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

Joffe H, Guthrie KA, LaCroix AZ, Reed SD, Ensrud KE, Manson JE, Newton KM, Freeman EW, Anderson GL, Larson JC, Hunt JR, Shifren J, Rexrode KM, Caan B, Sternfeld B, Carpenter JS, Cohen LS. Low-dose estradiol and the serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor venlafaxine for vasomotor symptoms: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Int Med. 2014 Jul;174(7):1058-66. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.1891. Epub 2014 May 26. PubMed

Newton KM, Reed SD, Nekhyludov L, Grothaus LC, Ludman EJ, Ehrlich K, LaCroix AZ. Factors associated with successful discontinuation of hormone therapy. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2014 May;23(5):382-8. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2012.4200. Epub 2014 Jan 20. PubMed

Sternfeld B, Guthrie KA, Ensrud KE, LaCroix AZ, Larson JC, Dunn AL, Anderson GL, Seguin RA, Carpenter JS, Newton KM, Reed SD, Freeman EW, Cohen LS, Joffe H, Roberts M, Caan BJ. Efficacy of exercise for menopausal symptoms: a randomized controlled trial. Menopause. 2014 Apr;21(4):330-8. doi: 10.1097/GME.0b013e31829e4089. Epub 2013 Aug 12. PubMed

Raebel MA, Ellis JL, Schroeder EB, Xu S, O’Connor PJ, Segal JB, Butler MG, Schmittdiel JA, Kirchner HL, Goodrich GK, Lawrence JM, Nichols GA, Newton KM, Pathak RD, Steiner JF. Intensification of antihyperglycemic therapy among patients with incident diabetes: a Surveillance Prevention and Management of Diabetes Mellitus (SUPREME-DM) study. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2014 Jul;23(7):699-710. doi: 10.1002/pds.3610. Epub 2014 Mar 18. PubMed

Reed SD, Guthrie KA, Newton KM, Anderson GL, Booth-Laforce C, Caan B, Carpenter JS, Cohen LS, Dunn AL, Ensrud KE, Freeman EW, Hunt JR, Joffe H, Larson JC, Learman LA, Rothenberg R, Seguin RA, Sherman KJ, Sternfeld BS, LaCroix AZ. Menopausal quality of life: a RCT of yoga, exercise and omega-3 supplements. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2014 Mar;210(3):244.e1-11. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2013.11.016. Epub 2013 Nov 8. PubMed

Reed SD, Lampe JW, Qu C, Copeland WK, Gundersen G, Fuller S, Newton KM. Premenopausal vasomotor symptoms in an ethnically diverse population. Menopause. 2014 Feb;21(2):153-8. doi: 10.1097/GME.0b013e3182952228. Epub 2013 Jun 10. PubMed

Newton KM, Carpenter JS, Guthrie KA, Anderson GL, Caan B, Cohen LS, Ensrud KE, Freeman EW, Joffe H, Sternfeld B, Reed SD, Sherman S, Sammel MD, Kroenke K, Larson JC, LaCroix AZ. Methods for the design of vasomotor symptom trials: the Menopausal Strategies: Finding Lasting Answers to Symptoms and Health network. Menopause. 2014 Jan;21(1):45-58. doi: 10.1097/GME.0b013e31829337a4. Epub 2013 Jun 10. PubMed

Raebel MA, Xu S, Goodrich GK, Schroeder EB, Schmittdiel JA, Segal JB, O'Connor PJ, Nichols GA, Lawrence JM, Kirchner HL, Elston Lafata J, Butler M, Newton KM, Steiner JF. Initial antihyperglycemic drug therapy among 241,327 adults with newly identified diabetes from 2005 through 2010: a surveillance, prevention, and management of diabetes mellitus (SUPREME-DM) study. Ann Pharmacother. 2013;47(10):1280-91. doi: 10.1177/1060028013503624. PubMed

Newton KM, Reed SD, Guthrie KA, Sherman KJ, Booth-LaForce C, Caan B, Sternfeld B, Carpenter JS, Learman LA, Freeman EW, Cohen LS, Joffe H, Anderson GL, Larson JC, Ensrud KE, LaCroix AZ. Efficacy of yoga for vasomotor symptoms: a randomized controlled trial. Menopause. 2014 Apr;21(4):339-46. doi: 10.1097/GME.0b013e31829e4baa. PubMed

Cohen LS, Joffe H, Guthrie KA, Ensrud KE, Freeman M, Carpenter JS, Anderson GL, Larson JC, LaCroix AZ, Newton KM, Reed SD, Manson JE, Sternfeld B, Freeman EW, Tinker LE, Booth LaForce C. Efficacy of omega-3 for vasomotor symptoms treatment: a randomized controlled trial. Menopause. 2014 Apr;21(4):347-54. doi: 10.1097/GME.0b013e31829e40b8. 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.