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

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

Karter AJ, Lipska KJ, O'Connor PJ, Liu JY, Moffet HH, Schroeder EB, Lawrence JM, Nichols GA, Newton KM, Pathak RD, Desai J, Waitzfelder B, Butler MG, Thomas A, Steiner JF; SUPREME-DM Study Group. High rates of severe hypoglycemia among African American patients with diabetes: the surveillance, prevention, and Management of Diabetes Mellitus (SUPREME-DM) network. J Diabetes Complications. 2017 Feb 21. pii: S1056-8727(16)30932-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2017.02.009. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Miller LM, Lampe JW, Newton KM, Gundersen G, Fuller S, Reed SD, Frankenfeld CL. Being overweight or obese is associated with harboring a gut microbial community not capable of metabolizing the soy isoflavone daidzein to O-desmethylangolensin in peri- and post-menopausal women. Maturitas. 2017;99:37-42. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2017.02.006. Epub 2017 Feb 16. PubMed

Newton KM. We still have a long way to go. Menopause. 2016 Nov 7. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Reynolds K, Go AS, Leong TK, Boudreau DM, Cassidy-Bushrow AE, Fortmann SP, Goldberg RJ, Gurwitz JH, Magid DJ, Margolis KL, McNeal CJ, Newton KM, Novotny R, Quesenberry CP Jr, Rosamond WD, Smith DH, VanWormer JJ, Vupputuri S, Waring SC, Williams MS, Sidney S. Trends in incidence of hospitalized acute myocardial infarction in the Cardiovascular Research Network (CVRN). Am J Med. 2016 Oct 14. pii: S0002-9343(16)31020-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2016.09.014. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Buchanan DT, Landis CA, Hohensee C, Guthrie KA, Otte JL, Paudel M, Anderson GL, Caan B, Freeman EW, Joffe H, LaCroix AZ, Newton KM, Reed SD, Ensrud KE. Effects of yoga and aerobic exercise on actigraphic sleep parameters in menopausal women with hot flashes. J Clin Sleep Med. 2016 Sep 29. pii: jc-00520-15. [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.