dublin@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Aruna Kamineni, PhD, MPH

Assistant Investigator
206-287-2922
Aruna.S.Kamineni@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Ellen O'Meara, PhD

Research Associate
206-287-2938
Ellen.S.O'Meara@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Laura Harrington, PhD, MPH

Assistant Investigator
206-287-2066
Laura.B.Harrington@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Affiliate researchers

James Floyd, MD, MS
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology
University of Washington

Susan Heckbert, MD, PhD
University of Washington (UW) Department of Epidemiology; UW Cardiovascular Health Research Unit

Nicholas L. Smith, PhD, MPH
UW Professor, Epidemiology, Cardiovascular Health Research Unit
Director, Seattle Epidemiology and Information Resource Center, VA Puget Sound Health Care System