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

Sung YJ, Winkler TW, de Las Fuentes L, Bentley AR, Brown MR, Kraja AT, Schwander K, Ntalla I, Guo X, Franceschini N, Lu Y, Cheng CY, Sim X, Vojinovic D, Marten J, Musani SK, Li C, Feitosa MF, Kilpeläinen TO, Richard MA, Noordam R, Aslibekyan S, Aschard H, Bartz TM, Dorajoo R, Liu Y, Manning AK, Rankinen T, Smith AV, Tajuddin SM, Tayo BO, Warren HR, Zhao W, Zhou Y, Matoba N, Sofer T, Alver M, Amini M, Boissel M, Chai JF, Chen X, Divers J, Gandin I, Gao C, Giulianini F, Goel A, Harris SE, Hartwig FP, Horimoto ARVR, Hsu FC, Jackson AU, Kähönen M, Kasturiratne A, Kühnel B, Leander K, Lee WJ, Lin KH, 'an Luan J, McKenzie CA, Meian H, Nelson CP, Rauramaa R, Schupf N, Scott RA, Sheu WHH, Stancáková A, Takeuchi F, van der Most PJ, Varga TV, Wang H, Wang Y, Ware EB, Weiss S, Wen W, Yanek LR, Zhang W, Zhao JH, Afaq S, Alfred T, Amin N, Arking D, Aung T, Barr RG, Bielak LF, Boerwinkle E, Bottinger EP, Braund PS, Brody JA, Broeckel U, Cabrera CP, Cade B, Caizheng Y, Campbell A, Canouil M, Chakravarti A; CHARGE Neurology Working Group, Chauhan G, Christensen K, Cocca M; COGENT-Kidney Consortium, Collins FS, Connell JM, de Mutsert R, de Silva HJ, Debette S, Dörr M, Duan Q, Eaton CB, Ehret G, Evangelou E, Faul JD, Fisher VA, Forouhi NG, Franco OH, Friedlander Y, Gao H; GIANT Consortium, Gigante B, Graff M, Gu CC, Gu D, Gupta P, Hagenaars SP, Harris TB, He J, Heikkinen S, Heng CK, Hirata M, Hofman A, Howard BV, Hunt S, Irvin MR, Jia Y, Joehanes R, Justice AE, Katsuya T, Kaufman J, Kerrison ND, Khor CC, Koh WP, Koistinen HA, Komulainen P, Kooperberg C, Krieger JE, Kubo M, Kuusisto J, Langefeld CD, Langenberg C, Launer LJ, Lehne B, Lewis CE, Li Y; Lifelines Cohort Study, Lim SH, Lin S, Liu CT, Liu J, Liu J, Liu K, Liu Y, Loh M, Lohman KK, Long J, Louie T, Mägi R, Mahajan A, Meitinger T, Metspalu A, Milani L, Momozawa Y, Morris AP, Mosley TH Jr, Munson P, Murray AD, Nalls MA, Nasri U, Norris JM, North K, Ogunniyi A, Padmanabhan S, Palmas WR, Palmer ND, Pankow JS, Pedersen NL, Peters A, Peyser PA, Polasek O, Raitakari OT, Renström F, Rice TK, Ridker PM, Robino A, Robinson JG, Rose LM, Rudan I, Sabanayagam C, Salako BL, Sandow K, Schmidt CO, Schreiner PJ, Scott WR, Seshadri S, Sever P, Sitlani CM, Smith JA, Snieder H, Starr JM, Strauch K, Tang H, Taylor KD, Teo YY, Tham YC, Uitterlinden AG, Waldenberger M, Wang L, Wang YX, Wei WB, Williams C, Wilson G, Wojczynski MK, Yao J, Yuan JM, Zonderman AB, Becker DM, Boehnke M, Bowden DW, Chambers JC, Chen YI, de Faire U, Deary IJ, Esko T, Farrall M, Forrester T, Franks PW, Freedman BI, Froguel P, Gasparini P, Gieger C, Horta BL, Hung YJ, Jonas JB, Kato N, Kooner JS, Laakso M, Lehtimäki T, Liang KW, Magnusson PKE, Newman