Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH

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“As the public-interest research arm of Kaiser Permanente Washington's learning health care system and a member of major research consortia, KPWHRI is honored to contribute to local and national health care improvements.”

Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH

Senior Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute
Professor of Health Services, Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine
Former Executive Director, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute
Former Vice President, Research and Health Care Innovation, Kaiser Permanente Washington

Biography

Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH, is a senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute. He served as the institute's executive director from 2002 through 2018, as well as vice president for research and health care innovation at Kaiser Permanente Washington from 2017 to 2018.

A general internist, Dr. Larson is a national leader in geriatrics, health services, and clinical research and has been an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine since 2007. He pursues an array of research, ranging from clinical interests such as Alzheimer’s disease and genomics to health services research involving technology assessment, cost-effectiveness analysis, learning health systems, and quality improvement. His research on aging includes a longstanding collaboration between Kaiser Permanente Washington and the University of Washington (UW) called the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study. Among ACT’s many groundbreaking findings:

  • Regular exercise is linked to reduced risk of dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and declines in how well people think.
  • Use of larger amounts of common medications that have strong anticholinergic side effects is linked to higher risks for developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Risk for dementia in old age can be linked to early life factors, such as socioeconomic status, education, and midlife vascular risk factors.
  • Risk for dementia is also tied to high blood sugar levels, even without diabetes.

With colleagues from Duke and  Harvard, Dr. Larson established and now helps lead the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund’s Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory. The Collaboratory sponsors pragmatic clinical trials and aims to improve the way clinical trials are conducted so that patients and care providers have access to the best available clinical evidence for decision-making. Dr. Larson is also the principal investigator for the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) project at KPWHRI and the UW. The goal of eMERGE research is to better understand the genomic basis of disease to tailor medical care to individual patients based on their genomic differences.

Dr. Larson has written or co-authored more than a dozen books, including 2017’s Enlightened Aging: Building Resilience for Long, Active Life, which draws from his decades of work as a physician and the leader of the ACT study. He has also published more than 500 peer-reviewed scientific papers.

Until 2019, Dr. Larson maintained a small but longstanding internal medicine practice. He served as medical director for the UW Medical Center and associate dean for clinical affairs at its medical school from 1989 to 2002. He is a member and past president of the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM), having received their highest honor, the Robert J. Glaser Award, in 2004. Dr. Larson is also a master of the American College of Physicians (ACP) and served on its Board of Regents for nearly a decade, including one term as chair. He was a commissioner on The Joint Commission from 1999 to 2010. 

Research interests and experience

 

Recent publications

Coe NB, White L, Oney M, Basu A, Larson EB. Public spending on acute and long-term care for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Alzheimers Dement. 2022 Mar 16. doi: 10.1002/alz.12657. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Larson EB, Nelson JC. In older adults, use of a recombinant zoster vaccine was associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome. Ann Intern Med. 2022;175(3):JC35. doi: 10.7326/J22-0010. Epub 2022 Mar 1. PubMed

Leppig KA, Rahm AK, Appelbaum P, Aufox S, Bland ST, Buchanan A, Christensen KD, Chung WK, Wright-Clayton E, Crosslin D, Denny J, DeVange S, Gordon A, Green RC, Hakonarson H, Harr MH, Henrikson NB, Hoell C, Holm IA, Kullo IJ, Jarvik GP, Lammers PE, Larson EB, Lindor NM, Marasa M, Myer MF, Perez E, Peterson JF, Pratap S, Prows CA, Ralston JD, Rasouly HM, Roden DM, Sharp RR, Singh R, Shaibi G, Smith ME, Sturm A, Thiese HA, Van Driest SL, Williams J, Williams MS, Wynn J, Zawatsky CL, Weisner GL. The reckoning: the return of genomic results to 1444 participants across the eMERGE3 Network. Genet Med. 2022 Feb 22:S1098-3600(22)00031-4. doi: 10.1016/j.gim.2022.01.015. Online ahead of print. PubMed

Roden D, Glazer AM, Davogustto GE, Yang T, Muhammad A, Mosley JD, Larson EB, Van Driest S, Wells QS, Wada Y, Bland S, Yoneda ZT, Kroncke BM, George A, Shoemaker MB. Arrhythmia variant associations and reclassifications in the eMERGE-III sequencing study. Circulation. 2021 Dec 21. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.121.055562. Online ahead of print. PubMed

van Dalen JW, Brayne C, Crane PK, Fratiglioni L, Larson EB, Lobo A, Lobo E, Marcum ZA, Moll van Charante EP, qiu C, Reidel-Heller SG, Rohr S, Ryden L, Skoog I, van Gool WA, Richard E. Association of systolic blood pressure with dementia risk and the role of age, U-shaped associations, and mortality. JAMA Intern Med. 2021 Dec 13. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.7009. Online ahead of print. PubMed

