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

Carpenter JS, Jones SM, Studts CR, Heiman JR, Reed SD, Newton KM, Guthrie KA, Larson JC, Cohen LS, Freeman EW, Jane Lau R, Learman LA, Shifren JL. Female Sexual Function Index short version: a MsFLASH item response analysis. Arch Sex Behav. 2016 Aug 8. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Jones SM, Guthrie KA, Reed SD, Landis CA, Sternfeld B, LaCroix AZ, Dunn A, Burr RL, Newton KM. A yoga & exercise randomized controlled trial for vasomotor symptoms: effects on heart rate variability. Complement Ther Med. 2016;26:66-71. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2016.03.001. Epub 2016 Mar 4. PubMed

McCurry SM, Guthrie KA, Morin CM, Woods NF, Landis CA, Ensrud KE, Larson JC, Joffe H, Cohen LS, Hunt JR, Newton KM, Otte JL, Reed SD, Sternfeld B, Tinker LF, LaCroix AZ. Telephone-based cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women with vasomotor symptoms: a MsFLASH randomized clinical trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2016 Jul 1;176(7):913-20. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.1795. PubMed

Jones SM, Guthrie KA, LaCroix AZ, Sternfeld B, Landis CA, Reed SD, Dunn A, Caan B, Cohen LS, Hunt J, Newton KM. Is heart rate variability associated with frequency and intensity of vasomotor symptoms among healthy perimenopausal and postmenopausal women? Clin Auton Res. 2015 Dec 21. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Reed SD, Newton KM, Larson JC, Booth-LaForce C, Woods NF, Landis CA, Tolentino E, Carpenter JS, Freeman EW, Joffe H, Anawalt BD, Guthrie KA. Daily salivary cortisol patterns in midlife women with hot flashes. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2015 Dec 10. doi: 10.1111/cen.12995. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Carpenter JS, Woods NF, Otte JL, Guthrie KA, Hohensee C, Newton KM, Joffe H, Cohen L, Sternfeld B, Lau RJ, Reed SD, LaCroix AZ. MsFLASH participants' priorities for alleviating menopausal symptoms. Climacteric. 2015 Oct 30:1-8. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Desai JR1, Vazquez-Benitez G2, Xu Z2, Schroeder EB2, Karter AJ2, Steiner JF2, Nichols GA, Reynolds K, Xu S, Newton K, Pathak RD, Waitzfelder B, Elston Lafata J, Butler MG, Kirchner HL, Thomas A, O'Connor PJ. Who must we target now to minimize future cardiovascular events and total mortality? lessons from the supreme-dm cohort study. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2015 Aug 25. pii: CIRCOUTCOMES.115.001717. [Epub ahead of print].

Lafata JE, Karter AJ, O'Connor PJ, Morris H, Schmittdiel JA, Ratliff S, Newton KM, Raebel MA, Pathak RD, Thomas A, Butler MG, Reynolds K, Waitzfelder B, Steiner JF. Medication adherence does not explain black-white differences in cardiometabolic risk factor control among insured patients with diabetes. J Gen Intern Med. 2016 Feb;31(2):188-95. doi: 10.1007/s11606-015-3486-0. PubMed

Guthrie KA, LaCroix AZ, Ensrud KE, Joffe H, Newton KM, Reed SD, Caan B, Carpenter JS, Cohen LS, Freeman EW, Larson JC, Manson JE, Rexrode K, Skaar TC, Sternfeld B, Anderson GL. Pooled analysis of six pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions for vasomotor symptoms. Obstet Gynecol. 2015;126(2):413-22. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000000927. PubMed

Otte JL, Rand KL, Landis CA, Paudel ML, Newton KM, Woods N, Carpenter JS. Confirmatory factor analysis of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index in women with hot flashes. Menopause. 2015 May 4. [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.