AB, Oldehinkel AJ, Pereira AC, Redline S, Rettig R, Samani NJ, Scott J, Shu XO, van der Harst P, Wagenknecht LE, Wareham NJ, Watkins H, Weir DR, Wickremasinghe AR, Wu T, Zheng W, Kamatani Y, Laurie CC, Bouchard C, Cooper RS, Evans MK, Gudnason V, Kardia SLR, Kritchevsky SB, Levy D, O'Connell JR, Psaty BM, van Dam RM, Sims M, Arnett DK, Mook-Kanamori DO, Kelly TN, Fox ER, Hayward C, Fornage M, Rotimi CN, Province MA, van Duijn CM, Tai ES, Wong TY, Loos RJF, Reiner AP, Rotter JI, Zhu X, Bierut LJ, Gauderman WJ, Caulfield MJ, Elliott P, Rice K, Munroe PB, Morrison AC, Cupples LA, Rao DC, Chasman DI. A large-scale multi-ancestry genome-wide study accounting for smoking behavior identifies multiple significant loci for blood pressure Am J Hum Genet. 2018 Feb 13. pii: S0002-9297(18)30017-X. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2018.01.015. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Sung YJ, Winkler TW, de Las Fuentes L, Bentley AR, Brown MR, Kraja AT, Schwander K, Ntalla I, Guo X, Franceschini N, Lu Y, Cheng CY, Sim X, Vojinovic D, Marten J, Musani SK, Li C, Feitosa MF, Kilpeläinen TO, Richard MA, Noordam R, Aslibekyan S, Aschard H, Bartz TM, Dorajoo R, Liu Y, Manning AK, Rankinen T, Smith AV, Tajuddin SM, Tayo BO, Warren HR, Zhao W, Zhou Y, Matoba N, Sofer T, Alver M, Amini M, Boissel M, Chai JF, Chen X, Divers J, Gandin I, Gao C, Giulianini F, Goel A, Harris SE, Hartwig FP, Horimoto ARVR, Hsu FC, Jackson AU, Kähönen M, Kasturiratne A, Kühnel B, Leander K, Lee WJ, Lin KH, 'an Luan J, McKenzie CA, Meian H, Nelson CP, Rauramaa R, Schupf N, Scott RA, Sheu WHH, Stancáková A, Takeuchi F, van der Most PJ, Varga TV, Wang H, Wang Y, Ware EB, Weiss S, Wen W, Yanek LR, Zhang W, Zhao JH, Afaq S, Alfred T, Amin N, Arking D, Aung T, Barr RG, Bielak LF, Boerwinkle E, Bottinger EP, Braund PS, Brody JA, Broeckel U, Cabrera CP, Cade B, Caizheng Y, Campbell A, Canouil M, Chakravarti A; CHARGE Neurology Working Group, Chauhan G, Christensen K, Cocca M; COGENT-Kidney Consortium, Collins FS, Connell JM, de Mutsert R, de Silva HJ, Debette S, Dörr M, Duan Q, Eaton CB, Ehret G, Evangelou E, Faul JD, Fisher VA, Forouhi NG, Franco OH, Friedlander Y, Gao H; GIANT Consortium, Gigante B, Graff M, Gu CC, Gu D, Gupta P, Hagenaars SP, Harris TB, He J, Heikkinen S, Heng CK, Hirata M, Hofman A, Howard BV, Hunt S, Irvin MR, Jia Y, Joehanes R, Justice AE, Katsuya T, Kaufman J, Kerrison ND, Khor CC, Koh WP, Koistinen HA, Komulainen P, Kooperberg C, Krieger JE, Kubo M, Kuusisto J, Langefeld CD, Langenberg C, Launer LJ, Lehne B, Lewis CE, Li Y; Lifelines Cohort Study, Lim SH, Lin S, Liu CT, Liu J, Liu J, Liu K, Liu Y, Loh M, Lohman KK, Long J, Louie T, Mägi R, Mahajan A, Meitinger T, Metspalu A, Milani L, Momozawa Y, Morris