Rod Walker, MS, has developed a diverse research portfolio in his 10+ years working as a biostatistician at KPWHRI. His varied interests have led to collaborations in women's health, cancer, aging and geriatrics, pharmacoepidemiology, opioids research, and mental health. During his tenure he has served as an analyst for the Statistical Coordinating Center for the National Cancer Institute's Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium, evaluated the impact of health system initiatives to reduce risk associated with chronic opioid therapy prescribing, and investigated potential associations between different medications classes and a wide range of outcomes such as pneumonia, fall-related injury, and dementia.
One of Mr. Walker’s longest-running collaborations is with the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study, an ongoing longitudinal cohort study seeking to bolster knowledge of risk factors related to dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and healthy aging. As this project and related studies have grown, he has contributed to analyses of associations between medication use and laboratory values and cognitive outcomes within this cohort of older adults, extended this research to associations with neuropathology measures among autopsied individuals, and helped process and analyze activity monitoring data generated from devices worn by ACT participants. Continued collaboration with ACT-related investigators is a highlight of his research at KPWHRI, as the ACT study provides many avenues for increasing public health knowledge of issues relevant for older adults.
A relatively new area of collaboration for Mr. Walker is with researchers from the Mental Health Research Network seeking to use information captured in electronic health records to predict risk of suicide attempt and suicide death. He has appreciated learning from other investigators and biostatisticians on this project, expanding his knowledge in machine learning and risk prediction, as well as in potential issues surrounding health informatics and implementation of tools into clinical workflows. He looks forward to continued opportunities within this research area to address important public health issues in mental and behavioral health.
Survival and longitudinal data analysis; epidemiology; machine learning; two-phase sampling
Biostatistics; cognitive health and dementia; neuropathologic correlates of dementia; factors associated with healthy aging
Biostatistics; suicide risk prediction; interventions for risk reduction; machine learning and health informatics
Biostatistics; pharmacoepidemiology; medication safety in older adults; opioids and chronic pain
Goldman LE, Walker R, Miglioretti DL, Smith-Bindman R, Kerlikowske K. Facility characteristics do not explain higher false-positive rates in diagnostic mammography at facilities serving vulnerable women. Med Care. 2012 Mar;50(3):210-6. PubMed
Buist DS, Walker R, Aiello Bowles EJ, Carney PA, Taplin SH, Onega T, Kerlikowske K, Clinton W, Miglioretti DL. Screening mammography use among current, former, and never hormone therapy users may not explain recent declines in breast cancer incidence. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2012 May;21(5):720-7. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-11-1115. Epub 2012 Feb 1. PubMed
Dublin S, Walker RL, Jackson ML, Nelson JC, Weiss NS, Von Korff M, Jackson LA. Use of opioids or benzodiazepines and risk of pneumonia in older adults: a population-based case-control study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011 Oct;59(10):1899-907. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03586.x. Epub 2011 Sep 13. PubMed
Kapp JM, Walker RL, Haneuse S, Yankaskas B. A prospective assessment of racial/ethnic differences in future mammography behavior among women who had early mammography. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2011 Apr;20(4):600-8. Epub 2011 Jan 17. PubMed
Gray SL, Walker R, Dublin S, Haneuse S, Crane PK, Breitner JC, Bowen J, McCormick W, Larson EB. Histamine-2 receptor antagonist use and incident dementia in an older cohort. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011;59(2):251-57. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.03275.x. PubMed
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Drs. Larson and Crane co-lead Kaiser Permanente-University of Washington collaboration learning how to promote healthy aging.