Cardiovascular Health

“One in four deaths in the United States is attributed to heart disease. Our researchers study how behavior, environment, and genetics affect heart health and how screening and treatment can reduce risk.”

Laura B. Harrington, PhD, MPH
Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute Assistant Investigator

Research overview

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for Americans. Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) scientists are working to understand 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,” says  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 risks of a drug, so they receive the safest and most effective therapies."

Beverly B. Green, MD, MPH, senior 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 says.

Kaiser Permanente Washington cardiovascular research includes studies by:

Recent publications on Cardiovascular Health

Kunkle BW, Grenier-Boley B, Sims R, Bis JC, Damotte V, Naj AC, Boland A, Vronskaya M, van der Lee SJ, Amlie-Wolf A, Bellenguez C, Frizatti A, Chouraki V, Martin ER, Sleegers K, Badarinarayan N, Jakobsdottir J, Hamilton-Nelson KL, Moreno-Grau S, Olaso R, Raybould R, Chen Y, Kuzma AB, Hiltunen M, Morgan T, Ahmad S, Vardarajan BN, Epelbaum J, Hoffmann P, Boada M, Beecham GW, Garnier JG, Harold D, Fitzpatrick AL, Valladares O, Moutet ML, Gerrish A, Smith AV, Qu L, Bacq D, Denning N, Jian X, Zhao Y, Del Zompo M, Fox NC, Choi SH, Mateo I, Hughes JT, Adams HH, Malamon J, Sanchez-Garcia F, Patel Y, Brody JA, Dombroski BA, Naranjo MCD, Daniilidou M, Eiriksdottir G, Mukherjee S, Wallon D, Uphill J, Aspelund T, Cantwell LB, Garzia F, Galimberti D, Hofer E, Butkiewicz M, Fin B, Scarpini E, Sarnowski C, Bush WS, Meslage S, Kornhuber J, White CC, Song Y, Barber RC, Engelborghs S, Sordon S, Voijnovic D, Adams PM, Vandenberghe R, Mayhaus M, Cupples LA, Albert MS, De Deyn PP, Gu W, Himali JJ, Beekly D, Squassina A, Hartmann AM, Orellana A, Blacker D, Rodriguez-Rodriguez E, Lovestone S, Garcia ME, Doody RS, Munoz-Fernadez C, Sussams R, Lin H, Fairchild TJ, Benito YA, Holmes C, Karamujic-Comic H, Frosch MP, Thonberg H, Maier W, Roschupkin G, Ghetti B, Giedraitis V, Kawalia A, Li S, Huebinger RM, Kilander L, Moebus S, Hernández I, Kamboh MI, Brundin R, Turton J, Yang Q, Katz MJ, Concari L, Lord J, Beiser AS, Keene CD, Helisalmi S, Kloszewska I, Kukull WA, Koivisto AM, Lynch A, Tarraga L, Larson EB, Haapasalo A, Lawlor B, Mosley TH, Lipton RB, Solfrizzi V, Gill M, Longstreth WT Jr, Montine TJ, Frisardi V, Diez-Fairen M, Rivadeneira F, Petersen RC, Deramecourt V, Alvarez I, Salani F, Ciaramella A, Boerwinkle E, Reiman EM, Fievet N, Rotter JI, Reisch JS, Hanon O, Cupidi C, Andre Uitterlinden AG, Royall DR, Dufouil C, Maletta RG, de Rojas I, Sano M, Brice A, Cecchetti R, George-Hyslop PS, Ritchie K, Tsolaki M, Tsuang DW, Dubois B, Craig D, Wu CK, Soininen H, Avramidou D, Albin RL, Fratiglioni L, Germanou A, Apostolova LG, Keller L, Koutroumani M, Arnold SE, Panza F, Gkatzima O, Asthana S, Hannequin D, Whitehead P, Atwood CS, Caffarra P, Hampel H, Quintela I, Carracedo Á, Lannfelt L, Rubinsztein DC, Barnes LL, Pasquier F, Frölich L, Barral S, McGuinness B, Beach TG, Johnston JA, Becker JT, Passmore P, Bigio EH, Schott JM, Bird TD, Warren JD, Boeve BF, Lupton MK, Bowen JD, Proitsi P, Boxer A, Powell JF, Burke JR, Kauwe JSK, Burns JM, Mancuso M, Buxbaum JD, Bonuccelli U, Cairns