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

Justice AE, Karader T, Highland HM, Young KL, Graff M, Lu Y, Turcot V, Auer PL, Fine RS, Guo X, Schurmann C, Lempradl A, Marouli E, Anubha Mahajan, Thomas W Winkler, Adam E Locke, Carolina Medina-Gomez, Tõnu Esko, Sailaja Vedantam, Ayush Giri, Ken Sin Lo, Alfred , Mudgal P, Ng MCY, Heard-Costa NL, Feitosa MF, Manning AK, Willems SM, Sivapalaratnam S, Abecasis G, Alam DS, Allison M, Amouyel P, Arzumanyan Z, Balkau B, Bastarache L, Bergmann S, Bielak LF, Blüher M, Boehnke M, Boeing H, Boerwinkle E, Böger CA, Bork-Jensen J, Bottinger EP, Bowden DW, Brandslund I, Broer L, Burt AA, Butterworth AS, Caulfield MJ, Cesana G, Chambers JC, Chasman DI, Chen YDI, Chowdhury R, Christensen C, Chu AY, Collins FS, Cook JP, Cox AJ, Crosslin DS, Danesh J, de Bakker PIW, de Denus S, de Mutsert R, Dedoussis G, Demerath EW, Dennis JG, Denny JC, Di Angelantonio E, Dörr M, Drenos F, Dubé MP, Dunning AM, Easton DF, Elliott P, Evangelou E, Farmaki AE, Feng S, Ferrannini E, Ferrieres J, Florez JC, Fornage M, Fox CS, Franks PW, Friedrich N, Gan W, Gandin I, Gasparini P, Giedraitis V, Girotto G, Gorski M, Grallert H, Grarup N, Grove ML, Gustafsson S, Haessler J, Hansen T, Hattersley AT, Hayward C, Heid IM, Holmen OL, Hovingh GK, Howson JMM, Hu Y, Hung YJ, Hveem K, Ikram MA, Ingelsson E, Jackson AU, Jarvik GP, Jia Y, Jørgensen T, Jousilahti P, ustesen JM, Kahali B, Karaleftheri M, Kardia SLR, Karpe F, Kee F, Kitajima H, Komulainen P, Kooner JS, Kovacs P, Krämer BK, Kuulasmaa K, Kuusisto J, Laakso M, Lakka TA, Lamparter D, Lange LA, Langenberg C, Larson EB, Lee NR, Lee W, Lehtimäki T, Lewis CE, Li H, Li J, Li-Gao R, Lin LA, Lin X, Lind L, Lindström J, Linneberg A, Ching-Ti Liu, Liu DJ, Luan J, Lyytikäinen LP, MacGregor S, Mägi R, Männistö S, Marenne G, Marten J, Masca NGD, McCarthy MI, Meidtner K, Mihailov E, Moilanen L, Moitry M, Mook-Kanamori DO, Morgan A, Morris AP, Nurasyid MM, Munroe PB, Narisu N, Nelson CP, Neville M, Ntalla I, O'Connel JR, Owen KR, Pedersen O, Peloso GM, Pennell CE, Perola M, Perry JA, Perry JRB, Pers TH, Pirie A, Polasek O, Raitakari OT, Rasheed A, Raulerson CK, Rauramaa R, Reilly DF, Reiner AP, Ridker PM, Rivas MA, Robertson NR, Robino A, Rudan I, Ruth KS, Saleheen D, Salomaa V, Samani NJ, Schreiner PJ, Schulze MB, Scott RA, Segura-Lepe MP, Sim X, Slater AJ, Small KS, Smith BH, Smith JA, Southam L, Spector TD, Speliotes EK, Stefansson K, Steinthorsdottir V, Stirrups KE, Strauch K, Stringham HM, Stumvoll M, Sun L, Surendran P, Swart KMA, Tardif JC, Taylor KD, Teumer A, Thompson DJ, Thorleifsson G, Thorsteinsdottir U, Thuesen BH, Tönjes A, Mina Torres M, Emmanouil Tsafantakis E, Tuomilehto J, Uitterlinden AG, Uusitupa M, van Duijn CM, Mauno Vanhala M, Varma R, Vermeulen SH, Vestergaard H, Vitart V, Vogt TF, Vuckovic D, Wagenknecht LE, Walker M, Wallentin L, Wang F, Wang CA, Wang S, Wareham NJ, Warren HR, Waterworth DM, Wessel J, White HD, Willer CJ, Wilson JG, Wood AR, Wu Y, Yaghootkar H, Yao J, Yerges-Armstrong LM, Young R, Zeggini E, Zhan X, Zhang W, Zhao JH, Zhao W, Zheng H, Zhou W, Carola Zillikens MC, CHD Exome+ Consortium, EPIC CVD Consortium, ExomeBP Consortium, Global Lipids Genetic Consortium, GoT2D Genes Consortium, InterAct, ReproGen Consortium, T2D Genes Consortium, The MAGIC Investigators, Rivadeneira F, Borecki IB, Pospisilik JA, Deloukas P, Frayling TM, Lettre G, Mohlke KL, Rotter JI, Kutalik Z, Hirschhorn JN, Cupples LA, Loos RJF, North KE, Lindgren CM. Protein-coding variants implicate novel genes related to lipid homeostasis contributing to body fat distribution. Nat Genet. 2019 Feb 18. doi: 10.1038/s41588-018-0334-2. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Marcum ZA, Walker RL, Jones BL, Ramaprasan A, Gray SL, Dublin S, Crane PK, Larson EB. Patterns of antihypertensive and statin adherence prior to dementia: findings from the Adult Changes in Thought study. BMC Geriatr. 2019;19(1):41. doi: 10.1186/s12877-019-1058-6. PubMed

