Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD

Sascha Dublin

“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

Sascha.Dublin@kp.org
206-287-2870

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.

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Research interests and experience 

  • Aging & Geriatrics

    Medications and risk of cognitive decline; use of preventive medications; age-related disease and disability
  • Cardiovascular Health

    Epidemiology
  • Medication Use & Patient Safety

    Medication safety in vulnerable populations including older adults and pregnant women
  • Women’s Health

    Safety and effectiveness of interventions during pregnancy; medication use and safety during pregnancy
  • Child & Adolescent Health

    Impact of in utero medication exposure on the fetus or infant

Vaccines & Infectious Diseases

 

Recent publications

Pocobelli G, Akosile MA, Hansen RN, Eavey J, Wellman RD, Johnson RL, Carls G, Bron M, Dublin S. Obstructive sleep apnea and risk of motor vehicle accident. Sleep Med. 2021 Jul 17;85:196-203. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2021.07.019. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Rothschild Sm CW, Dublin S, Brown JS, Klasnja P, Herzig-Marx C, Reynolds JS, Wyner Z, Chambers C, Martin D. Use of a mobile app to capture supplemental health information during pregnancy: implications for clinical research. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2021 Jul 3. doi: 10.1002/pds.5320. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Pocobelli G, Dublin S, Bobb JF, Albertson-Junkans L, Andrade S, Cheetham TC, Salgado G, Griffin MR, Raebel MA, Smith D, Li DK, Pawloski PA, Toh S, Taylor L, Hua W, Horn P, Trinidad JP, Boudreau DM. Prevalence of prescription opioid use during pregnancy in eight US health plans during 2001-2014. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2021 Jun 24. doi: 10.1002/pds.5312. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Wartko PD, Weiss NS, Enquobahrie DA, Chan KCG, Stephenson-Famy A, Mueller BA, Dublin S. Association of antidepressant continuation in pregnancy and infant birthweight. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2021 May 22. doi: 10.1097/JCP.0000000000001410. Online ahead of print. PubMed

 

Prescription overload

Senior adult sitting with glass of water in one hand and  holding medication in other hand

Deprescribing: Less may be more

Dr. Sascha Dublin explains why sometimes not taking medications may be a safer and healthier choice. 

Drugs, diabetes, disparities

Covid-ACE-ARBS-graphic_SDublin_blog_03.02.2021_1col.jpg

Studying COVID-19 risk and outcomes

Dr. Sascha Dublin tells how studies of KP electronic health record data can improve COVID-19 treatment and prevention.

research

Dublin-medication-app-pregnancy_1col.jpg

Medication in pregnancy: Better data for healthier kids

Researchers need much bigger data sets to find outcomes that matter, Dr. Sascha Dublin and colleagues write in Pediatrics.

KPWHRI In the Media

How Sascha Dublin is advancing maternal health research?

Hemoglobin A1C Screening in Early Gestational Diabetes

Clinical Lab Manager, Nov. 1, 2020