Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD

“My work helps women and doctors know which medications are safe during pregnancy.”

Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD

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


Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD, is a general internist and epidemiologist whose main research interest is studying the impact of prescription medications and other interventions using real-world health care data. Through this work, she aims to provide patients and health care providers with better information about the risks and benefits of different treatments so they can make more informed decisions.

Dr. Dublin’s work includes studies of medication use in relation to pneumonia risk and dementia risk in older adults. For example, her team found that heavy use of some commonly used medications including antihistamines increases dementia risk. She also has interest and expertise in improving the methods used to study drug safety in older people by better accounting for coexisting illnesses and functional and cognitive status.

Much of Dr. Dublin’s research focuses on the outcomes of medication use or other interventions in pregnancy. These studies take advantage of the rich clinical data becoming increasingly available through electronic health records (EHRs) to develop new knowledge that could improve care. For example, she is working with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on study of birth defects in relation to opioid use in pregnancy and on a separate study to test whether collecting information from pregnant women through a mobile app can improve the data available to study medication safety in pregnancy.

Dr. Dublin recently completed an R01 grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to study maternal and infant outcomes after elective induction of labor. She also holds an R01 grant from the same institute to study the impact of treating mild to moderate hypertension during pregnancy.

Dr. Dublin has a strong interest in epidemiologic methods, particularly in approaches to better measure important variables. She has led methods-focused workgroups for the FDA’s Sentinel Initiative and has experience using Natural Language Processing to extract information from unstructured clinical text.

Dr. Dublin collaborates with the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI)’s aging research team. She 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

Dublin S, Von Korff M. Prescription Opioids and Infection Risk: Research and Caution Needed. Ann Intern Med. 2018;168(6):444-445. doi: 10.7326/M18-0001. Epub 2018 Feb 13. PubMed

Hammond CA, Blades NJ, Chaudhry SI, Dodson JA, Longstreth WT Jr, Heckbert SR, Psaty BM, Arnold AM, Dublin S, Sitlani CM, Gardin JM, Thielke SM, Nanna MG, Gottesman RF, Newman AB, Thacker EL. Long-term cognitive decline after newly diagnosed heart failure: longitudinal analysis in the CHS (Cardiovascular Health Study). Circ Heart Fail. 2018;11(3):e004476. doi: 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.117.004476. PubMed

Harding BN, Weiss NS, Walker RL, Larson EB, Dublin S. Proton pump inhibitor use and the risk of fractures among an older adult cohort. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2018 Feb 28. doi: 10.1002/pds.4406. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Flanagan ME, Larson EB, Walker RL, Keene CD, Postupna N, Cholerton B, Sonnen JA, Dublin S, Crane PK, Montine TJ. Associations between use of specific analgesics and concentrations of amyloid-beta 42 or phospho-tau in regions of human cerebral cortex. J Alzheimers Dis. 2017 Dec 8. pii: JAD170414. doi: 10.3233/JAD-170414. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed


KPWHRI In the Media

Opioids may raise risk for serious infections

Another downside to opioid use: Pneumonia?

HealthDay (syndicated), Feb. 12, 2018

opioid research

Opioids may raise risks for serious infections

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

Read it in Healthy Findings

Dementia & acid reflux

Dementia risk isn’t higher in people who take proton pump inhibitors

Dr. Sascha Dublin explores what this reassuring finding from the Kaiser Permanente-UW ACT study means for patients with acid reflux.

Read it in Healthy Findings. 

KPWHRI In the Media

Kaiser Permanente researchers explore patients’ marijuana use

Fertility: The problem with weed: For men, getting high may have unexpected consequences

Seattle Magazine, April 2018