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

Richesson RL, Marsolo KS, Douthit BJ, Staman K, Ho PM, Dailey D, Boyd AD, McTigue KM, Ezenwa MO, Schlaeger JM, Patil CL, Faurot KR, Tuzzio L, Larson EB, O'Brien EC, Zigler CK, Lakin JR, Pressman AR, Braciszewski JM, Grudzen C, Fiol GD. Enhancing the use of EHR systems for pragmatic embedded research: lessons from the NIH Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021 Oct 1:ocab202. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocab202. Online ahead of print. PubMed

Barthold D, Gibbons LE, Marcum ZA, Gray SL, Dirk Keene C, Grabowski TJ, Postupna N, Larson EB, Crane PK. Alzheimer's Disease-Related Neuropathology Among Patients with Medication Treated Type 2 Diabetes in a Community-Based Autopsy Cohort. LID - 10.3233/JAD-210059 [doi] J Alzheimers Dis. 2021 Aug 14. doi: 10.3233/JAD-210059 [Epub ahead of print] PubMed

Greenwood-Hickman MA, Walker R, Bellettiere J, LaCroix AZ, Kim B, Wing D, Richmire K, Crane PK, Larson EB, Rosenberg DE. Associations between perceived neighborhood walkability and device-based physical activity and sedentary behavior patterns in older adults. J Aging Phys Act. 2021 Aug 13:1-9. doi: 10.1123/japa.2020-0387. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Liu C, Zeinomar N, Chung WK, Kiryluk K, Gharavi AG, Hripcsak G, Crew KD, Shang N, Khan A, Fasel D, Manolio TA, Jarvik GP, Rowley R, Justice AE, Rahm AK, Fullerton SM, Smoller JW, Larson EB, Crane PK, Dikilitas O, Wiesner GL, Bick AG, Terry MB, Weng C. Generalizability of polygenic risk scores for breast cancer among women with European, African, and Latinx ancestry. JAMA Netw Open. 2021 Aug 2;4(8):e2119084. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.19084. PubMed

Shaffer RM, Blanco MN, Li G, Adar SD, Carone M, Szpiro AA, Kaufman JD, Larson TV, Larson EB, Crane PK, Sheppard L. Fine particulate matter and dementia incidence in the Adult Changes in Thought study. Environ Health Perspect. 2021 Aug;129(8):87001. doi: 10.1289/EHP9018. Epub 2021 Aug 4. PubMed

Satterfield BA, Dikilitas O, Safarova MS, Clarke SL, Tcheandjieu C, Zhu X, Bastarache L, Larson EB, Justice AE, Shang N, Rosenthal EA, Shah A, Namjou-Khales B, Urbina EM, Wei WQ, Feng Q, Jarvik GP, Hebbring SJ, de Andrade M, Manolio TA, Assimes TL, Kullo IJ. Associations of genetically predicted lipoprotein (a) levels with cardiovascular traits in individuals of European and African Ancestry. Circ Genom Precis Med. 2021 Jul 20. doi: 10.1161/CIRCGEN.120.003354. Online ahead of print. PubMed

Tabio L, Walker R, Crane PK, Gibbons LE, Kumar R, Power MC, Kelley AS, Larson EB, Dams-O'Connor K. Association of lifetime TBI and military employment with late-life ADL functioning: a population-based prospective cohort study. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2021 Jul 17:S0003-9993(21)00509-8. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2021.06.018. Online ahead of print. PubMed

Tuzzio L, Meyers CM, Dember LM, Grudzen CR, Melnick ER, Staman KL, Huang SS, Richards J, DeBar L, Vazquez MA, Green BB, Coronado GD, Jarvik JG, Braciszewski J, Ho M, Wells BL, James K, Toto R, D'Onofrio G, Volandes A, Kuklinski MR, Catalano RF, Sterling SA, Morse EF, Curtis L, Larson EB. Accounting for quality improvement during the conduct of embedded pragmatic clinical trials within healthcare systems: NIH collaboratory case studies. Healthc (Amst). 2021 Jun;8 Suppl 1:100432. doi: 10.1016/j.hjdsi.2020.100432. Epub 2021 Jun 23. PubMed

Ho JK, Moriarty F, Manly JJ, Larson EB, Evans DA, Rajan KB, Hudak EM, Hassan L, Liu E, Sato N, Hasebe N, Laurin D, Carmichael PH, Nation DA. Blood-Brain Barrier Crossing Renin-Angiotensin Drugs and Cognition in the Elderly: A Meta-Analysis. Hypertension. 2021 Jun 21:HYPERTENSIONAHA12117049. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.121.17049 [Epub ahead of print] PubMed

Lee CS, Laitmer CS, Henriksen JC, Blazes M, Larson EB, Crane PK, Keene CD, Lee AY. Application of deep learning to understand resilience to Alzheimer's disease pathology. Brain Pathol. 2021 May 19:e12974. doi: 10.1111/bpa.12974. Online ahead of print. PubMed

 

Live Healthy

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Deprescribing: Less may be more

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

New funding

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Grant of over $55M to boost Alzheimer’s, dementia study

Kaiser Permanente Washington will co-lead an expanded ACT Program to better understand the aging brain.

KPWHRI In the Media

In his quarterly column, Eric Larson, MD, MPH, discusses the risk of over-diagnosis and over-treatment for older adults.

The benefits of slow medicine

3rd Act magazine, Fall 2021 (published in August)

Research

ATN brain scan image

Study evaluates biomarker criteria for Alzheimer’s risk

One-third of people classified as ‘highest risk’ may not develop Alzheimer’s disease, study suggests

KPWHRI In the Media

Healthy aging: Building the path to resilience

How to have a healthier relationship with bedtime

3rd Act magazine, Feb/March issue, 2021