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

White L, Fishman P, Basu A, Crane PK, Larson EB, Coe NB. Medicare expenditures attributable to dementia. Health Serv Res. 2019 Aug;54(4):773-781. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.13134. Epub 2019 Mar 13. PubMed

Hart LA, Marcum ZA, Gray SL, Walker RL, Crane PK, Larson EB. The association between central nervous system-active medication use and fall-related injury in community-dwelling older adults with dementia. Pharmacotherapy. 2019 Mar 12. doi: 10.1002/phar.2244. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Lee CS, Larson EB, Gibbons LE, Latimer CS, Rose SE, Hellstern LL, Keene CD, Crane PK; Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) Study. Ophthalmology-based neuropathology risk factors: diabetic retinopathy is associated with deep microinfarcts in a community-based autopsy study. J Alzheimers Dis. 2019 Mar 11. doi: 10.3233/JAD-181087. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Henrikson NB, Blasi PR, Fullerton SM, Grafton J, Leppig KA, Jarvik GP, Larson EB. "It would be so much easier": health system-led genetic risk notification-feasibility and acceptability of cascade screening in an integrated system. J Community Genet. 2019 Mar 6. pii: 10.1007/s12687-019-00412-z. doi: 10.1007/s12687-019-00412-z. [Epub ahead of print]. 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: 10.5993/AJHB.43.2.7. PubMed

Marcum ZA, Hohl SD, Gray SL, Barthold D, Crane PK, Larson EB. Patient perceptions of antihypertensive use as a dementia prevention strategy: a mixed-method analysis of a web-based survey. J Alzheimers Dis. 2019 Feb 20. pii: JAD181080. doi: 10.3233/JAD-181080. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

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 Mar;51(3):452-469. doi: 10.1038/s41588-018-0334-2. Epub 2019 Feb 18. 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

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

Lee W, Gray SL, Barthold D, Crane PK, Larson EB, Marcum ZA. Do patient concerns about antihypertensive use for dementia prevention vary by current use of antihypertensive? Patient Prefer Adherence. 2019 Oct 23;13:1809-1815. doi: 10.2147/PPA.S216088. eCollection 2019. 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.

KPWHRI In the Media

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

Sleep problems in older adults linked to cognitive decline and dementia

Reuters, Jan 17, 2020

understanding Alzheimer's

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Every 3 Seconds

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

KPWHRI In the Media

Targeting risk factors could prevent 1 in 3 dementia cases

What science tells us about preventing dementia

Wall Street Journal, Nov 17, 2019