NJ, McQuillin A, Cao C, Livingston G, Carlson CS, Bass NJ, Carlsson CM, Hardy J, Carney RM, Bras J, Carrasquillo MM, Guerreiro R, Allen M, Chui HC, Fisher E, Masullo C, Crocco EA, DeCarli C, Bisceglio G, Dick M, Ma L, Duara R, Graff-Radford NR, Evans DA, Hodges A, Faber KM, Scherer M, Fallon KB, Riemenschneider M, Fardo DW, Heun R, Farlow MR, Kölsch H, Ferris S, Leber M, Foroud TM, Heuser I, Galasko DR, Giegling I, Gearing M, Hüll M, Geschwind DH, Gilbert JR, Morris J, Green RC, Mayo K, Growdon JH, Feulner T, Hamilton RL, Harrell LE, Drichel D, Honig LS, Cushion TD, Huentelman MJ, Hollingworth P, Hulette CM, Hyman BT, Marshall R, Jarvik GP, Meggy A, Abner E, Menzies GE, Jin LW, Leonenko G, Real LM, Jun GR, Baldwin CT, Grozeva D, Karydas A, Russo G, Kaye JA, Kim R, Jessen F, Kowall NW, Vellas B, Kramer JH, Vardy E, LaFerla FM, Jöckel KH, Lah JJ, Dichgans M, Leverenz JB, Mann D, Levey AI, Pickering-Brown S, Lieberman AP, Klopp N, Lunetta KL, Wichmann HE, Lyketsos CG, Morgan K, Marson DC, Brown K, Martiniuk F, Medway C, Mash DC, Nöthen MM, Masliah E, Hooper NM, McCormick WC, Daniele A, McCurry SM, Bayer A, McDavid AN, Gallacher J, McKee AC, van den Bussche H, Mesulam M, Brayne C, Miller BL, Riedel-Heller S, Miller CA, Miller JW, Al-Chalabi A, Morris JC, Shaw CE, Myers AJ, Wiltfang J, O'Bryant S, Olichney JM, Alvarez V, Parisi JE, Singleton AB, Paulson HL, Collinge J, Perry WR, Mead S, Peskind E, Cribbs DH, Rossor M, Pierce A, Ryan NS, Poon WW, Nacmias B, Potter H, Sorbi S, Quinn JF, Sacchinelli E, Raj A, Spalletta G, Raskind M, Caltagirone C, Bossù P, Orfei MD, Reisberg B, Clarke R, Reitz C, Smith AD, Ringman JM, Warden D, Roberson ED, Wilcock G, Rogaeva E, Bruni AC, Rosen HJ, Gallo M, Rosenberg RN, Ben-Shlomo Y, Sager MA, Mecocci P, Saykin AJ, Pastor P, Cuccaro ML, Vance JM, Schneider JA, Schneider LS, Slifer S, Seeley WW, Smith AG, Sonnen JA, Spina S, Stern RA, Swerdlow RH, Tang M, Tanzi RE, Trojanowski JQ, Troncoso JC, Van Deerlin VM, Van Eldik LJ, Vinters HV, Vonsattel JP, Weintraub S, Welsh-Bohmer KA, Wilhelmsen KC, Williamson J, Wingo TS, Woltjer RL, Wright CB, Yu CE, Yu L, Saba Y; Alzheimer Disease Genetics Consortium (ADGC),; European Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative (EADI),; Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium (CHARGE),; Genetic and Environmental Risk in AD/Defining Genetic, Polygenic and Environmental Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease Consortium (GERAD/PERADES),, Pilotto A, Bullido MJ, Peters O, Crane PK, Bennett D, Bosco P, Coto E, Boccardi V, De Jager PL, Lleo A, Warner N, Lopez OL, Ingelsson M, Deloukas P, Cruchaga C, Graff C, Gwilliam R, Fornage M, Goate AM, Sanchez-Juan P, Kehoe PG, Amin N, Ertekin-Taner N, Berr C, Debette S, Love S, Launer LJ, Younkin SG, Dartigues JF, Corcoran C, Ikram MA, Dickson DW, Nicolas G, Campion D, Tschanz J, Schmidt H, Hakonarson H, Clarimon J, Munger R, Schmidt R, Farrer LA, Van Broeckhoven C, C O'Donovan M, DeStefano AL, Jones L, Haines JL, Deleuze JF, Owen MJ, Gudnason V, Mayeux R, Escott-Price V, Psaty BM, Ramirez A, Wang LS, Ruiz A, van Duijn CM, Holmans PA, Seshadri S, Williams J, Amouyel P, Schellenberg GD, Lambert JC, Pericak-Vance MA. Genetic meta-analysis of diagnosed Alzheimer's disease identifies new risk loci and implicates Aß, tau, immunity and lipid processing. Nat Genet. 2019 Mar;51(3):414-430. doi: 10.1038/s41588-019-0358-2. Epub 2019 Feb 28. PubMed

