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

Marklund M, Wu JHY, Imamura F, Del Gobbo LC, Fretts A, de Goede J, Shi P, Tintle N, Wennberg M, Aslibekyan S, Chen TA, de Oliveira Otto MC, Hirakawa Y, Eriksen HH, Kröger J, Laguzzi F, Lankinen M, Murphy RA, Prem K, Samieri C, Virtanen J, Wood AC, Wong K, Yang WS, Zhou X, Baylin A, Boer JMA, Brouwer IA, Campos H, Chaves PHM, Chien KL, de Faire U, Djoussé L, Eiriksdottir G, El-Abbadi N, Forouhi NG, Gaziano JM, Geleijnse JM, Gigante B, Giles G, Guallar E, Gudnason V, Harris T, Harris WS, Helmer C, Hellénius ML, Hodge A, Hu FB, Jacques PF, Jansson JH, Kalsbeek A, Khaw KT, Koh WP, Laakso M, Leander K, Lin HJ, Lind L, Luben R, Luo J, McKnight B, Mursu J, Ninomiya T, Overvad K, Psaty BM, Rimm E, Schulze MB, Siscovick D, Skjelbo Nielsen M, Smith AV, Steffen BT, Steffen L, Sun Q, Sundström J, Tsai MY, Tunstall-Pedoe H, Uusitupa MIJ, van Dam RM, Veenstra J, Verschuren WMM, Wareham N, Willett W, Woodward M, Yuan JM, Micha R, Lemaitre RN, Mozaffarian D, Risérus U; Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Fatty Acids and Outcomes Research Consortium (FORCE). Biomarkers of dietary omega-6 fatty acids and incident cardiovascular disease and mortality: an individual-level pooled analysis of 30 cohort studies. Circulation. 2019 Apr 11. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.118.038908. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Whitman IR, Vittinghoff E, DeFilippi CR, Gottdiener JS, Alonso A, Psaty BM, Heckbert SR, Hoogeveen RC, Arking DE, Selvin E, Chen LY, Dewland TA, Marcus GM. NT-pro BNP as a mediator of the racial difference in incident atrial fibrillation and heart failure. J Am Heart Assoc. 2019;8(7):e010868. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.118.010868. PubMed

