Katherine M. Newton, PhD


“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


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

Froelicher ES, Kee LL, Newton KM, Lindskog B, Livingston M. Return to work, sexual activity, and other activities after acute myocardial infarction. Heart Lung. 1994;23(5):423-35. PubMed

Newton KM, Mottram K, Winegar C. The changing epidemiology of measles in Pierce County. Washington Public Health. 1992;10:54-6.

Killien M, Newton K. Longitudinal research--the challenge of maintaining continued involvement of participants. West J Nurs Res. 1990;12(5):689-92. PubMed

Newton KM, Killien MG. Patient and spouse learning needs during recovery from coronary artery bypass. Prog Cardiovasc Nurs. 1988;3(2):62-9. PubMed

Moore KI, Newton K. Orthostatic heart rates and blood pressures in healthy young women and men. Heart Lung. 1986;15(6):611-7. PubMed

Newton KM, Sivarajan ES, Clark JL. Patient perceptions of risk factor changes and cardiac rehabilitation outcomes after myocardial infarction. J Card Rehabil. 1985;5:159-68.

Sivarajan ES, Newton KM. Exercise, education, and counseling for patients with coronary artery disease. Clin Sports Med. 1984;3(2):349-69. PubMed

Sivarajan ES, Newton KM, Almes MJ, Kempf TM, Mansfield LW, Bruce RA. Limited effects of outpatient teaching and counseling after myocardial infarction: a controlled study. Heart Lung. 1983;12(1):65-73. PubMed

Ott CR, Sivarajan ES, Newton KM, Almes MJ, Bruce RA, Bergner M, Gilson BS. A controlled randomized study of early cardiac rehabilitation: the Sickness Impact Profile as an assessment tool. Heart Lung. 1983;12(2):162-70. PubMed


aging & geriatrics


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


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.



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.