Katherine M. Newton, PhD

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“The work I do helps women make decisions about managing menopause symptoms.”

Katherine M. Newton, PhD

Senior Investigator (Emeritus), Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Biography

Katherine Newton, PhD, is a chronic disease epidemiologist who is passionate about finding ways to help women stay healthy during midlife. Known for her research on menopause, Dr. Newton is a national leader in the search for nonhormonal treatments for menopausal symptoms.

After a 20-year career as a cardiovascular nurse specialist, Dr. Newton pursued her PhD in epidemiology and shifted her focus to epidemiologic research, joining Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) as a postdoctoral fellow in 1995. Dr. Newton focuses on health concerns for women reaching midlife, especially menopause. Dr. Newton’s current goal is to help women transition through menopause in the healthiest way possible. She is especially interested in investigating ways to relieve menopause symptoms without using hormone replacement therapy.

Dr. Newton’s 2006 randomized trial of alternative therapies for menopause received widespread interest, leading to several invited talks around the world. Study analyses continue to yield compelling findings, including a 2007 publication linking low libido in menopause to trouble sleeping. She is currently participating in a multisite network of investigators, MsFLASH Finding Lasting Answers for Symptoms and Health. This group has conducted 6 randomized trials testing the efficacy of yoga, exercise, omega-3 fatty acids, escitalopram, and low-dose estrogen for menopause symptoms, and a study of telephone-based cognitive behavioral therapy for sleep among women with sleep problems related to menopause.

Dr. Newton is a member of the North American Menopause Society. She held two faculty appointments at the University of Washington: affiliate associate professor in epidemiology and affiliate associate professor in biobehavioral nursing and health systems.

Research interests and experience

Recent publications

Masoudi FA, Viragh T, Magid DJ, Moghtaderi A, Schilsky S, Sage WM, Goodrich G, Newton KM, Smith DH, Black B. Trends in Medicare payment rates for noninvasive cardiac tests and association with testing location. JAMA Intern Med. 2019 Oct 14. pii: 2753121. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.4269. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Guthrie KA, Caan B, Diem S, Ensrud KE, Greaves SR, Larson JC, Newton KM, Reed SD, LaCroix AZ. Facebook advertising for recruitment of midlife women with bothersome vaginal symptoms: a pilot study. Clin Trials. 2019 May 6:1740774519846862. doi: 10.1177/1740774519846862. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Otte JL, Bakoyannis G, Rand KL, Ensrud KE, Guthrie KA, Joffe H, McCurry SM, Newton KM, Carpenter JS. Confirmatory factor analysis of the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) and invariance across race: a pooled analysis of MsFLASH data. Menopause. 2019 Apr 15. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001343. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Chen L, Pocobelli G, Yu O, Shortreed SM, Osmundson SS, Fuller S, Wartko PD, McCulloch D, Warwick S, Newton KM, Dublin S. Early pregnancy hemoglobin A1C and pregnancy outcomes: a population-based study. Am J Perinatol. 2018 Nov 30. doi: 10.1055/s-0038-1675619. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Pocobelli G, Yu O, Fuller S, Fraser JR, Wartko P, Chen L, Newton K, Dimer J, McCulloch D, Warwick S, Dublin S. One-step approach to identifying gestational diabetes mellitus: association with perinatal outcomes. Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Aug 17. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000002780. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Mitchell CM, Reed SD, Diem S, Larson JC, Newton KM, Ensrud KE, LaCroix AZ, Caan B, Guthrie KA. Efficacy of vaginal estradiol or vaginal moisturizer vs placebo for treating postmenopausal vulvovaginal symptoms: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2018 May 1;178(5):681-690. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.0116. PubMed

Citronberg JS, Curtis KR, White E, Newcomb PA, Newton K, Atkinson C, Song X, Lampe JW, Hullar MA. Association of gut microbial communities with plasma lipopolysaccharide-binding protein (LBP) in premenopausal women. ISME J. 2018 Jun;12(7):1631-1641. doi: 10.1038/s41396-018-0064-6. Epub 2018 Feb 12. PubMed

Mitchell CM, Srinivasan S, Plantinga A, Wu MC, Reed SD, Guthrie KA, LaCroix AZ, Fiedler T, Munch M, Liu C, Hoffman NG, Blair IA, Newton K, Freeman EW, Joffe H, Cohen L, Fredricks DN. Associations between improvement in genitourinary symptoms of menopause and changes in the vaginal ecosystem. M Menopause. 2018 May;25(5):500-507. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001037. PubMed

Guthrie KA, Larson JC, Ensrud KE, Anderson GL, Carpenter JS, Freeman EW, Joffe H, LaCroix AZ, Manson JE, Morin CM, Newton KM, Otte J, Reed SD, McCurry SM. Effects of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions on insomnia symptoms and subjective sleep quality in women with hot flashes: a pooled analysis of individual participant data from 4 MsFLASH trials. Sleep. 2017 Nov 20. pii: 4642822. doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsx190. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Mitchell CM, Srinivasan S, Zhan X, Wu MC, Reed SD, Guthrie KA, LaCroix AZ, Fiedler T, Munch M, Liu C, Hoffman NG, Blair IA, Newton K, Freeman EW, Joffe H, Cohen L, Fredricks DN. Vaginal microbiota and genitourinary menopausal symptoms: a cross-sectional analysis. Menopause. 2017 Jun 19. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000904. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

 

aging & geriatrics

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Study finds various treatments can reduce vaginal discomfort from sex

Dr. Katherine Newton co-wrote JAMA Internal Medicine paper comparing vaginal estrogen, moisturizer, and placebo gel.

Live Healthy

Managing menopause symptoms

What are a woman’s options for symptoms like hot flashes, mood changes, or sleep problems? Here’s the evidence about herbs, yoga and more.

Read about it in Live Healthy.

cancer research

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Using breast MRI after cancer may lead to unneeded biopsies

A Kaiser Permanente-led BCSC study is among the largest ever to evaluate adding MRI surveillance for breast cancer survivors.

caregiving

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Training for caregivers of people with dementia: How to scale up

Dr. Rob Penfold leads pragmatic trial of new online version of proven program developed by UW colleagues.