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

Evangelou E, Warren HR, Mosen-Ansorena D, Mifsud B, Pazoki R, Gao H, Ntritsos G, Dimou N, Cabrera CP, Karaman I, Ng FL, Evangelou M, Witkowska K, Tzanis E, Hellwege JN, Giri A, Velez Edwards DR, Sun YV, Cho K, Gaziano JM, Wilson PWF, Tsao PS, Kovesdy CP, Esko T, Mägi R, Milani L, Almgren P, Boutin T, Debette S, Ding J, Giulianini F, Holliday EG, Jackson AU, Li-Gao R, Lin WY, Luan J, Mangino M, Oldmeadow C, Prins BP, Qian Y, Sargurupremraj M, Shah N, Surendran P, Thériault S, Verweij N, Willems SM, Zhao JH, Amouyel P, Connell J, de Mutsert R, Doney ASF, Farrall M, Menni C, Morris AD, Noordam R, Paré G, Poulter NR, Shields DC, Stanton A, Thom S, Abecasis G, Amin N, Arking DE, Ayers KL, Barbieri CM, Batini C, Bis JC, Blake T, Bochud M, Boehnke M, Boerwinkle E, Boomsma DI, Bottinger EP, Braund PS, Brumat M, Campbell A, Campbell H, Chakravarti A, Chambers JC, Chauhan G, Ciullo M, Cocca M, Collins F, Cordell HJ, Davies G, Borst MH, Geus EJ, Deary IJ, Deelen J, Del Greco M F, Demirkale CY, Dörr M, Ehret GB, Elosua R, Enroth S, Erzurumluoglu AM, Ferreira T, Frånberg M, Franco OH, Gandin I, Gasparini P, Giedraitis V, Gieger C, Girotto G, Goel A, Gow AJ, Gudnason V, Guo X, Gyllensten U, Hamsten A, Harris TB, Harris SE, Hartman CA, Havulinna AS, Hicks AA, Hofer E, Hofman A, Hottenga JJ, Huffman JE, Hwang SJ, Ingelsson E, James A, Jansen R, Jarvelin MR, Joehanes R, Johansson Å, Johnson AD, Joshi PK, Jousilahti P, Jukema JW, Jula A, Kähönen M, Kathiresan S, Keavney BD, Khaw KT, Knekt P, Knight J, Kolcic I, Kooner JS, Koskinen S, Kristiansson K, Kutalik Z, Laan M, Larson M, Launer LJ, Lehne B, Lehtimäki T, Liewald DCM, Lin L, Lind L, Lindgren CM, Liu Y, Loos RJF, Lopez LM, Lu Y, Lyytikäinen LP, Mahajan A, Mamasoula C, Marrugat J, Marten J, Milaneschi Y, Morgan A, Morris AP, Morrison AC, Munson PJ, Nalls MA, Nandakumar P, Nelson CP, Niiranen T, Nolte IM, Nutile T, Oldehinkel AJ, Oostra BA, O'Reilly PF, Org E, Padmanabhan S, Palmas W, Palotie A, Pattie A, Penninx BWJH, Perola M, Peters A, Polasek O, Pramstaller PP, Nguyen QT, Raitakari OT, Ren M, Rettig R, Rice K, Ridker PM, Ried JS, Riese H, Ripatti S, Robino A, Rose LM, Rotter JI, Rudan I, Ruggiero D, Saba Y, Sala CF, Salomaa V, Samani NJ, Sarin AP, Schmidt R, Schmidt H, Shrine N, Siscovick D, Smith AV, Snieder H, Sõber S, Sorice R, Starr JM, Stott DJ, Strachan DP, Strawbridge RJ, Sundström J, Swertz MA, Taylor KD, Teumer A, Tobin MD, Tomaszewski M, Toniolo D, Traglia M, Trompet S, Tuomilehto J, Tzourio C, Uitterlinden AG, Vaez A, van der Most PJ, van Duijn CM, Vergnaud AC, Verwoert GC, Vitart V, Völker U, Vollenweider P, Vuckovic D, Watkins H, Wild SH, Willemsen G, Wilson JF, Wright AF, Yao J, Zemunik T, Zhang W, Attia JR, Butterworth AS, Chasman DI, Conen D, Cucca F, Danesh J, Hayward C, Howson JMM, Laakso M, Lakatta EG, Langenberg C, Melander O, Mook-Kanamori DO, Palmer CNA, Risch L, Scott RA, Scott RJ, Sever P, Spector TD, van der Harst P, Wareham NJ, Zeggini E, Levy D, Munroe PB, Newton-Cheh C, Brown MJ, Metspalu A, Hung AM, O'Donnell CJ, Edwards TL; Million Veteran Program, Psaty BM, Tzoulaki I, Barnes MR, Wain LV, Elliott P, Caulfield MJ. Genetic analysis of over 1 million people identifies 535 new loci associated with blood pressure traits. Nat Genet. 2018 Sep 17. doi: 10.1038/s41588-018-0205-x. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Robinson-Cohen C, Bartz TM, Lai D, Ikizler TA, Peacock M, Imel EA, Michos ED, Foroud TM, Akesson K, Taylor KD, Malmgren L, Matsushita K, Nethander M, Eriksson J, Ohlsson C, Mellström D, Wolf M, Ljunggren O, McGuigan F, Rotter JI, Karlsson M, Econs MJ, Ix JH, Lutsey PL, Psaty BM, de Boer IH, Kestenbaum BR. Genetic variants associated with circulating fibroblast growth factor 23. