Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD

“My work helps people know what medications are safe, especially for vulnerable populations like pregnant women and older adults.”

Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD

Senior Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute
Physician, Washington Permanente Medical Group, Internal Medicine

Biography

Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD, is a general internist and epidemiologist who studies the health effects of prescription medications and other interventions using real-world health care data. Through her work, she aims to provide better information about the risks and benefits of different treatments so patients and doctors can make well-informed decisions.

Much of Dr. Dublin’s research focuses on the outcomes of medication use or other interventions during pregnancy. These studies take advantage of the rich clinical data available through electronic health records (EHRs). Some of her current work in this area includes:

  • comparing different treatments for hypertension in pregnancy, looking at both the safety and effectiveness of various medications;
  • working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to study whether prescription opioid use in pregnancy increases the risk of birth defects; and
  • studying the impact of treating mild to moderate hypertension during pregnancy through an R01 grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Dr. Dublin recently led an impactful study with Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute colleagues exploring different methods to screen for diabetes in pregnancy. This work examined how outcomes changed for mothers and babies after Kaiser Permanente Washington made a big shift in their approach to gestational diabetes screening. This project found that a new, more intensive approach to screening did not improve health outcomes, and may have even worsened some. As a result, Kaiser Permanente Washington changed back to the previous, more widely used screening approach.

Beyond pregnancy, Dr. Dublin’s work includes studies of medication use and dementia risk in older adults. For example, her team found that heavy use of some commonly used medications including antihistamines increases dementia risk.  They also found that one widely used medication class, proton pump inhibitors, does not increase the risk of dementia—in contrast to some earlier reports—or fractures. 

Dr. Dublin has a strong interest in epidemiologic methods, particularly finding ways to better measure important variables. She has led methods workgroups for the FDA’s Sentinel Initiative and has experience using natural language processing and collecting data from patients through mobile phone apps. Dr. Dublin also has interest and expertise in improving the rigor and validity of observational studies by improving how they account for patients’ other illnesses and overall health status.

Dr. Dublin previously held a Paul B. Beeson Career Development Award (K23) from the National Institute on Aging. She sees patients one day a week in primary care at Kaiser Permanente Washington.

 ​​

Research interests and experience 

Recent publications

Marcum ZA, Walker RL, Jones BL, Ramaprasan A, Gray SL, Dublin S, Crane PK, Larson EB. Patterns of antihypertensive and statin adherence prior to dementia: findings from the Adult Changes in Thought study. BMC Geriatr. 2019;19(1):41. doi: 10.1186/s12877-019-1058-6. PubMed

Pocobelli G, Dublin S. In Reply. Obstet Gynecol. 2019;133(2):383-384. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000003094. PubMed

Figueroa Gray M, Hsu C, Kiel L, Dublin S. Getting through the day: a pilot qualitative study of U.S. women's experiences making decisions about anti-nausea medication during pregnancy. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2018;18(1):475. doi: 10.1186/s12884-018-2093-6. PubMed

Chen L, Pocobelli G, Yu O, Shortreed SM, Osmundson SS, Fuller S, Wartko PD, McCulloch D, Warwick S, Newton KM, Dublin S. Early pregnancy hemoglobin A1C and pregnancy outcomes: a population-based study. Am J Perinatol. 2018 Nov 30. doi: 10.1055/s-0038-1675619. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

 

video

Medication-Safety-Sascha-Dublin_Video-Still_1col.jpg

Ensuring safe medications for older adults & pregnant women

Nov. 7, 2018—In this short video, Dr. Sascha Dublin tells why KP is an ideal place to pursue her passion: Research to help vulnerable patients get the right drug treatment.

(Vimeo 1:40)

medication safety

Sascha-Dublin-patient-1col.jpg

Opioids may raise risks for serious infections

In Annals editorial Drs. Sascha Dublin and Michael Von Korff advocate more caution in prescribing these medications.

diabetes research

pregnant-women-diabetes-Dublin_1col.jpg

How do we screen for gestational diabetes?

In our learning health system, we discovered that a new screening approach had increased diagnoses without improving overall outcomes. So remarkably, we switched back.

opioid research

US-drug-overdose-deaths_180118_2col.jpg

Stopping the opioid epidemic: Priority research at KPWHRI

Opioid misuse and overdose are now a national priority. For decades, KPWHRI has worked to help patients find safe, effective ways to manage chronic pain.

Learn more about our work in opioid research.