Andrea Z. LaCroix, PhD

“The goal of my research is providing women with the best medical advice and care to ensure a long, healthy life.”

Andrea Z. LaCroix, PhD

Senior Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute


In addition to her role at KPWHRI, Andrea LaCroix, PhD, is Professor and Chief of Epidemiology in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego. She is also the Director of the Women’s Health Center of Excellence at UCSD. She has an extensive research program devoted to studies on factors associated with healthy aging in older women and men. She has conducted numerous randomized clinical trials and observational studies on the prevention of cancer, fracture, heart disease, and frailty in postmenopausal, as well as large, prospective studies of exceptional aging and maintaining physical and cognitive function into later life.

Prior to joining the faculty of UCSD in October 2013, Dr. LaCroix was Co-Principal Investigator of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Clinical Coordinating Center at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Her work within the WHI program includes evaluating the long-term effects of hormone therapy and calcium / Vitamin D supplementation on chronic disease outcomes including heart disease, cancer and fracture. She was also Co-Principal Investigator of the Data Coordinating Center for the Menopausal Symptoms: Finding Lasting Answers for Symptoms and Health (MsFLASH) clinical trials network, an NIA initiative to expedite the testing of new interventions for menopause symptoms.

As a Senior Scientific Investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, she collaborated on the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) cohort study investigating risk factors for cognitive health and dementia for more than 20 years. Dr. LaCroix also led an NIA-funded T32 training program entitled, “Improving Healthcare for Aging Women” at KPWHRI for the past 10 years.

Dr. LaCroix received her doctoral degree in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1984, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in cardiovascular disease at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1985. Before coming to Seattle in 1989, Dr. LaCroix was a federal government epidemiologist at the National Center for Health Statistics and then the National Institute on Aging.

She served on the National Advisory Council on Aging for the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging from 2009–2012. In 2010, she received the McDougall Mentoring award which recognizes and honors faculty members who demonstrate an outstanding investment in their mentees’ professional development and success as independent researchers or clinical scientists. In 2014, Dr. LaCroix was elected as a member of the American Epidemiological Society. She has authored more than 380 scientific publications, and was selected as a Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher in 2014.


Research interests and experience



Recent publications

Thakral M, LaCroix AZ, Molton IR. Sex/gender disparities in health outcomes of individuals with long-term disabling conditions. Rehabil Psychol. 2018 Oct 8. pii: 2018-49528-001. doi: 10.1037/rep0000248. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Mitchell CM, Reed SD, Diem S, Larson JC, Newton KM, Ensrud KE, LaCroix AZ, Caan B, Guthrie KA. Efficacy of vaginal estradiol or vaginal moisturizer vs placebo for treating postmenopausal vulvovaginal symptoms: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2018 Mar 19. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.0116. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Harrington LB, Blondon M, Cushman M, Kaunitz AM, Allison MA, Wang L, Sullivan S, Woods NF, LaCroix AZ, Heckbert SR, McKnight B, Rossouw J, Smith NL. Vasomotor symptoms and the risk of incident venous thrombosis in postmenopausal women. J Thromb Haemost. 2018 Mar 5. doi: 10.1111/jth.13993. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Danila MI, Outman RC, Rahn EJ, Mudano AS, Redden DT, Li P, Allison JJ, Anderson FA, Wyman A, Greenspan SL, LaCroix AZ, Nieves JW, Silverman SL, Siris ES, Watts NB, Miller MJ, Curtis JR, Warriner AH, Wright NC, Saag KG. Evaluation of a multi-modal, direct-to-patient educational intervention targeting barriers to osteoporosis: a randomized clinical trial. J Bone Miner Res. 2018 Jan 26. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.3395. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed


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