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

Choi SH, Weng LC, Roselli C, Lin H, Haggerty CM, Shoemaker MB, Barnard J, Arking DE, Chasman DI, Albert CM, Chaffin M, Tucker NR, Smith JD, Gupta N, Gabriel S, Margolin L, Shea MA, Shaffer CM, Yoneda ZT, Boerwinkle E, Smith NL, Silverman EK, Redline S, Vasan RS, Burchard EG, Gogarten SM, Laurie C, Blackwell TW, Abecasis G, Carey DJ, Fornwalt BK, Smelser DT, Baras A, Dewey FE, Jaquish CE, Papanicolaou GJ, Sotoodehnia N, Van Wagoner DR, Psaty BM, Kathiresan S, Darbar D, Alonso A, Heckbert SR, Chung MK, Roden DM, Benjamin EJ, Murray MF, Lunetta KL, Lubitz SA, Ellinor PT; DiscovEHR study and the NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Consortium. Association between titin loss-of-function variants and early-onset atrial fibrillation. JAMA. 2018 Dec 11;320(22):2354-2364. doi: 10.1001/jama.2018.18179. PubMed

Franceschini N, Giambartolomei C, de Vries PS, Finan C, Bis JC, Huntley RP, Lovering RC, Tajuddin SM, Winkler TW, Graff M, Kavousi M, Dale C, Smith AV, Hofer E, van Leeuwen EM, Nolte IM, Lu L, Scholz M, Sargurupremraj M, Pitkänen N, Franzén O, Joshi PK, Noordam R, Marioni RE, Hwang SJ, Musani SK, Schminke U, Palmas W, Isaacs A, Correa A, Zonderman AB, Hofman A, Teumer A, Cox AJ, Uitterlinden AG, Wong A, Smit AJ, Newman AB, Britton A, Ruusalepp A, Sennblad B, Hedblad B, Pasaniuc B, Penninx BW, Langefeld CD, Wassel CL, Tzourio C, Fava C, Baldassarre D, O'Leary DH, Teupser D, Kuh D, Tremoli E, Mannarino E, Grossi E, Boerwinkle E, Schadt EE, Ingelsson E, Veglia F, Rivadeneira F, Beutner F, Chauhan G, Heiss G, Snieder H, Campbell H, Völzke H, Markus HS, Deary IJ, Jukema JW, de Graaf J, Price J, Pott J, Hopewell JC, Liang J, Thiery J, Engmann J, Gertow K, Rice K, Taylor KD, Dhana K, Kiemeney LALM, Lind L, Raffield LM, Launer LJ, Holdt LM, Dörr M, Dichgans M, Traylor M, Sitzer M, Kumari M, Kivimaki M, Nalls MA, Melander O, Raitakari O, Franco OH, Rueda-Ochoa OL, Roussos P, Whincup PH, Amouyel P, Giral P, Anugu P, Wong Q, Malik R, Rauramaa R, Burkhardt R, Hardy R, Schmidt R, de Mutsert R, Morris RW, Strawbridge RJ, Wannamethee SG, Hägg S, Shah S, McLachlan S, Trompet S, Seshadri S, Kurl S, Heckbert SR, Ring S, Harris TB, Lehtimäki T, Galesloot TE, Shah T, de Faire U, Plagnol V, Rosamond WD, Post W, Zhu X, Zhang X, Guo X, Saba Y; MEGASTROKE Consortium, Dehghan A, Seldenrijk A, Morrison AC, Hamsten A, Psaty BM, van Duijn CM, Lawlor DA, Mook-Kanamori DO, Bowden DW, Schmidt H, Wilson JF, Wilson JG, Rotter JI, Wardlaw JM, Deanfield J, Halcox J, Lyytikäinen LP, Loeffler M, Evans MK, Debette S, Humphries SE, Völker U, Gudnason V, Hingorani AD, Björkegren JLM, Casas JP, O'Donnell CJ. GWAS and colocalization analyses implicate carotid intima-media thickness and carotid plaque loci in cardiovascular outcomes. Nat Commun. 2018;9(1):5141. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07340-5. PubMed