Bellettiere J, LaMonte MJ, Evenson KR, Rillamas-Sun E, Kerr J, Lee IM, Di C, Rosenberg DE, Stefanick M, Buchner DM, Hovell MF, LaCroix AZ. Sedentary behavior and cardiovascular disease in older women: the Objective Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Health (OPACH) Study. Circulation. 2019 Feb 19;139(8):1036-1046. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.118.035312. PubMed

Karasik D, Zillikens MC, Hsu YH, Aghdassi A, Akesson K, Amin N, Barroso I, Bennett DA, Bertram L, Bochud M, Borecki IB, Broer L, Buchman AS, Byberg L, Campbell H, Campos-Obando N, Cauley JA, Cawthon PM, Chambers JC, Chen Z, Cho NH, Choi HJ, Chou WC, Cummings SR, de Groot LCPGM, De Jager PL, Demuth I, Diatchenko L, Econs MJ, Eiriksdottir G, Enneman AW, Eriksson J, Eriksson JG, Estrada K, Evans DS, Feitosa MF, Fu M, Gieger C, Grallert H, Gudnason V, Lenore LJ, Hayward C, Hofman A, Homuth G, Huffman KM, Husted LB, Illig T, Ingelsson E, Ittermann T, Jansson JO, Johnson T, Biffar R, Jordan JM, Jula A, Karlsson M, Khaw KT, Kilpeläinen TO, Klopp N, Kloth JSL, Koller DL, Kooner JS, Kraus WE, Kritchevsky S, Kutalik Z, Kuulasmaa T, Kuusisto J, Laakso M, Lahti J, Lang T, Langdahl BL, Lerch MM, Lewis JR, Lill C, Lind L, Lindgren C, Liu Y, Livshits G, Ljunggren Ö, Loos RJF, Lorentzon M, Luan J, Luben RN, Malkin I, McGuigan FE, Medina-Gomez C, Meitinger T, Melhus H, Mellström D, Michaëlsson K, Mitchell BD, Morris AP, Mosekilde L, Nethander M, Newman AB, O'Connell JR, Oostra BA, Orwoll ES, Palotie A, Peacock M, Perola M, Peters A, Prince RL, Psaty BM, Räikkönen K, Ralston SH, Ripatti S, Rivadeneira F, Robbins JA, Rotter JI, Rudan I, Salomaa V, Satterfield S, Schipf S, Shin CS, Smith AV, Smith SB, Soranzo N, Spector TD, Stancáková A, Stefansson K, Steinhagen-Thiessen E, Stolk L, Streeten EA, Styrkarsdottir U, Swart KMA, Thompson P, Thomson CA, Thorleifsson G, Thorsteinsdottir U, Tikkanen E, Tranah GJ, Uitterlinden AG, van Duijn CM, van Schoor NM, Vandenput L, Vollenweider P, Völzke H, Wactawski-Wende J, Walker M, J Wareham N, Waterworth D, Weedon MN, Wichmann HE, Widen E, Williams FMK, Wilson JF, Wright NC, Yerges-Armstrong LM, Yu L, Zhang W, Zhao JH, Zhou Y, Nielson CM, Harris TB, Demissie S, Kiel DP, Ohlsson C. Disentangling the genetics of lean mass.  Am J Clin Nutr. 2019 Feb 1;109(2):276-287. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqy272. PubMed

Dörr M, Hamburg NM, Müller C, Smith NL, Gustafsson S, Lehtimäki T, Teumer A, Zeller T, Li X, Lind L, Raitakari OT, Völker U, Blankenberg S, McKnight B, Morris AP, Kähönen M, Lemaitre RN, Wild PS, Nauck M, Völzke H, Münzel T, Mitchell GF, Psaty BM, Lindgren CM, Larson MG, Felix SB, Ingelsson E, Lyytikäinen LP, Herrington D, Benjamin EJ, Schnabel RB. Common genetic variation in relation to brachial vascular dimensions and flow-mediated vasodilation. Circ Genom Precis Med. 2019;12(2):e002409. doi: 10.1161/CIRCGEN.118.002409. PubMed

