Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH

“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, MACP

Vice President for Research and Health Care Innovation, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington
Executive Director and Senior Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Biography

Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH, is executive director of Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) and vice president for research and health care innovation at Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington. 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.

Dr. Larson 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, 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 mid-life vascular risk factors.
  • Risk for dementia is also tied to blood sugar levels, even without diabetes.

With colleagues from Duke and  Harvard, , Dr. Larson  started and now helps lead the National Institutes of Health (NIH) 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.

Dr. Larson maintains a small but long-standing 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 their 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

Edlow BL, Keene CD, Perl D, Iacono D, Folkerth R, Stewart W, MacDonald CL, Augustinack J, Diaz-Arrastia R, Estrada C, Flannery E, Gordon W, Grabowski T, Hansen K, Hoffman J, Kroenke C, Larson E, Lee P, Mareyam A, McNab JA, McPhee J, Moreau AL, Renz A, Richmire K, Stevens A, Tang CY, Tirrell LS, Trittschuh E, van der Kouwe A, Varjabedian A, Wald LL, Wu O, Yendiki A, Young L, Zollei L, Fischl B, Crane PK, Dams-O'Connor K. Multimodal characterization of the Late Effects of TBI (LETBI): a methodological overview of the LETBI project. J Neurotrauma. 2018 Feb 8. doi: 10.1089/neu.2017.5457. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Rane S, Koh N, Boord P, Madhyastha T, Askren MK, Jayadev S, Cholerton B, Larson E, Grabowski TJ. Quantitative cerebrovascular pathology in a community-based cohort of older adults. Neurobiol Aging. 2018 Jan 31;65:77-85. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2018.01.006. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Bagi Z, Brandner DD, Le P, McNeal DW, Gong X, Dou H, Fulton DJ, Beller A, Ngyuen T, Larson EB, Montine TJ, Keene CD, Back SA. Vasodilator dysfunction and oligodendrocyte dysmaturation in aging white matter. Ann Neurol. 2017 Dec 28. doi: 10.1002/ana.25129. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Wang L, Hubbard RA, Walker RL, Lee EB, Larson EB, Crane PK. Assessing robustness of hazard ratio estimates to outcome misclassification in longitudinal panel studies with application to Alzheimer's disease. PLoS One. 2017 Dec 22;12(12):e0190107. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0190107. eCollection 2017. PubMed