Bentley AR, Sung YJ, Brown MR, Winkler TW, Kraja AT, Ntalla I, Schwander K, Chasman DI, Lim E, Deng X, Guo X, Liu J, Lu Y, Cheng CY, Sim X, Vojinovic D, Huffman JE, Musani SK, Li C, Feitosa MF, Richard MA, Noordam R, Baker J, Chen G, Aschard H, Bartz TM, Ding J, Dorajoo R, Manning AK, Rankinen T, Smith AV, Tajuddin SM, Zhao W, Graff M, Alver M, Boissel M, Chai JF, Chen X, Divers J, Evangelou E, Gao C, Goel A, Hagemeijer Y, Harris SE, Hartwig FP, He M, Horimoto ARVR, Hsu FC, Hung YJ, Jackson AU, Kasturiratne A, Komulainen P, Kühnel B, Leander K, Lin KH, Luan J, Lyytikäinen LP, Matoba N, Nolte IM, Pietzner M, Prins B, Riaz M, Robino A, Said MA, Schupf N, Scott RA, Sofer T, Stancáková A, Takeuchi F, Tayo BO, van der Most PJ, Varga TV, Wang TD, Wang Y, Ware EB, Wen W, Xiang YB, Yanek LR, Zhang W, Zhao JH, Adeyemo A, Afaq S, Amin N, Amini M, Arking DE, Arzumanyan Z, Aung T, Ballantyne C, Barr RG, Bielak LF, Boerwinkle E, Bottinger EP, Broeckel U, Brown M, Cade BE, Campbell A, Canouil M, Charumathi S, Chen YI, Christensen K; COGENT-Kidney Consortium, Concas MP, Connell JM, de Las Fuentes L, de Silva HJ, de Vries PS, Doumatey A, Duan Q, Eaton CB, Eppinga RN, Faul JD, Floyd JS, Forouhi NG, Forrester T, Friedlander Y, Gandin I, Gao H, Ghanbari M, Gharib SA, Gigante B, Giulianini F, Grabe HJ, Gu CC, Harris TB, Heikkinen S, Heng CK, Hirata M, Hixson JE, Ikram MA; EPIC-InterAct Consortium, Jia Y, Joehanes R, Johnson C, Jonas JB, Justice AE, Katsuya T, Khor CC, Kilpeläinen TO, Koh WP, Kolcic I, Kooperberg C, Krieger JE, Kritchevsky SB, Kubo M, Kuusisto J, Lakka TA, Langefeld CD, Langenberg C, Launer LJ, Lehne B, Lewis CE, Li Y, Liang J, Lin S, Liu CT, Liu J, Liu K, Loh M, Lohman KK, Louie T, Luzzi A, Mägi R, Mahajan A, Manichaikul AW, McKenzie CA, Meitinger T, Metspalu A, Milaneschi Y, Milani L, Mohlke KL, Momozawa Y, Morris AP, Murray AD, Nalls MA, Nauck M, Nelson CP, North KE, O'Connell JR, Palmer ND, Papanicolau GJ, Pedersen NL, Peters A, Peyser PA, Polasek O, Poulter N, Raitakari OT, Reiner AP, Renström F, Rice TK, Rich SS, Robinson JG, Rose LM, Rosendaal FR, Rudan I, Schmidt CO, Schreiner PJ, Scott WR, Sever P, Shi Y, Sidney S, Sims M, Smith JA, Snieder H, Starr JM, Strauch K, Stringham HM, Tan NYQ, Tang H, Taylor KD, Teo YY, Tham YC, Tiemeier H, Turner ST, Uitterlinden AG; Understanding Society Scientific Group, van Heemst D, Waldenberger M, Wang H, Wang L, Wang L, Wei WB, Williams CA, Wilson G Sr, Wojczynski MK, Yao J, Young K, Yu C, Yuan JM, Zhou J, Zonderman AB, Becker DM, Boehnke M, Bowden DW, Chambers JC, Cooper RS, de Faire U, Deary IJ, Elliott P, Esko T, Farrall M, Franks PW, Freedman BI, Froguel P, Gasparini P, Gieger C, Horta BL, Juang JJ, Kamatani Y, Kammerer CM, Kato N, Kooner JS, Laakso M, Laurie CC, Lee IT, Lehtimäki T; Lifelines Cohort, Magnusson PKE, Oldehinkel AJ, Penninx BWJH, Pereira AC, Rauramaa R, Redline S, Samani NJ, Scott J, Shu XO, van der Harst P, Wagenknecht LE, Wang JS, Wang YX, Wareham NJ, Watkins H, Weir DR, Wickremasinghe AR, Wu T, Zeggini E, Zheng W, Bouchard C, Evans MK, Gudnason V, Kardia SLR, Liu Y, Psaty BM, Ridker PM, van Dam RM, Mook-Kanamori DO, Fornage M, Province MA, Kelly TN, Fox ER, Hayward C, van Duijn CM, Tai ES, Wong TY, Loos RJF, Franceschini N, Rotter JI, Zhu X, Bierut LJ, Gauderman WJ, Rice K, Munroe PB, Morrison AC, Rao DC, Rotimi CN, Cupples LA. Multi-ancestry genome-wide gene-smoking interaction study of 387,272 individuals identifies new loci associated with serum lipids. Nat Genet. 2019;51(4):636-648. doi: 10.1038/s41588-019-0378-y. Epub 2019 Mar 29. PubMed

Bowles EJA, Yu O, Ziebell R, Chen L, Boudreau DM, Ritzwoller DP, Hubbard RA, Boggs JM, Burnett-Hartman AN, Sterrett A, Fujii M, Chubak J. Cardiovascular medication use and risks of colon cancer recurrences and additional cancer events: a cohort study. BMC Cancer. 2019;19(1):270. doi: 10.1186/s12885-019-5493-8. PubMed

Mishra A, Chauhan G, Violleau MH, Vojinovic D, Jian X, Bis JC, Li S, Saba Y, Grenier-Boley B, Yang Q, Bartz TM, Hofer E, Soumaré A, Peng F, Duperron MG, Foglio M, Mosley TH, Schmidt R, Psaty BM, Launer LJ, Boerwinkle E, Zhu Y, Mazoyer B, Lathrop M, Bellenguez C, Van Duijn CM, Ikram MA, Schmidt H, Longstreth WT, Fornage M, Seshadri S, Joutel A, Tzourio C, Debette S. Association of variants in HTRA1 and NOTCH3 with MRI-defined extremes of cerebral small vessel disease in older subjects. Brain. 2019 Mar 11. pii: awz024. doi: 10.1093/brain/awz024. [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