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2018 Sep 14. pii: ASN.2018020192. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2018020192. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Ashar FN, Mitchell RN, Albert CM, Newton-Cheh C, Brody JA, Müller-Nurasyid M, Moes A, Meitinger T, Mak A, Huikuri H, Junttila MJ, Goyette P, Pulit SL, Pazoki R, Tanck MW, Blom MT, Zhao X, Havulinna AS, Jabbari R, Glinge C, Tragante V, Escher SA, Chakravarti A, Ehret G, Coresh J, Li M, Prineas RJ, Franco OH, Kwok PY, Lumley T, Dumas F, McKnight B, Rotter JI, Lemaitre RN, Heckbert SR, O'Donnell CJ, Hwang SJ, Tardif JC, VanDenburgh M, Uitterlinden AG, Hofman A, Stricker BHC, de Bakker PIW, Franks PW, Jansson JH, Asselbergs FW, Halushka MK, Maleszewski JJ, Tfelt-Hansen J, Engstrøm T, Salomaa V, Virmani R, Kolodgie F, Wilde AAM, Tan HL, Bezzina CR, Eijgelsheim M, Rioux JD, Jouven X, Kääb S, Psaty BM, Siscovick DS, Arking DE, Sotoodehnia N, SCD working group of the CHARGE Consortium. A comprehensive evaluation of the genetic architecture of sudden cardiac arrest. Eur Heart J. 2018 Aug 28. pii: 5086126. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehy474. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Bis JC, Jian X, Kunkle BW, Chen Y, Hamilton-Nelson KL, Bush WS, Salerno WJ, Lancour D, Ma Y, Renton AE, Marcora E, Farrell JJ, Zhao Y, Qu L, Ahmad S, Amin N, Amouyel P, Beecham GW, Below JE, Campion D, Charbonnier C, Chung J, Crane PK, Cruchaga C, Cupples LA, Dartigues JF, Debette S, Deleuze JF, Fulton L, Gabriel SB, Genin E, Gibbs RA, Goate A, Grenier-Boley B, Gupta N, Haines JL, Havulinna AS, Helisalmi S, Hiltunen M, Howrigan DP, Ikram MA, Kaprio J, Konrad J, Kuzma A, Lander ES, Lathrop M, Lehtimäki T, Lin H, Mattila K, Mayeux R, Muzny DM, Nasser W, Neale B, Nho K, Nicolas G, Patel D, Pericak-Vance MA, Perola M, Psaty BM, Quenez O, Rajabli F, Redon R, Reitz C, Remes AM, Salomaa V, Sarnowski C, Schmidt H, Schmidt M, Schmidt R, Soininen H, Thornton TA, Tosto G, Tzourio C, van der Lee SJ, van Duijn CM, Vardarajan B, Wang W, Wijsman E, Wilson RK, Witten D, Worley KC, Zhang X; Alzheimer’s Disease Sequencing Project, Bellenguez C, Lambert JC, Kurki MI, Palotie A, Daly M, Boerwinkle E, Lunetta KL, Destefano AL, Dupuis J, Martin ER, Schellenberg GD, Seshadri S, Naj AC, Fornage M, Farrer LA. Whole exome sequencing study identifies novel rare and common Alzheimer's-associated variants involved in immune response and transcriptional regulation. Mol Psychiatry. 2018 Aug 14. doi: 10.1038/s41380-018-0112-7. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Wopereis DM, Du Puy RS, van Heemst D, Walsh JP, Bremner A, Bakker SJL, Bauer DC, Cappola AR, Ceresini G, Degryse J, Dullaart RPF, Feller M, Ferrucci L, Floriani C, Franco OH, Iacoviello M, Iervasi G, Imaizumi M, Jukema JW, Khaw KT, Luben RN, Molinaro S, Nauck M, Patel KV, Peeters RP, Psaty BM, Razvi S, Schindhelm RK, van Schoor NM, Stott DJ, Vaes B, Vanderpump MPJ, Völzke H, Westendorp RGJ, Rodondi N, Cobbaert CM, Gussekloo J, den Elzen WPJ, Thyroid Studies Collaboration. The relation between thyroid function and anemia: a pooled analysis of individual participant data. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2018 Aug 2. doi: 10.1210/jc.2018-00481. [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
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