Turcot V, Lu Y, Highland HM, Schurmann C, Justice AE, Fine RS, Bradfield JP, Esko T, Giri A, Graff M, Hendricks AE, Karaderi T, Lempradl AM, Locke AE, Mahajan A, Manning AK, Marouli E, Medina-Gomez C, Reiner AP, Sivapalaratnam S, Winkler TW, Young KL, Alfred T, Feitosa MF, Masca NGD, Mudgal P, Ng MCY, Vedantam S, Willems SM, Abecasis G, Alam DS, Alharthi SE, Allison M, Amouyel P, Asselbergs FW, Auer PL, Balkau B, Bang LE, Barroso I, Bastarache L, Benn M, Bergmann S, Bielak LF, Blüher M, Boehnke M, Boeing H, Boerwinkle E, Böger CA, Bork-Jensen J, Bots ML, Bottinger EP, Bowden DW, Brandslund I, Breen G, Brilliant MH, Broer L, Brumat M, Burt AA, Butterworth AS, Campbell PT, Cappellani S, Carey DJ, Catamo E, Caulfield MJ, Chambers JC, Chasman DI, Chen YDI, Chowdhury R, Christensen C, Chu AY, Cocca M, Collins FS, Cook JP, Corley J, Galbany JC, Cox AJ, Crosslin DS, Cuellar-Partida G, D'Eustacchio A, Danesh J, Davies G, de Bakker PIW, de Groot MCH, de Mutsert R, Deary IJ, Dedoussis G, Demerath EW, den Heijer M, den Hollander AI, den Ruijter HM, Dennis JG, Denny JC, Di Angelantonio E, Drenos F, Du M, Dubé MP, Dunning AM, Easton DF, Edwards TL, Ellinor PT, Elliott P, Evangelou E, Farmaki AE, Farooqi IS, Faul JD, Fauser S, Feng S, Ferrannini E, Ferrieres J, Florez JC, Ford I, Fornage M, Franco OH, Franks PW, Friedrich N, Frikke-Schmidt R, Gan W, Gandin I, Gasparini P, Gibson J, Giedraitis V, Gjesing AP, Gordon-Larsen P, Gorski M, Grabe HJ, Grant SFA, Grarup N, Griffiths HL, Grove ML, Gudnason V, Guo X, Gustafsson S, Haessler J, Hakonarson H, Hammerschlag AR, Hansen T, Harris KM, Harris TB, Hattersley AT, Have CT, Hayward C, He L, Heard-Costa NL, Heath AC, Heid IM, Helgeland Ø, Hernesniemi J, Hewitt AW, Holmen OL, Hovingh GK, Howson JMM, Hu Y, Huang PL, Huffman JE, Ikram MA, Ingelsson E, Jackson AU, Jansson JH, Jarvik GP, Jensen GB, Jia Y, Johansson S, Jørgensen ME, Jørgensen T, Jukema JW, Kahali B, Kahn RS, Kähönen M, Kamstrup PR, Kanoni S, Kaprio J, Karaleftheri M, Kardia SLR, Karpe F, Kathiresan S, Kee F, Kim E, Kitajima H, Kluivers KB, Komulainen P, Kooner JS, Kooperberg C, Korhonen T, Kovacs P, Kuivaniemi H, Kutalik Z, Kuulasmaa K, Kuusisto J, Laaksom M, Lakka TA, Lamparter D, Lange EM, Lange LA, Langenberg C, Larson EB, Lee NR, Lehtimäki T, Lewis CE, Li X, Li J, Li-Gao R, Lin H, Lin KH, Lin LA, Lin X, Lind L, Lindström J, Linneberg A, Liu CT, Liu DJ, Liu Y, Lo KS, Lophatananon A, Lotery AJ, Loukola A, Luan J, Lubitz SA, Lyytikäinen LP, Männistö S, Marenne G, Mazul AL, McCarthy MI, McKean-Cowdin R, Medland SE, Meidtner K, Mihailov E, Milani L, Mistry V, Mitchell P, Mohlke KL, Moilanen L, Moitry M, Montgomery GW, Mook-Kanamori DO, Moore C, Mori TA, Morris AD, Morris AP, Müller-Nurasyid M, Munroe PB, Nalls MA, Narisu N, Nelson CP, Neville M, Nielsen SF, Nikus K, Njølstad PR, Nordestgaard BG, Nyholt DR, O'Connel JR, Loohuis LMO, Ophoff RA, Owen KR, Packard CJ, Padmanabhan S, Palmer CNA, Palmer ND, Pasterkamp G, Patel AP, Pattie A, Pedersen O, Peissig PL, Peloso GM, Pennell CE, Perola M, Perry JA, Perry JRB, Pers TH, Person TN, Peters A, Petersen ERB, Peyser PA, Pirie A, Polasek O, Polderman TJ, Posthuma D, Puolijoki H, Raitakari OT, Rasheed A, Rauramaa R, Reilly DF, Renström F, Rheinberger M, Ridker PM, Rioux JD, Rivas MA, Roberts DJ, Robertson NR, Robino A, Rolandsson O, Rotter JI, Igor Rudan, Ruth KS, Saleheen D, Salomaa V, Samani NJ, Sapkota SY, Sattar N, Schoen RE, Scholte SH, Schreiner PJ, Schulze MB, Scott RA, Segura-Lepe MP, Shah S, Sheu WHH, Sim X, Slater AJ, Small KS, Smith AV, Southam L, Spector TD, Speliotes EK, Starr JM, Stefansson K, Steinthorsdottir V, Stirrups KE, Strauch K, Stringham HM, Stumvoll M, Sun L, Surendran P, Swift AJ, Tada H, Tansey KE, Tardif JC, Taylor KD, Teumer A, Thompson DJ, Thorleifsson G, Thorsteinsdottir U, Thuesen BH, Tönjes A, Tromp G, Trompet S, Tsafantakis E, Tuomilehto J, Tybjaerg-Hansen A, Tyrer JP, Uher R, Uitterlinden AG, Uusitupa M, van der Laan SW, van Duijn CM, van Leeuwen N, van Setten J, Vanhala M, Varbo A, Varga TV, Varma R, Velez Edwards DR, Vermeulen SH, Veronesi G, Vestergaard H, Vitart V, Vogt TF, Völker U, Vuckovic D, Wagenknecht LE, Walker M, Wallentin L, Wang F, Wang CA, Wang S, Wang Y, Ware EB, Wareham NJ, Warren HR, Waterworth DM, Wessel J, White HD, Willer CJ, Wilson JG, Witte DR, Wood AR, Wu Y, Yaghootkar H, Yao J, Yao P, Yerges-Armstrong LM, Young R, Zeggini E, Zhan X, Zhang W, Zhao JH, Zhao W, Zhao W, Zhou W, Zondervan KT, CHD Exome+ Consortium, EPIC-CVD Consortium, ExomeBP Consortium, Global Lipids Genetic Consortium, GoT2D Genes Consortium, InterAct, INTERVAL Study, ReproGen Consortium, T2D-Genes Consortium, The MAGIC Investigators, Understanding Society Scientific Group, Pospisilik JA, Rivadeneira F, Borecki IB, Deloukas P, Frayling TM, Lettre G, North KE, Lindgren CM, Hirschhorn JN, Loos RJF. Protein-altering variants associated with body mass index implicate pathways that control energy intake and expenditure underpinning obesity. Nat Genet. 2018 Jan;50(1):26-41. doi: 10.1038/s41588-017-0011-x. Epub 2017 Dec 22. PubMed

