Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH

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“As the public-interest research arm of Kaiser Permanente Washington's learning health care system and a member of major research consortia, KPWHRI is honored to contribute to local and national health care improvements.”

Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH

Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute Senior Investigator
Former executive director of Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute and former vice president for research and health care innovation of Kaiser Permanente Washington

Biography

Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH, is a senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute. He served as the institute's executive director from 2002 through 2018, as well as vice president for research and health care innovation at Kaiser Permanente Washington from 2017 to 2018.

A general internist, Dr. Larson is a national leader in geriatrics, health services, and clinical research and has been an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine since 2007. He pursues an array of research, ranging from clinical interests such as Alzheimer’s disease and genomics to health services research involving technology assessment, cost-effectiveness analysis, learning health systems, and quality improvement. His research on aging includes a longstanding collaboration between Kaiser Permanente Washington and the University of Washington (UW) called the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study. Among ACT’s many groundbreaking findings:

  • Regular exercise is linked to reduced risk of dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and declines in how well people think.
  • Use of larger amounts of common medications that have strong anticholinergic side effects is linked to higher risks for developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Risk for dementia in old age can be linked to early life factors, such as socioeconomic status, education, and midlife vascular risk factors.
  • Risk for dementia is also tied to high blood sugar levels, even without diabetes.

With colleagues from Duke and  Harvard, Dr. Larson established and now helps lead the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund’s Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory. The Collaboratory sponsors pragmatic clinical trials and aims to improve the way clinical trials are conducted so that patients and care providers have access to the best available clinical evidence for decision-making. Dr. Larson is also the principal investigator for the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) project at KPWHRI and the UW. The goal of eMERGE research is to better understand the genomic basis of disease to tailor medical care to individual patients based on their genomic differences.

Dr. Larson has written or co-authored more than a dozen books, including 2017’s Enlightened Aging: Building Resilience for Long, Active Life, which draws from his decades of work as a physician and the leader of the ACT study. He has also published more than 500 peer-reviewed scientific papers.

Until 2019, Dr. Larson maintained a small but longstanding internal medicine practice. He served as medical director for the UW Medical Center and associate dean for clinical affairs at its medical school from 1989 to 2002. He is a member and past president of the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM), having received their highest honor, the Robert J. Glaser Award, in 2004. Dr. Larson is also a master of the American College of Physicians (ACP) and served on its Board of Regents for nearly a decade, including one term as chair. He was a commissioner on The Joint Commission from 1999 to 2010. 

Research interests and experience

 

Recent publications

Schmidt AF, Holmes MV, Preiss D, Swerdlow DI, Denaxas S, Fatemifar G, Faraway R, Finan C, Valentine D, Fairhurst-Hunter Z, Hartwig FP, Horta BL, Hypponen E, Power C, Moldovan M, van Iperen E, Hovingh K, Demuth I, Norman K, Steinhagen-Thiessen E, Demuth J, Bertram L, Lill CM, Coassin S, Willeit J, Kiechl S, Willeit K, Mason D, Wright J, Morris R, Wanamethee G, Whincup P, Ben-Shlomo Y, McLachlan S, Price JF, Kivimaki M, Welch C, Sanchez-Galvez A, Marques-Vidal P, Nicolaides A, Panayiotou AG, Onland-Moret NC, van der Schouw YT, Matullo G, Fiorito G, Guarrera S, Sacerdote C, Wareham NJ, Langenberg C, Scott RA, Luan J, Bobak M, Malyutina S, Pajak A, Kubinova R, Tamosiunas A, Pikhart H, Grarup N, Pedersen O, Hansen T, Linneberg A, Jess T, Cooper J, Humphries SE, Brilliant M, Kitchner T, Hakonarson H, Carrell DS, McCarty CA, Lester KH, Larson EB, Crosslin DR, de Andrade M, Roden DM, Denny JC, Carty C, Hancock S, Attia J, Holliday E, Scott R, Schofield P, O'Donnell M, Yusuf S, Chong M, Pare G, van der Harst P, Said MA, Eppinga RN, Verweij N, Snieder H; Lifelines Cohort authors, Christen T, Mook-Kanamori DO; ICBP Consortium, Gustafsson S, Lind L, Ingelsson E, Pazoki R, Franco O, Hofman A, Uitterlinden A, Dehghan A, Teumer A, Baumeister S, Dörr M, Lerch MM, Völker U, Völzke H, Ward J, Pell JP, Meade T, Christophersen IE, Maitland-van der Zee AH, Baranova EV, Young R, Ford I, Campbell A, Padmanabhan S, Bots ML, Grobbee DE, Froguel P, Thuillier D, Roussel R, Bonnefond A, Cariou B, Smart M, Bao Y, Kumari M, Mahajan A, Hopewell JC, Seshadri S; METASTROKE Consortium of the ISGC, Dale C, Costa RPE, Ridker PM, Chasman DI, Reiner AP, Ritchie MD, Lange LA, Cornish AJ, Dobbins SE, Hemminki K, Kinnersley B, Sanson M, Labreche K, Simon M, Bondy M, Law P, Speedy H, Allan J, Li N, Went M, Weinhold N, Morgan G, Sonneveld P, Nilsson B, Goldschmidt H, Sud A, Engert A, Hansson M, Hemingway H, Asselbergs FW, Patel RS, Keating BJ, Sattar N, Houlston R, Casas JP, Hingorani AD. Phenome-wide association analysis of LDL-cholesterol lowering genetic variants in PCSK9. BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2019;19(1):240. doi: 10.1186/s12872-019-1187-z. PubMed

