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

Malinowski JR, Denny JC, Bielinski SJ, Basford MA, Bradford Y, Peissig PL, Carrell D, Crosslin DR, Pathak J, Rasmussen L, Pacheco J, Kho A, Newton KM, Li R, Kullo IJ, Chute CG, Chisholm RL, Jarvik GP, Larson EB, McCarty CA, Masys DR, Roden DM, Andrade M, Ritchie MD, Crawford DC. Genetic variants associated with serum thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels in European Americans and African Americans from the eMERGE Network. PLoS One. 2014;9(12):e111301. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111301. eCollection 2014 [Epub 2014, Dec 1].

Caan B, LaCroix AZ, Joffe H, Guthrie KA, Larson JC, Carpenter JS, Cohen LS, Freeman EW, Manson JE, Newton K, Reed S, Rexrode K, Shifren J, Sternfeld B, Ensrud K. Effects of estrogen and venlafaxine on menopause-related quality of life in healthy postmenopausal women with hot flashes: a placebo-controlled randomized trial. Menopause. 2015 Jun;22(6):607-15. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000364. Epub 2014 Nov 17. PubMed

Newton KM, Reed SD, Uchiyama S, Qu C, Ueno T, Iwashita S, Gundersen G, Fuller S, Lampe JW. A cross-sectional study of equol producer status and self-reported vasomotor symptoms. Menopause. 2015 May;22(5):489-95. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000363. Epub 2014 Nov 6.

Ensrud KE, Guthrie KA, Hohensee C, Caan B, Carpenter JS, Freeman EW, LaCroix AZ, Landis CA, Manson J, Newton KM, Otte J, Reed SD, Shifren JL, Sternfeld B, Woods NF, Joffe H. Effects of estradiol and venlafaxine on insomnia symptoms and sleep quality in women with hot flashes. Sleep. 2015 Jan 1;38(1):97-108. doi: 10.5665/sleep.4332. Epub 2014 Oct 17. PubMed

O'Connor PJ, Schmittdiel JA, Pathak RD, Harris RI, Newton KM, Ohnsorg KA, Heisler M, Sterrett AT, Xu S, Dyer WT, Raebel MA, Thomas A, Schroeder EB, Desai JR, Steiner JF. Randomized trial of telephone outreach to improve medication adherence and metabolic control in adults with diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2014 Dec;37(12):3317-24. doi: 10.2337/dc14-0596. Epub 2014 Oct 14. PubMed

Newton KM. But does it work in women like me? Menopause. 2014 Aug;21(8):786-7. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000289.

Reed SD, Mitchell CM, Joffe H, Cohen L, Shifren JL, Newton KM, Freeman EW, Larson JC, Manson JE, LaCroix AZ, Guthrie KA. Sexual function in women on estradiol or venlafaxine for hot flushes: a randomized controlled trial. Obstet Gynecol. 2014 Aug;124(2 Pt 1):233-41. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000000386. PubMed

Schroeder EB, Goodrich GK, Newton KM, Schmittdiel JA, Raebel MA. Implications of different lab based incident diabetic kidney disease definitions of comparative effectiveness studies. J Comp Eff Res. 2014 Jul;3(4):359-69. doi: 10.2217/cer.14.25.

Newton KM. Isoflavones hold limited promise for the treatment of menopausal vasomotor symptoms. Evid Based Med. 2014 Oct;19(5):178. doi: 10.1136/ebmed-2014-110000. Epub 2014 Jun 17. PubMed

Reding K, Zahid M, Cavalieri E, Rogan E, Rarccor B, Atkinson C, Yong M, Newton K, Lampe J. Associations between dietary intake of fruits and vegetables in relation to urinary estrogen DNA adduct ratio. Open J Prev Med. 2014;6(4):429-37. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2014.46050.

 

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.