Lee CS, Gibbons LE, Lee AY, Yanagihara RT, Blazes MS, Lee ML, McCurry SM, Bowen JD, McCormick WC, Crane PK, Larson EB. Association between cataract extraction and development of dementia. JAMA Intern Med. 2021 Dec 6. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.6990. Online ahead of print. PubMed

Eissman JM, Dumitrescu L, Mahoney ER, Mukherjee S, Lee ML, Bush WS, Engelman CD, Lu Q, Fardo DW, Trittschuh EH, Mez J, Kaczorowski CC, Saucedo HH, Widaman KF, Buckley RF, Properzi MJ, Mormino EC, Yang HS, Harrison TM, Hedden T, Nho K, Andrews SJ, Tommet D, Hadad N, Sanders RE, Ruderfer DM, Gifford KA, Zhong X, Raghavan NS, Vardarajan BN; Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative; Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Consortium (ADGC); A4 Study Team, Pericak-Vance MA, Farrer LA, Wang LS, Cruchaga C, Schellenberg GD, Cox NJ, Haines JL, Keene CD, Saykin AJ, Larson EB, Sperling RA, Mayeux R, Cuccaro ML, Bennett DA, Schneider JA, Crane PK, Jefferson AL, Hohman TJ. Sex differences in the genetic architecture underlying resilience in AD. Alzheimers Dement. 2021 Dec;17 Suppl 3:e055010. doi: 10.1002/alz.055010. PubMed

Smith AN, Dumitrescu L, Mukherjee S, Lee ML, Choi SE, Trittschuh EH, Mez J, Mahoney ER, Bush WS, Engelman CD, Lu Q, Fardo DW, Widaman KF, Buckley RF, Mormino EC, Harrison TM, Sanders RE, Clark LR, Gifford KA, Vardarajan BN; Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative; Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Consortium (ADGC), Team AS; Alzheimer's Disease Sequencing Project (ADSP), Cuccaro ML, Pericak-Vance MA, Farrer LA, Wang LS, Schellenberg GD, Haines JL, Jefferson AL, Johnson SC, Kukull WA, Albert MS, Keene CD, Saykin AJ, Larson EB, Sperling RA, Mayeux R, Bennett DA, Schneider JA, Crane PK, Hohman TJ. Sex-specific genetic predictors of memory performance. Alzheimers Dement. 2021 Dec;17 Suppl 3:e056083. doi: 10.1002/alz.056083. PubMed

Hubbard EE, Heil LR, Merrihew GE, Chhatwal JP, Farlow MR, McLean CA, Ghetti B, Newell KL, Frosch MP, Bateman RJ, Larson EB, Keene CD, Perrin RJ, Montine TJ, MacCoss MJ, Julian RR. Does data-independent acquisition data contain hidden gems? a case study related to Alzheimer's disease. J Proteome Res. 2022 Jan 7;21(1):118-131. doi: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.1c00558. Epub 2021 Nov 24. PubMed

Williams AT, Shrine N, van Gijzel H, Betts JC, Hessel EM, John C, Packer R, Reeve NF, Yeo AJ, Abner E, Olav Åsvold B, Auvinen J, Bartz TM, Bradford Y, Brumpton B, Campbell A, Cho MH, Chu S, Crosslin DR, Feng Q, Esko T, Gharib SA, Hayward C, Hebbring S, Hveem K, Jarvelin MR, Jarvik GP, Landis SH, Larson EB, Liu J, Loos RJF, Luo Y, Moscati A, Mullerova H, Namjo B, Porteous DJ, Quint JK, Regeneron Genomics Center, Ritchie MD, Sliz E, Stanaway IB, Thomas L, Wilson JF, Hall IP, Wain LV, Michalovich D, Tobin MD. Genome-wide association study of susceptibility to hospitalised respiratory infections. Wellcome Open Res. 2021, 6:290. https://doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.17230.1

 

ACT Study news

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Healthy aging: New tool for research and collaboration

Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) Study launches a new website to advance our understanding of brain aging.

Healthy Findings Blog

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Practice acceptance when change or adversity strike

At any age — but especially later in life — adapting and seeking assistance when we need it can help through tough times.

Healthy aging

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Lessons about aging from COVID-19

Eric Larson, MD, MPH, shares ways to reduce social isolation and loneliness, no matter the cause.

Research

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Cataract surgery linked with lessened dementia risk

JAMA Internal Medicine study finds cataract surgery associated with 30% lower risk of dementia in aging population.

KPWHRI In the Media

Dr. Eric Larson interviewed about new research based on ACT Study data

Cataract surgery may reduce the risk of dementia, study finds

Oregon Public Broadcasting, Jan. 4, 2022

ACT Study

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Roundup of 3 recent studies on dementia risk

Researchers explore links between hearing loss, military service, and cognitive decline — and look at timeliness of diagnosis.

KPWHRI in the Media

Research from the ACT Study, co-led by Eric Larson, MD, MPH, links cataract surgery to a lower risk of dementia.

Cataract surgery associated with lower risk of dementia

The Seattle Times, Dec. 13, 2021