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

Senior Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute
Professor of Health Services, Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine
Former Executive Director, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute
Former Vice President, Research and Health Care Innovation, 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

Park S, Larson EB, Fishman P, White L, Coe NB. Differences in health care utilization, process of diabetes care, care satisfaction, and health status in patients with diabetes in Medicare Advantage versus traditional Medicare. Med Care. 2020 Nov;58(11):1004-1012. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000001390. PubMed

Rosenberg D, Walker R, Greenwood-Hickman MA, Bellettiere J, Xiang Y, Richmire K, Higgins M, Wing D, Larson EB, Crane PK, LaCroix AZ. Device-assessed physical activity and sedentary behavior in a community-based cohort of older adults. BMC Public Health. 2020 Aug 18;20(1):1256. doi: 10.1186/s12889-020-09330-z. PubMed

Kawai VK, Shi M, Feng Q, Chung CP, Liu G, Cox NJ, Jarvik GP, Lee MTM, Hebbring SJ, Harley JB, Kaufman KM, Namjou B, Larson E, Gordon AS, Roden DM, Stein CM, Mosley JD; eMERGE investigators. Pleiotropy in the genetic predisposition to rheumatoid arthritis - a phenome-wide association study and inverse-variance weighted meta-analysis. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2020 Sep;72(9):1483-1492. doi: 10.1002/art.41291. Epub 2020 Aug 6. PubMed

Livingston G, Huntley J, Sommerlad A, Ames D, Ballard C, Banerjee S, Brayne C, Burns A, Cohen-Mansfield J, Cooper C, Costafreda SG, Dias A, Fox N, Gitlin LN, Howard R, Kales HC, Kivimäki M, Larson EB, Ogunniyi A, Orgeta V, Ritchie K, Rockwood K, Sampson EL, Samus Q, Schneider LS, Selbæk G, Teri L, Mukadam N. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. Lancet. 2020;396(10248):413-446. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30367-6. Epub 2020 Jul 30. PubMed

Grossman DC, Larson EB, Sox HC. Integrating personalized medicine with population health management: the path forward. JAMA. 2020 Jul 30. doi: 10.1001/jama.2020.1406. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Thomas M, Sakoda LC, Hoffmeister M, Rosenthal EA, Lee JK, van Duijnhoven FJB, Platz EA, Wu AH, Dampier CH, de la Chapelle A, Wolk A, Joshi AD, Burnett-Hartman A, Gsur A, Lindblom A, Castells A, Win AK, Namjou B, Van Guelpen B, Tangen CM, He Q, Li CI, Schafmayer C, Joshu CE, Ulrich CM, Bishop DT, Buchanan DD, Schaid D, Drew DA, Muller DC, Duggan D, Crosslin DR, Albanes D, Giovannucci EL, Larson E, Qu F, Mentch F, Giles GG, Hakonarson H, Hampel H, Stanaway IB, Figueiredo JC, Huyghe JR, Minnier J, Chang-Claude J, Hampe J, Harley JB, Visvanathan K, Curtis KR, Offit K, Li L, Le Marchand L, Vodickova L, Gunter MJ, Jenkins MA, Slattery ML, Lemire M, Woods MO, Song M, Murphy N, Lindor NM, Dikilitas O, Pharoah PDP, Campbell PT, Newcomb PA, Milne RL, MacInnis RJ, Castellví-Bel S, Ogino S, Berndt SI, Bézieau S, Thibodeau SN, Gallinger SJ, Zaidi SH, Harrison TA, Keku TO, Hudson TJ, Vymetalkova V, Moreno V, Martín V, Arndt V, Wei WQ, Chung W, Su YR, Hayes RB, White E, Vodicka P, Casey G, Gruber SB, Schoen RE, Chan AT, Potter JD, Brenner H, Jarvik GP, Corley DA, Peters U, Hsu L. Genome-wide modeling of polygenic risk score in colorectal cancer risk. Am J Hum Genet. 2020 Jul 29:S0002-9297(20)30236-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.07.006. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Fishman PA, White L, Ingraham B, Park S, Larson EB, Crane P, Coe NB. Health care costs of Alzheimer's and related dementias within a Medicare managed care provider. Med Care. 2020 Jul 23. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000001380. Online ahead of print. PubMed

Marcum ZA, Rosenberg D, Barnes DE, Yaffe K, Larson EB. Engaging patients to design the Systematic Multi-Domain Alzheimer's Risk Reduction Trial (SMARRT) intervention: findings from a web-based survey. J Alzheimers Dis Rep. 2020 Jul 23;4(1):255-260. doi: 10.3233/ADR-200210. PubMed

Tuzzio L, Hanson LR, Reuben DB, Baier RR, Gurwitz JH, Bayliss EA, Williamson J, Fraser JR, Sherman SJ, Larson EB. Transforming dementia care through pragmatic clinical trials embedded in learning healthcare systems. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2020;68 Suppl 2:S43-S48. doi: 10.1111/jgs.16629. PubMed

Tom SE, Phadke M, Hubbard RA, Crane PK, Stern Y, Larson EB. Association of demographic and early-life socioeconomic factors by birth cohort with dementia incidence among US adults born between 1893 and 1949. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(7):e2011094. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.11094. PubMed

 

ACT Study news

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Healthy aging: New tool for research and collaboration

Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) Study launches a new website to advance our understanding of brain aging.

Healthy Findings Blog

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Practice acceptance when change or adversity strike

At any age — but especially later in life — adapting and seeking assistance when we need it can help through tough times.

Healthy aging

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Lessons about aging from COVID-19

Eric Larson, MD, MPH, shares ways to reduce social isolation and loneliness, no matter the cause.

Research

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Cataract surgery linked with lessened dementia risk

JAMA Internal Medicine study finds cataract surgery associated with 30% lower risk of dementia in aging population.

KPWHRI In the Media

Dr. Eric Larson interviewed about new research based on ACT Study data

Cataract surgery may reduce the risk of dementia, study finds

Oregon Public Broadcasting, Jan. 4, 2022

ACT Study

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Roundup of 3 recent studies on dementia risk

Researchers explore links between hearing loss, military service, and cognitive decline — and look at timeliness of diagnosis.

KPWHRI in the Media

Research from the ACT Study, co-led by Eric Larson, MD, MPH, links cataract surgery to a lower risk of dementia.

Cataract surgery associated with lower risk of dementia

The Seattle Times, Dec. 13, 2021