Cardiovascular Health

“Heart health depends on individual genetics and behavior as well as medicines and therapies. We’re studying how to advise people on the safest and most effective care for heart disease.”

Bruce M. Psaty, MD, PhD
Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute Senior Investigator

Research overview

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for American men and women. Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) scientists are working to discover how to reduce our risk of heart attacks, stroke, irregular heartbeats, deep-vein blood clots, and other cardiovascular diseases.

“We’re studying how genes, medications, and everyday choices influence cardiovascular health,” said Bruce M. Psaty, MD, PhD, KPWHRI senior investigator and co-director of the University of Washington Cardiovascular Health Research Unit. “One of our goals is to know when people are especially susceptible to either the benefits or the risks of a drug so they receive the safest and most effective therapies."

Kaiser Permanente Washington research to improve cardiovascular health includes studies by:

  • Katherine M. Newton, PhD, senior investigator and director of Research & External Affairs, on how hormone therapy and diabetes affect heart health;
  • Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD, associate investigator, on how drugs can affect or control cardiovascular disease; and
  • Affiliate investigators Susan Heckbert, MD, PhD, and Nick Smith, PhD, MPH, on the irregular heartbeat atrial fibrillation and about the role of menopausal hormones in risk of thromboembolic events, respectively.

Beverly B. Green, MD, MPH, associate investigator, is finding simple, practical, innovative ways to help people control their blood pressure. “We’ve found that helping patients and health care teams work together on personalized care plans is the best path to lifelong heart health,” she said.

Recent publications on Cardiovascular Health

Carr DF, Francis B, Jorgensen AL, Zhang E, Chinoy H, Heckbert SR, Bis JC, Brody JA, Floyd J, Psaty BM, Molokhia M, Lapeyre-Mestre M, Conforti A, Alfirevic A, van Staa T, Pirmohamed M. Genome-wide association study of statin-induced myopathy in patients recruited using the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2019 Jun 20. doi: 10.1002/cpt.1557. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Dashti HS, Merino J, Lane JM, Song Y, Smith CE, Tanaka T, McKeown NM, Tucker C, Sun D, Bartz TM, Li-Gao R, Nisa H, Reutrakul S, Lemaitre RN, Alshehri TM, de Mutsert R, Bazzano L, Qi L, Knutson KL, Psaty BM, Mook-Kanamori DO, Perica VB, Neuhouser ML, Scheer FAJL, Rutter MK, Garaulet M, Saxena R. Genome-wide association study of breakfast skipping links clock regulation with food timing. Am J Clin Nutr. 2019 Jun 13. pii: 5514151. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqz076. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Psaty BM, Fleming TR. Cardiovascular safety trials of antidiabetic therapies to treat type 2 diabetes:perhaps asking the wrong question? Am J Hypertens. 2019 Jun 7. pii: 5512981. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpz093. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Jorgensen ME, Kang HM, Kelsey M, Kim BJ, Koistinen HA, Kuusisto J, Leader JB, Linneberg A, Liu CT, Liu J, Lyssenko V, Manning AK, Marcketta A, Malacara-Hernandez JM, Martinez-Hernandez A, Matsuo K, Mayer-Davis E, Mendoza-Caamal E, Mohlke KL, Morrison+++. Exome sequencing of 20,791 cases of type 2 diabetes and 24,440 controls. Nature. 2019;570(7759):71-76. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1231-2. Epub 2019 May 22. PubMed

Ward-Caviness CK, de Vries PS, Wiggins KL, Huffman JE, Yanek LR, Bielak LF, Giulianini F, Guo X, Kleber ME, Kacprowski T, Groß S, Petersman A, Davey Smith G, Hartwig FP, Bowden J, Hemani G, Müller-Nuraysid M, Strauch K, Koenig W, Waldenberger M, Meitinger T, Pankratz N, Boerwinkle E, Tang W, Fu YP, Johnson AD, Song C, de Maat MPM, Uitterlinden AG, Franco OH, Brody JA, McKnight B, Chen YI, Psaty BM, Mathias RA, Becker DM, Peyser PA, Smith JA, Bielinski SJ, Ridker PM, Taylor KD, Yao J, Tracy R, Delgado G, Trompet S, Sattar N, Jukema JW, Becker LC, Kardia SLR, Rotter JI, März W, Dörr M, Chasman DI, Dehghan A, O'Donnell CJ, Smith NL, Peters A, Morrison AC. Mendelian randomization evaluation of causal effects of fibrinogen on incident coronary heart disease. PLoS One. 2019 May 10;14(5):e0216222. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0216222. eCollection 2019. PubMed

Researchers in Cardiovascular Health

Bruce M. Psaty, MD, PhD

Senior Investigator, KPWHRI; Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, and Health Services, University of Washington
206-221-7775
psaty@uw.edu

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Katherine M. Newton, PhD

Senior Investigator (Emeritus)
206-287-2973
Katherine.M.Newton@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Jennifer C. Nelson, PhD

Director of Biostatistics; Senior Investigator
206-287-2004
Jen.Nelson@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Michael L. Parchman, MD, MPH

Senior Investigator, MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation
206-287-2704
Michael.X.Parchman@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD

Senior Investigator
206-287-2870
Sascha.Dublin@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Aruna Kamineni, PhD

Assistant Investigator
206-287-2922
Aruna.S.Kamineni@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Ellen O'Meara, PhD

Research Associate
206-287-2938
Ellen.S.O'Meara@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Laura Harrington, PhD, MPH

Assistant Investigator
206-287-2066
Laura.B.Harrington@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Affiliate researchers

Susan Heckbert, MD, PhD
University of Washington (UW) Department of Epidemiology; UW Cardiovascular Health Research Unit

Nicholas L. Smith, PhD, MPH
UW Professor, Epidemiology, Cardiovascular Health Research Unit
Director, Seattle Epidemiology and Information Resource Center, VA Puget Sound Health Care System