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

Marcum ZA, Hohl SD, Barthold D, Zaslavsky O, Larson EB, Gray SL. Beliefs about benefits and harms of medications and supplements for brain health. Prev Med Rep. 2020 Jan 25;17:101060. doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2020.101060. eCollection 2020. PubMed

Reiman EM, Arboleda-Velasquez JF, Quiroz YT, Huentelman MJ, Beach TG, Caselli RJ, Chen Y, Su Y, Myers AJ, Hardy J, Paul Vonsattel J, Younkin SG, Bennett DA, De Jager PL, Larson EB, Crane PK, Keene CD, Kamboh MI, Kofler JK, Duque L, Gilbert JR, Gwirtsman HE, Buxbaum JD, Dickson DW, Frosch MP, Ghetti BF, Lunetta KL, Wang LS, Hyman BT, Kukull WA, Foroud T, Haines JL, Mayeux RP, Pericak-Vance MA, Schneider JA, Trojanowski JQ, Farrer LA, Schellenberg GD, Beecham GW, Montine TJ, Jun GR; Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Consortium. Exceptionally low likelihood of Alzheimer's dementia in APOE2 homozygotes from a 5,000-person neuropathological study. Nat Commun. 2020;11(1):667. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-14279-8. PubMed

Bustamante AC, Opron K, Ehlenbach WJ, Larson EB, Crane PK, Keene CD, Standiford TJ, Singer BH. Transcriptomic profiles of sepsis in the human brain. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2020 Jan 15. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201909-1713LE. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Lee CM, Woodward M, Batty GD, Beiser AS, Bell S, Berr C, Bjertness E, Chalmers J, Clarke R, Dartigues JF, Davis-Plourde K, Debette S, Di Angelantonio E, Feart C, Frikke-Schmidt R, Gregson J, Haan MN, Hassing LB, Hayden KM, Hoevenaar-Blom MP, Kaprio J+++. Association of anthropometry and weight change with risk of dementia and its major subtypes: A meta-analysis consisting 2.8 million adults with 57 294 cases of dementia. LID - 10.1111/obr.12989 [doi] Obes Rev. 2020 Jan 3. doi: 10.1111/obr.12989 [Epub ahead of print] PubMed

Park S, Fishman P, White L, Larson EB, Coe NB. Disease-Specific Plan Switching Between Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage. LID - 10.7812/TPP/19.059 [doi] Perm J. 2020;24. pii: 19.059. doi: 10.7812/TPP/19.059. Epub 2019 Nov 22. PubMed

Gray SL, Marcum ZA, Dublin S, Walker R, Golchin N, Rosenberg DE, Bowles EJ, Crane P, Larson EB. Medications acting on the central nervous system and fall-related injuries in community dwelling older adults: a new user cohort study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2019 Nov 22. pii: 5637925. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glz270. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

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 Oct 29;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

 

2019 birnbaum lecture

Strengthen primary care: A clip from the Birnbaum Lecture

Strengthen primary care: An excerpt from the lecture

Watch a clip of Dr. Eric Larson’s talk, “The Affordability Imperative: Delivering on the Promise of Health and Health Care for All.”

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.

understanding Alzheimer's

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Every 3 Seconds

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

KPWHRI In the Media

Seattle team to build hi-res brain map of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer's researchers go back to basics to find the best way forward

NPR, Jun 25, 2020