de Vries PS, Brown MR, Bentley AR, Sung YJ, Winkler TW, Ntalla I, Schwander K, Kraja AT, Guo X, Franceschini N, Cheng CY, Sim X, Vojinovic D, Huffman JE, Musani SK, Li C, Feitosa MF, Richard MA, Noordam R, Aschard H, Bartz TM, Bielak LF, Deng X, Dorajoo R, Lohman KK, Manning AK, Rankinen T, Smith AV, Tajuddin SM, Evangelou E, Graff M, Alver M, Boissel M, Chai JF, Chen X, Divers J, Gandin I, Gao C, Goel A, Hagemeijer Y, Harris SE, Hartwig FP, He M, Horimoto ARVR, Hsu FC, Jackson AU, Kasturiratne A, Komulainen P, Kühnel B, Laguzzi F, Lee JH, Luan J, Lyytikäinen LP, Matoba N, Nolte IM, Pietzner M, Riaz M, Said MA, Scott RA, Sofer T, Stancáková A, Takeuchi F, Tayo BO, van der Most PJ, Varga TV, Wang Y, Ware EB, Wen W, Yanek LR, Zhang W, Zhao JH, Afaq S, Amin N, Amini M, Arking DE, Aung T, Ballantyne C, Boerwinkle E, Broeckel U, Campbell A, Canouil M, Charumathi S, Chen YI, Connell JM, de Faire U, de Las Fuentes L, de Mutsert R, de Silva HJ, Ding J, Dominiczak AF, Duan Q, Eaton CB, Eppinga RN, Faul JD, Fisher V, Forrester T, Franco OH, Friedlander Y, Ghanbari M, Giulianini F, Grabe HJ, Grove ML, Gu CC, Harris TB, Heikkinen S, Heng CK, Hirata M, Hixson JE, Howard BV, Ikram MA; InterAct Consortium, Jacobs DR Jr, Johnson C, Jonas JB, Kammerer CM, Katsuya T, Khor CC, Kilpeläinen TO, Koh WP, Koistinen HA, Kolcic I, Kooperberg C, Krieger JE, Kritchevsky SB, Kubo M, Kuusisto J, Lakka TA, Langefeld CD, Langenberg C, Launer LJ, Lehne B, Lemaitre RN, Li Y, Liang J, Liu J, Liu K, Loh M, Louie T, Mägi R, Manichaikul AW, McKenzie CA, Meitinger T, Metspalu A, Milaneschi Y, Milani L, Mohlke KL, Mosley TH Jr, Mukamal KJ, Nalls MA, Nauck M, Nelson CP, Sotoodehnia N, O'Connell JR, Palmer ND, Pazoki R, Pedersen NL, Peters A, Peyser PA, Polasek O, Poulter N, Raffel LJ, Raitakari OT, Reiner AP, Rice TK, Rich SS, Robino A, Robinson JG, Rose LM, Rudan I, Schmidt CO, Schreiner PJ, Scott WR, Sever P, Shi Y, Sidney S, Sims M, Smith BH, Smith JA, Snieder H, Starr JM, Strauch K, Tan N, Taylor KD, Teo YY, Tham YC, Uitterlinden AG, van Heemst D, Vuckovic D, Waldenberger M, Wang L, Wang Y, Wang Z, Wei WB, Williams C, Wilson G Sr, Wojczynski MK, Yao J, Yu B, Yu C, Yuan JM, Zhao W, Zonderman AB, Becker DM, Boehnke M, Bowden DW, Chambers JC, Deary IJ, Esko T, Farrall M, Franks PW, Freedman BI, Froguel P, Gasparini P, Gieger C, Horta BL, Kamatani Y, Kato N, Kooner JS, Laakso M, Leander K, Lehtimäki T; Lifelines Cohort, Groningen, The Netherlands (Lifelines Cohort Study), Magnusson PKE, Penninx B, Pereira AC, Rauramaa R, Samani NJ, Scott J, Shu XO, van der Harst P, Wagenknecht LE, Wang YX, Wareham NJ, Watkins H, Weir DR, Wickremasinghe AR, Zheng W, Elliott P, North KE, Bouchard C, Evans MK, Gudnason V, Liu CT, Liu Y, Psaty BM, Ridker PM, van Dam RM, Kardia SLR, Zhu X, Rotimi CN, Mook-Kanamori DO, Fornage M, Kelly TN, Fox ER, Hayward C, van Duijn CM, Tai ES, Wong TY, Liu J, Rotter JI, Gauderman WJ, Province MA, Munroe PB, Rice K, Chasman DI, Cupples LA, Rao DC, Morrison AC. Multi-ancestry genome-wide association study of lipid levels incorporating gene-alcohol interactions. Am J Epidemiol. 2019 Jan 29. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwz005. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Researchers in Cardiovascular Health

Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD

Senior Investigator
206-287-2870
Sascha.Dublin@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Beverly B. Green, MD, MPH

Senior Investigator
206-287-2997
Bev.B.Green@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Laura Harrington, PhD, MPH

Assistant Investigator
206-287-2066
Laura.B.Harrington@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Aruna Kamineni, PhD, MPH

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)

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
206-287-2704
Michael.X.Parchman@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Bruce M. Psaty, MD, PhD

Senior Investigator, KPWHRI; Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, and Health Services, University of Washington
206-221-7775
psaty@uw.edu

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Affiliate researchers

James Floyd, MD, MS
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology
University of Washington

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