Larson EB. Prevention of late-life dementia: no magic bullet. Ann Intern Med. 2017 Dec 19. pii: 2666421. doi: 10.7326/M17-3026. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

 

KPWHRI In the Media

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

Too good to be true? Experts clash on whether hitting the gym helps the brain

STAT News, Jan. 19, 2018

Brain Health

A sure-fire prediction for Super Bowl LII

We don’t know who will win the 52nd Super Bowl, but thanks to research, we’re certain repeated head hits cause lasting risks.

Read it in Healthy Findings.

KPWHRI In the Media

Aging and Geriatrics

Exercise, pills, brain training show little hard evidence of slowing dementia

Reuters, Dec. 18, 2017

KPWHRI In the Media

10 things you can do to prevent devastating falls

How to prevent falls in older adults

Consumer Reports, Nov. 7, 2017 

Live Healthy

10 things you can do to prevent devastating falls

A new study shows we know how to stop the leading cause of injury among older people, writes Dr. Eric B. Larson. All we have to do is use that knowledge.

Read about it in Live Healthy.

KPWHRI In the Media

Aging & Geriatrics

Consensus lacking on lifestyle and dementia

ACP Internist, October 2017

KPWHRI In the Media

Enlightened Aging book

Close Up: Dr. Eric B. Larson

The People of SPH (University of Washington School of Public Health) October 2017

KPWHRI In the Media

Enlightened Aging book

Seattle doctor reveals secrets of aging well

Seattle magazine, Sep. 20, 2017

Enlightened Aging

Proactive boomers will ‘choose their own adventure’ in growing old

In an excerpt from his new book, Enlightened Aging, Dr. Eric B. Larson encourages his generation to build reserves for a long life ahead.

Read it in Enlightened Aging