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

de Boer RA, Nayor M, deFilippi CR, Enserro D, Bhambhani V, Kizer JR, Blaha MJ, Brouwers FP, Cushman M, Lima JAC, Bahrami H, van der Harst P, Wang TJ, Gansevoort RT, Fox CS, Gaggin HK, Kop WJ, Liu K, Vasan RS, Psaty BM, Lee DS, Hillege HL, Bartz TM, Benjamin EJ, Chan C, Allison M, Gardin JM, Januzzi JL Jr, Shah SJ, Levy D, Herrington DM, Larson MG, van Gilst WH, Gottdiener JS, Bertoni AG, Ho JE. Association of cardiovascular biomarkers with incident heart failure with preserved and reduced ejection fraction. JAMA Cardiol. 2018 Jan 10. pii: 2668460. doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2017.4987. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Hong J, Hatchell KE, Bradfield JP, Andrew B, Alessandra C, Chao-Qiang L, Langefeld CD, Lu L, Lu Y, Lutsey PL, Musani SK, Nalls MA, Robinson-Cohen C, Roizen JD, Saxena R, Tucker KL, Ziegler JT, Arking DE, Bis JC, Boerwinkle E, Bottinger EP, Bowden DW, Gilsanz V, Houston DK, Kalkwarf HJ, Kelly A, Lappe JM, Liu Y, Michos ED, Oberfield SE, Palmer ND, Rotter JI, Sapkota B, Shepherd JA, Wilson JG, Basu S, de Boer IH, Divers J, Freedman BI, Grant SFA, Hakanarson H, Harris TB, Kestenbaum BR, Kritchevsky SB, Loos RJF, Norris JM, Norwood AF, Ordovas JM, Pankow JS, Psaty BM, Sanhgera DK, Wagenknecht LE, Zemel BS, Meigs J, Dupuis J, Florez JC, Wang T, Liu CT, Engelman CD, Billings LK. Trans-ethnic evaluation identifies novel low frequency loci associated with 25-hydroxyvitamin d concentrations. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2018 Jan 9. doi: 10.1210/jc.2017-01802. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Medina-Gomez C, Kemp JP, Trajanoska K, Luan J, Chesi A, Ahluwalia TS, Mook-Kanamori DO, Ham A, Hartwig FP, Evans DS, Joro R, Nedeljkovic I, Zheng HF, Zhu K, Atalay M, Liu CT, Nethander M, Broer L, Porleifsson G, Mullin BH, Handelman SK, Nalls MA, Jessen LE, Heppe DHM, Richards JB, Wang C, Chawes B, Schraut KE, Amin N, Wareham N, Karasik D, Van der Velde N, Ikram MA, Zemel BS, Zhou Y, Carlsson CJ, Liu Y, McGuigan FE, Boer CG, Bønnelykke K, Ralston SH, Robbins JA, Walsh JP, Zillikens MC, Langenberg C, Li-Gao R, Williams FMK, Harris TB, Akesson K, Jackson RD, Sigurdsson G, den Heijer M, van der Eerden BCJ, van de Peppel J, Spector TD, Pennell C, Horta BL, Felix JF, Zhao JH, Wilson SG, de Mutsert R, Bisgaard H, Styrkársdóttir U, Jaddoe VW, Orwoll E, Lakka TA, Scott R, Grant SFA, Lorentzon M, van Duijn CM, Wilson JF, Stefansson K, Psaty BM, Kiel DP, Ohlsson C, Ntzani E, van Wijnen AJ, Forgetta V, Ghanbari M, Logan JG, Williams GR, Bassett JHD, Croucher PI, Evangelou E, Uitterlinden AG, Ackert-Bicknell CL, Tobias JH, Evans DM, Rivadeneira F. Life-course genome-wide association study meta-analysis of total body bmd and assessment of age-specific effects. Am J Hum Genet. 2018;102(1):88-102. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2017.12.005. PubMed

Liu CY, Heckbert SR, Lai S, Ambale-Venkatesh B, Ostovaneh MR, McClelland RL, Lima JAC, Bluemke DA. Association of elevated NT-proBNP with myocardial fibrosis in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). J Am Coll Cardiol. 2017;70(25):3102-3109. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2017.10.044. PubMed

Mozaffarian D, Dashti HS, Wojczynski MK, Chu AY, Nettleton JA, Männistö S, Kristiansson K, Reedik M, Lahti J, Houston DK, Cornelis MC, van Rooij FJA, Dimitriou M, Kanoni S, Mikkilä V, Steffen LM, de Oliveira Otto MC, Qi L, Psaty B, Djousse L, Rotter JI, Harald K, Perola M, Rissanen H, Jula A, Krista F, Mihailov E, Feitosa MF, Ngwa JS, Xue L, Jacques PF, Perälä MM, Palotie A, Liu Y, Nalls NA, Ferrucci L, Hernandez D, Manichaikul A, Tsai MY, Kiefte-de Jong JC, Hofman A, Uitterlinden AG, Rallidis L, Ridker PM, Rose LM, Buring JE, Lehtimäki T, Kähönen M, Viikari J, Lemaitre R, Salomaa V, Knekt P, Metspalu A, Borecki IB, Cupples LA, Eriksson JG, Kritchevsky SB, Bandinelli S, Siscovick D, Franco OH, Deloukas P, Dedoussis G, Chasman DI, Raitakari O, Tanaka T. Genome-wide association meta-analysis of fish and EPA+DHA consumption in 17 US and European cohorts. PLoS One. 2017 Dec 13;12(12):e0186456. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0186456. eCollection 2017. 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