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

Nolte IM, Munoz ML, Tragante V, Amare AT, Jansen R, Vaez A, von der Heyde B, Avery CL, Bis JC, Dierckx B, van Dongen J, Gogarten SM, Goyette P, Hernesniemi J, Huikari V, Hwang SJ, Jaju D, Kerr KF, Kluttig A, Krijthe BP, Kumar J, van der Laan SW, Lyytikäinen LP, Maihofer AX, Minassian A, van der Most PJ, Müller-Nurasyid M, Nivard M, Salvi E, Stewart JD, Thayer JF, Verweij N, Wong A, Zabaneh D, Zafarmand MH, Abdellaoui A, Albarwani S, Albert C, Alonso A, Ashar F, Auvinen J, Axelsson T, Baker DG, de Bakker PIW, Barcella M, Bayoumi R, Bieringa RJ, Boomsma D, Boucher G, Britton AR, Christophersen I, Dietrich A, Ehret GB, Ellinor PT, Eskola M, Felix JF, Floras JS, Franco OH, Friberg P, Gademan MGJ, Geyer MA, Giedraitis V, Hartman CA, Hemerich D, Hofman A, Hottenga JJ, Huikuri H, Hutri-Kähönen N, Jouven X, Junttila J, Juonala M, Kiviniemi AM, Kors JA, Kumari M, Kuznetsova T, Laurie CC, Lefrandt JD, Li Y, Li Y, Liao D, Limacher MC, Lin HJ, Lindgren CM, Lubitz SA, Mahajan A, McKnight B, Zu Schwabedissen HM, Milaneschi Y, Mononen N, Morris AP, Nalls MA, Navis G, Neijts M, Nikus K, North KE, O'Connor DT, Ormel J, Perz S, Peters A, Psaty BM, Raitakari OT, Risbrough VB, Sinner MF, Siscovick D, Smit JH, Smith NL, Soliman EZ, Sotoodehnia N, Staessen JA, Stein PK, Stilp AM, Stolarz-Skrzypek K, Strauch K, Sundström J, Swenne CA, Syvänen AC, Tardif JC, Taylor KD, Teumer A, Thornton TA, Tinker LE, Uitterlinden AG, van Setten J, Voss A, Waldenberger M, Wilhelmsen KC, Willemsen G, Wong Q, Zhang ZM, Zonderman AB, Cusi D, Evans MK, Greiser HK, van der Harst P, Hassan M, Ingelsson E, Järvelin MR, Kääb S, Kähönen M, Kivimaki M, Kooperberg C, Kuh D, Lehtimäki T, Lind L, Nievergelt CM, O'Donnell CJ, Oldehinkel AJ, Penninx B, Reiner AP, Riese H, van Roon AM, Rioux JD, Rotter JI, Sofer T, Stricker BH, Tiemeier H, Vrijkotte TGM, Asselbergs FW, Brundel BJJM, Heckbert SR, Whitsel EA, den Hoed M, Snieder H, de Geus EJC. Genetic loci associated with heart rate variability and their effects on cardiac disease risk. Nat Commun. 2017 Jun 14;8:15805. doi: 10.1038/ncomms15805. PubMed

Smitson CC, Scherzer R, Shlipak MG, Psaty BM, Newman AB, Sarnak MJ, Odden MC, Peralta CA. Association of blood pressure trajectory with mortality, incident cardiovascular disease, and heart failure in the Cardiovascular Health Study. Am J Hypertens. 2017 Jun 1;30(6):587-593. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpx028. PubMed

Rao DC, Sung YJ, Winkler TW, Schwander K, Borecki I, Cupples LA, Gauderman WJ, Rice K, Munroe PB, Psaty BM. Multiancestry study of gene-lifestyle interactions for cardiovascular traits in 610, 475 individuals from 124 cohorts: design and rationale. Circ Cardiovasc Genet. 2017;10(3). pii: e001649. doi: 10.1161/CIRCGENETICS.116.001649. PubMed

Liang J, Le TH, Edwards DRV, Tayo BO, Gaulton KJ, Smith JA, Lu Y, Jensen RA, Chen G, Yanek LR, Schwander K, Tajuddin SM, Sofer T, Kim W, Kayima J, McKenzie CA, Fox E, Nalls MA, Young JH, Sun YV, Lane JM, Cechova S, Zhou J, Tang H, Fornage M, Musani SK, Wang H, Lee J, Adeyemo A, Dreisbach AW, Forrester T, Chu PL, Cappola A, Evans MK, Morrison AC, Martin LW, Wiggins KL, Hui Q, Zhao W, Jackson RD, Ware EB, Faul JD, Reiner AP, Bray M, Denny JC, Mosley TH, Palmas W, Guo X, Papanicolaou GJ, Penman AD, Polak JF, Rice K, Taylor KD, Boerwinkle E, Bottinger EP, Liu K, Risch N, Hunt SC, Kooperberg C, Zonderman AB, Laurie CC, Becker DM, Cai J, Loos RJF, Psaty BM, Weir DR, Kardia SLR, Arnett DK, Won S, Edwards TL, Redline S, Cooper RS, Rao DC, Rotter JI, Rotimi C, Levy D, Chakravarti A, Zhu X, Franceschini N. Single-trait and multi-trait genome-wide association analyses identify novel loci for blood pressure in African-ancestry populations. PLoS Genet. 2017 May 12;13(5):e1006728. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006728. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Robinson-Cohen C, Zelnick LR, Hoofnagle AN, Lutsey PL, Burke G, Michos ED, Shea SJC, Tracy R, Siscovick DS, Psaty B, Kestenbaum B, de Boer IH. Associations of vitamin D-binding globulin and bioavailable vitamin D concentrations with coronary heart disease events: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2017 May 3. doi: 10.1210/jc.2017-00296. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Researchers in Cardiovascular Health

Bruce M. Psaty, MD, PhD

Senior Investigator
206-543-0710
psaty@u.washington.edu

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Katherine M. Newton, PhD

Senior Investigator (Emeritus)
206-287-2973
newton.k@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Jennifer C. Nelson, PhD

Director of Biostatistics; Senior Investigator
206-287-2004
nelson.jl@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Michael L. Parchman, MD, MPH

Director, MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation; Senior Investigator, GHRI
206-287-2704
parchman.m@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD

Associate Investigator
206-287-2870
dublin.s@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Aruna Kamineni, MPH

Research Associate
206-287-2922
akaminen@fhcrc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Ellen O'Meara, PhD

Research Associate
206-287-2938
omeara.e@ghc.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