Pennells L, Kaptoge S, Wood A, Sweeting M, Zhao X, White I, Burgess S, Willeit P, Bolton T, Moons KGM, van der Schouw YT, Selmer R, Khaw KT, Gudnason V, Assmann G, Amouyel P, Salomaa V, Kivimaki M, Nordestgaard BG, Blaha MJ, Kuller LH, Brenner H, Gillum RF, Meisinger C, Ford I, Knuiman MW, Rosengren A, Lawlor DA, Völzke H, Cooper C, Marín Ibañez A, Casiglia E, Kauhanen J, Cooper JA, Rodriguez B, Sundström J, Barrett-Connor E, Dankner R, Nietert PJ, Davidson KW, Wallace RB, Blazer DG, Björkelund C, Donfrancesco C, Krumholz HM, Nissinen A, Davis BR, Coady S, Whincup PH, Jørgensen T, Ducimetiere P, Trevisan M, Engström G, Crespo CJ, Meade TW, Visser M, Kromhout D, Kiechl S, Daimon M, Price JF, Gómez de la Cámara A, Wouter Jukema J, Lamarche B, Onat A, Simons LA, Kavousi M, Ben-Shlomo Y, Gallacher J, Dekker JM, Arima H, Shara N, Tipping RW, Roussel R, Brunner EJ, Koenig W, Sakurai M, Pavlovic J, Gansevoort RT, Nagel D, Goldbourt U, Barr ELM, Palmieri L, Njølstad I, Sato S, Monique Verschuren WM, Varghese CV, Graham I, Onuma O, Greenland P, Woodward M, Ezzati M, Psaty BM, Sattar N, Jackson R, Ridker PM, Cook NR, D'Agostino RB Sr, Thompson SG, Danesh J, Di Angelantonio E; Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration. Equalization of four cardiovascular risk algorithms after systematic recalibration: individual-participant meta-analysis of 86 prospective studies. Eur Heart J. 2018 Nov 22. pii: 5198769. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehy653. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Odden MC, Koh WJH, Arnold AM, Rawlings AM, Psaty BM, Newman AB. Trajectories of nonagenarian health: gender, age, and period effects. Am J Epidemiol. 2018 Nov 8. pii: 5165403. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwy241. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Ligthart S, Vaez A, Võsa U, Stathopoulou MG, de Vries PS, Prins BP, Van der Most PJ, Tanaka T, Naderi E, Rose LM, Wu Y, Karlsson R, Barbalic M, Lin H, Pool R, Zhu G, Macé A, Sidore C, Trompet S, Mangino M, Sabater-Lleal M, Kemp JP, Abbasi A, Kacprowski T, Verweij N, Smith AV, Huang T, Marzi C, Feitosa MF, Lohman KK, Kleber ME, Milaneschi Y, Mueller C, Huq M, Vlachopoulou E, Lyytikäinen LP, Oldmeadow C, Deelen J, Perola M, Zhao JH, Feenstra B; LifeLines Cohort Study, Amini M; CHARGE Inflammation Working Group, Lahti J, Schraut KE, Fornage M, Suktitipat B, Chen WM, Li X, Nutile T, Malerba G, Luan J, Bak T, Schork N, Del Greco M F, Thiering E, Mahajan A, Marioni RE, Mihailov E, Eriksson J, Ozel AB, Zhang W, Nethander M, Cheng YC, Aslibekyan S, Ang W, Gandin I, Yengo L, Portas L, Kooperberg C, Hofer E, Rajan KB, Schurmann C, den Hollander W, Ahluwalia TS, Zhao J, Draisma HHM, Ford I, Timpson N, Teumer A, Huang H, Wahl S, Liu Y, Huang J, Uh HW, Geller F, Joshi PK, Yanek LR, Trabetti E, Lehne B, Vozzi D, Verbanck M, Biino G, Saba Y, Meulenbelt I, O'Connell JR, Laakso M, Giulianini F, Magnusson PKE, Ballantyne CM, Hottenga JJ, Montgomery GW, Rivadineira F, Rueedi R, Steri M, Herzig KH, Stott DJ, Menni C, Frånberg M, St Pourcain B, Felix SB, Pers TH, Bakker SJL, Kraft P, Peters A, Vaidya D, Delgado G, Smit JH, Großmann V, Sinisalo J, Seppälä I, Williams SR, Holliday EG, Moed M, Langenberg C, Räikkönen K, Ding J, Campbell H, Sale MM, Chen YI, James AL, Ruggiero D, Soranzo N, Hartman CA, Smith EN, Berenson GS, Fuchsberger C, Hernandez D, Tiesler CMT, Giedraitis V, Liewald D, Fischer K, Mellström D, Larsson A, Wang Y, Scott WR, Lorentzon M, Beilby J, Ryan KA, Pennell CE, Vuckovic D, Balkau B, Concas MP, Schmidt R, Mendes de Leon CF, Bottinger EP, Kloppenburg M, Paternoster L, Boehnke M, Musk AW, Willemsen G, Evans DM, Madden PAF, Kähönen M, Kutalik Z, Zoledziewska M, Karhunen V, Kritchevsky SB, Sattar N, Lachance G, Clarke R, Harris TB, Raitakari OT, Attia JR, van Heemst D, Kajantie E, Sorice R, Gambaro G, Scott RA, Hicks AA, Ferrucci L, Standl M, Lindgren CM, Starr JM, Karlsson M, Lind L, Li JZ, Chambers JC, Mori TA, de Geus EJCN, Heath AC, Martin NG, Auvinen J, Buckley BM, de Craen AJM, Waldenberger M, Strauch K, Meitinger T, Scott RJ, McEvoy M, Beekman M, Bombieri C, Ridker PM, Mohlke KL, Pedersen NL, Morrison AC, Boomsma DI, Whitfield JB, Strachan DP, Hofman A, Vollenweider P, Cucca F, Jarvelin MR, Jukema JW, Spector TD, Hamsten A, Zeller T, Uitterlinden AG, Nauck M, Gudnason V, Qi L, Grallert H, Borecki IB, Rotter JI, März W, Wild PS, Lokki ML, Boyle M, Salomaa V, Melbye M, Eriksson JG, Wilson JF, Penninx BWJH, Becker DM, Worrall BB, Gibson G, Krauss RM, Ciullo M, Zaza G, Wareham NJ, Oldehinkel AJ, Palmer LJ, Murray SS, Pramstaller PP, Bandinelli S, Heinrich J, Ingelsson E, Deary IJ, Mägi R, Vandenput L, van der Harst P, Desch KC, Kooner JS, Ohlsson C, Hayward C, Lehtimäki T, Shuldiner AR, Arnett DK, Beilin LJ, Robino A, Froguel P, Pirastu M, Jess T, Koenig W, Loos RJF, Evans DA, Schmidt H, Smith GD, Slagboom PE, Eiriksdottir G, Morris AP, Psaty BM, Tracy RP, Nolte IM, Boerwinkle E, Visvikis-Siest S, Reiner AP, Gross M, Bis JC, Franke L, Franco OH, Benjamin EJ, Chasman DI, Dupuis J, Snieder H, Dehghan A, Alizadeh BZ. Genome analyses of >200,000 individuals identify 58 loci for chronic inflammation and highlight pathways that link inflammation and complex disorders. Am J Hum Genet. 2018;103(5):691-706. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2018.09.009. 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
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, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute
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