Marcum ZA, Hohl SD, Gray SL, Barthold D, Crane PK, Larson EB. Brain health and dementia prevention:a mixed-method analysis. Am J Health Behav. 2019;43(2):300-310. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5993/AJHB.43.2.7. PubMed

Salem JE, Shoemaker MB, Bastarache L, Shaffer CM, Glazer AM, Kroncke B, Wells QS, Shi M, Straub P, Jarvik GP, Larson EB, Velez Edwards DR, Edwards TL, Davis LK, Hakonarson H, Weng C, Fasel D, Knollmann BC, Wang TJ, Denny JC, Ellinor PT, Roden DM, Mosley JD. Association of thyroid function genetic predictors with atrial fibrillation: a phenome-wide association study and inverse-variance weighted average meta-analysis. JAMA Cardiol. 2019 Jan 23. doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2018.4615. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Safarova MS, Satterfield BA, Fan X, Austin EE, Ye Z, Bastarache L, Zheng N, Ritchie MD, Borthwick KM, Williams MS, Larson EB, Scrol A, Jarvik GP, Crosslin DR, Leppig K, Rasmussen-Torvik LJ, Pendergrass SA, Sturm AC, Namjou B, Shah AS, Carroll RJ, Chung WK, Wei WQ, Feng Q, Stein CM, Roden DM, Manolio TA, Schaid DJ, Denny JC, Hebbring SJ, de Andrade M, Kullo IJ. A phenome-wide association study to discover pleiotropic effects of PCSK9, APOB, and LDLR. NPJ Genom Med. 2019 Feb 11;4:3. doi: 10.1038/s41525-019-0078-7. eCollection 2019. PubMed

Tuzzio L, Larson EB, Chambers DA, Coronado GD, Curtis LH, Weber WJ, Zatzick DF, Meyers CM. Pragmatic clinical trials offer unique opportunities for disseminating, implementing, and sustaining evidence-based practices into clinical care: proceedings of a workshop. Healthc (Amst). 2018 Dec 26. pii: S2213-0764(18)30060-5. doi: 10.1016/j.hjdsi.2018.12.003. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

 

Notes from Eric

Tackling opioids: Rethinking pain management

Kaiser Permanente Washington can use its expertise in non-drug pain management to advance alternatives to the "medicalized" approach.

Addressing economic disparity while growing membership: Lowering cost is essential

It's time for Kaiser Permanente Washington to make smaller premiums a key performance metric.

6 ideas from the Mister Rogers movie that apply to health care

Dr. Eric B. Larson writes about how Fred Rogers' radical notions of love and kindness might inspire the best from those working in health care and health research.

Read it in LinkedIn Pulse.

latest News

Eye conditions may help screen for Alzheimer’s disease

Aug. 8, 2018—Age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma could be new lens on dementia risk.

Read it in News and Events.

KPWHRI In the Media

ACT study: Long-running study of aging examines changes in Kaiser Permanente patients over time

New thinking on avoiding deadly falls

AARP, July 10, 2018

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

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.