Barnes DE, Zhou J, Walker RL, Larson EB, Lee SJ, Boscardin WJ, Marcum ZA, Dublin S. Development and validation of eRADAR: a tool using EHR data to detect unrecognized dementia. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2019 Oct 14. doi: 10.1111/jgs.16182. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Robinson JR, Carroll RJ, Bastarache L, Chen Q, Mou Z, Wei WQ, Connolly JJ, Mentch F, Sleiman P, Crane PK, Hebbring SJ, Stanaway IB, Crosslin DR, Gordon AS, Rosenthal EA, Carrell D, Hayes MG, Wei W, Petukhova L, Namjou B, Zhang G, Safarova MS, Walton NA, Still C, Bottinger EP, Loos RJF, Murphy SN, Jackson GP, Kullo IJ, Hakonarson H, Jarvik GP, Larson EB, Weng C, Roden DM, Denny JC. Association of genetic risk of obesity with postoperative complications using Mendelian randomization. World J Surg. 2019 Oct 11. doi: 10.1007/s00268-019-05202-9. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Dumitrescu L, Barnes LL, Thambisetty M, Beecham G, Kunkle B, Bush WS, Gifford KA, Chibnik LB, Mukherjee S, De Jager PL, Kukull W, Crane PK, Resnick SM, Keene CD, Montine TJ, Schellenberg GD, Deming Y, Chao MJ, Huentelman M, Martin ER, Hamilton-Nelson K, Shaw LM, Trojanowski JQ, Peskind ER, Cruchaga C, Pericak-Vance MA, Goate AM, Cox NJ, Haines JL, Zetterberg H, Blennow K, Larson EB, Johnson SC, Albert M; Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Consortium and the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, Bennett DA, Schneider JA, Jefferson AL, Hohman TJ. Sex differences in the genetic predictors of Alzheimer's pathology. Brain. 2019;142(9):2581-2589. doi: 10.1093/brain/awz206. PubMed

Gordon AS, Rosenthal EA, Carrell DS, Amendola LM, Dorschner MO, Scrol A, Stanaway IB, DeVange S, Ralston JD, Zouk H, Rehm HL, Larson E, Crosslin DR, Leppig KA, Jarvik GP. Rates of actionable genetic findings in individuals with colorectal cancer or polyps ascertained from a community medical setting. Am J Hum Genet. 2019 Aug 8. pii: S0002-9297(19)30275-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.07.012. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Ehlenbach WJ, Sonnen JA, Montine TJ, Larson EB. Association between sepsis and microvascular brain injury. Crit Care Med. 2019 Aug 5. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000003924. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Ehlenbach WJ, Sonnen JA, Montine TJ, Larson EB. Association between sepsis and mocrovascular brain injury. Crit Care Med. 2019 Aug 5. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000003924. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Fishman P, Coe NB, White L, Crane PK, Park S, Ingraham B, Larson EB. Cost of dementia in Medicare managed care: a systematic literature review. Am J Manag Care. 2019;25(8):e247-e253. PubMed

Namjou B, Lingren T, Huang Y, Parameswaran S, Cobb BL, Stanaway IB, Connolly JJ, Mentch FD, Benoit B, Niu X, Wei WQ, Carroll RJ, Pacheco JA, Harley ITW, Divanovic S, Carrell DS, Larson EB, Carey DJ, Verma S, Ritchie MD, Gharavi AG, Murphy S, Williams MS, Crosslin DR, Jarvik GP, Kullo IJ, Hakonarson H, Li R; eMERGE Network, Xanthakos SA, Harley JB. GWAS and enrichment analyses of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease identify new trait-associated genes and pathways across eMERGE Network. BMC Med. 2019 Jul 17;17(1):135. doi: 10.1186/s12916-019-1364-z. PubMed

Bauman J, Gibbons LE, Moore M, Mukherjee S, McCurry SM, McCormick W, Bowen JD, Trittschuh E, Glymour M, Mez J, Saykin AJ, Dams-O'Conner K, Bennett DA, Larson EB, Crane PK. Associations between depression, traumatic brain injury, and cognitively-defined late-onset Alzheimer's disease subgroups. J Alzheimers Dis. 2019 Jun 24. pii: JAD181212. doi: 10.3233/JAD-181212. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

 

kpwhri leadership

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Change and constancy in a time of transition

Dr. Eric Larson reflects on KPWHRI’s incoming leader, the institute’s accomplishments over time, and its sustaining values.

innovating care

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Tackling opioids: Rethinking a ‘medicalized’ approach to pain

Pain is a universal experience for all living creatures. And nearly every person will experience enough chronic pain to seek medical care at some time in their life—so how do we change how we think about and experience it?

aging & geriatrics

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Personalizing care when life expectancy is short

Dr. Eric B. Larson explores how prevention, testing, and treatment must be tailored to meet the needs of patients in late life.

KPWHRI In the Media

Your brain is a reservoir: Replenish it with these 10 healthy habits

Your brain is like a reservoir. Replenish it with healthy activity.

3rd Act magazine, Spring 2019

understanding Alzheimer's

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Every 3 Seconds

Produced by Alzheimer's Disease International (YouTube, 4:39)

KPWHRI In the Media

10 things you can do to prevent devastating falls

Many older adults fall at home in well-lit rooms

Reuters Health, May 30, 2019