AP, Mosley TH Jr., Munson P, Murray AD, Nalls MA, Nasri U, Norris JM, North K, Ogunniyi A, Padmanabhan S, Palmas WR, Palmer ND, Pankow JS, Pedersen NL, Peters A, Peyser PA, Polasek O, Raitakari OT, Renström F, Rice TK, Ridker PM, Robino A, Robinson JG, Rose LM, Rudan I, Sabanayagam C, Salako BL, Sandow K, Schmidt CO, Schreiner PJ, Scott WR, Seshadri S, Sever P, Sitlani CM, Smith JA, Snieder H, Starr JM, Strauch K, Tang H, Taylor KD, Teo YY, Tham YC, Uitterlinden AG, Waldenberger M, Wang L, Wang YX, Wei WB, Williams C, Wilson G, Wojczynski MK, Yao J, Yuan JM, Zonderman AB, Becker DM, Boehnke M, Bowden DW, Chambers JC, Chen YI, de Faire U, Deary IJ, Esko T, Farrall M, Forrester T, Franks PW, Freedman BI, Froguel P, Gasparini P, Gieger C, Horta BL, Hung YJ, Jonas JB, Kato N, Kooner JS, Laakso M, Lehtimäki T, Liang KW, Magnusson PKE, Newman AB, Oldehinkel AJ, Pereira AC, Redline S, Rettig R, Samani NJ, Scott J, Shu XO, van der Harst P, Wagenknecht LE, Wareham NJ, Watkins H, Weir DR, Wickremasinghe AR, Wu T, Zheng W, Kamatani Y, Laurie CC, Bouchard C, Cooper RS, Evans MK, Gudnason V, Kardia SLR, Kritchevsky SB, Levy D, O'Connell JR, Psaty BM, van Dam RM, Sims M, Arnett DK, Mook-Kanamori DO, Kelly TN, Fox ER, Hayward C, Fornage M, Rotimi CN, Province MA, van Duijn CM, Tai ES, Wong TY, Loos RJF, Reiner AP, Rotter JI, Zhu X, Bierut LJ, Gauderman WJ, Caulfield MJ, Elliott P, Rice K, Munroe PB, Morrison AC, Cupples LA, Rao DC, Chasman DI. A large-scale multi-ancestry genome-wide study accounting for smoking behavior identifies multiple significant loci for blood pressure. Am J Hum Genet. 2018 Feb 13. pii: S0002-9297(18)30017-X. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2018.01.015. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Fretts AM, Mete M, Howard BV, Best LG, Siscovick DS, Eilat-Adar S, Zhao J. Physical activity and telomere length in American Indians: the strong heart study. Eur J Epidemiol. 2018 Feb 7. pii: 10.1007/s10654-018-0363-2. doi: 10.1007/s10654-018-0363-2. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Leonard CE, Brensinger CM, Aquilante CL, Bilker WB, Boudreau DM, Deo R, Flory JH, Gagne JJ, Mangaali MJ, Hennessy S. Comparative safety of sulfonylureas and the risk of sudden cardiac arrest and ventricular arrhythmia. Diabetes Care. 2018 Feb 2. pii: dc17-0294. doi: 10.2337/dc17-0294. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Mukamal KJ, Siscovick DS, de Boer IH, Ix JH, Kizer JR, Djousse L, Fitzpatrick AL, Tracy RP, Boyko EJ, Kahn SE, Arnold AM. Metabolic clusters and outcomes in older adults: the cardiovascular health study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2018;66(2):289-296. doi: 10.1111/jgs.15205. 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