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

Harding BN, Wiggins KL, Jensen PN, McKnight B, Psaty BM, Heckbert SR, Floyd JS. Opioid, gabapentinoid, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication use and the risks of atrial fibrillation and supraventricular ectopy in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2020 Jun 17. doi: 10.1002/pds.5036. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Whelton SP, McEvoy JW, Shaw L, Psaty BM, Lima JAC, Budoff M, Nasir K, Szklo M, Blumenthal RS, Blaha MJ. Association of normal systolic blood pressure level with cardiovascular disease in the absence of risk factors. JAMA Cardiol. 2020 Jun 10:e201731. doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2020.1731. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Wang Z, Chen H, Bartz TM, Bielak LF, Chasman DI, Feitosa MF, Franceschini N, Guo X, Lim E, Noordam R, Richard MA, Wang H, Cade B, Cupples LA, de Vries PS, Giulanini F, Lee J, Lemaitre RN, Martin LW, Reiner AP, Rich SS, Schreiner PJ, Sidney S, Sitlani CM, Smith JA, Willems van Dijk K, Yao J, Zhao W, Fornage M, Kardia SLR, Kooperberg C, Liu CT, Mook-Kanamori DO, Province MA, Psaty BM, Redline S, Ridker PM, Rotter JI, Boerwinkle E, Morrison AC. Role of rare and low-frequency variants in gene-alcohol interactions on plasma lipid levels. Circ Genom Precis Med. 2020 Jun 8. doi: 10.1161/CIRCGEN.119.002772. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Ntalla I, Weng LC, Cartwright JH, Hall AW, Sveinbjornsson G, Tucker NR, Choi SH, Chaffin MD, Roselli C, Barnes MR, Mifsud B, Warren HR, Hayward C, Marten J, Cranley JJ, Concas MP, Gasparini P, Boutin T, Kolcic I, Polasek O, Rudan I, Araujo NM, Lima-Costa MF, Ribeiro ALP, Souza RP, Tarazona-Santos E, Giedraitis V, Ingelsson E, Mahajan A, Morris AP, Del Greco M F, Foco L, Gögele M, Hicks AA, Cook JP, Lind L, Lindgren CM, Sundström J, Nelson CP, Riaz MB, Samani NJ, Sinagra G, Ulivi S, Kähönen M, Mishra PP, Mononen N, Nikus K, Caulfield MJ, Dominiczak A, Padmanabhan S, Montasser ME, O'Connell JR, Ryan K, Shuldiner AR, Aeschbacher S, Conen D, Risch L, Thériault S, Hutri-Kähönen N, Lehtimäki T, Lyytikäinen LP, Raitakari OT, Barnes CLK, Campbell H, Joshi PK, Wilson JF, Isaacs A, Kors JA, van Duijn CM, Huang PL, Gudnason V, Harris TB, Launer LJ, Smith AV, Bottinger EP, Loos RJF, Nadkarni GN, Preuss MH, Correa A, Mei H, Wilson J, Meitinger T, Müller-Nurasyid M, Peters A, Waldenberger M, Mangino M, Spector TD, Rienstra M, van de Vegte YJ, van der Harst P, Verweij N, Kääb S, Schramm K, Sinner MF, Strauch K, Cutler MJ, Fatkin D, London B, Olesen M, Roden DM, Benjamin Shoemaker M, Gustav Smith J, Biggs ML, Bis JC, Brody JA, Psaty BM, Rice K, Sotoodehnia N, De Grandi A, Fuchsberger C, Pattaro C, Pramstaller PP, Ford I, Wouter Jukema J, Macfarlane PW, Trompet S, Dörr M, Felix SB, Völker U, Weiss S, Havulinna AS, Jula A, Sääksjärvi K, Salomaa V, Guo X, Heckbert SR, Lin HJ, Rotter JI, Taylor KD, Yao J, de Mutsert R, Maan AC, Mook-Kanamori DO, Noordam R, Cucca F, Ding J, Lakatta EG, Qian Y, Tarasov KV, Levy D, Lin H, Newton-Cheh CH, Lunetta KL, Murray AD, Porteous DJ, Smith BH, Stricker BH, Uitterlinden A, van den Berg ME, Haessler J, Jackson RD, Kooperberg C, Peters U, Reiner AP, Whitsel EA, Alonso A, Arking DE, Boerwinkle E, Ehret GB, Soliman EZ, Avery CL, Gogarten SM, Kerr KF, Laurie CC, Seyerle AA, Stilp A, Assa S, Abdullah Said M, Yldau van der Ende M, Lambiase PD, Orini M, Ramirez J, Van Duijvenboden S, Arnar DO, Gudbjartsson DF, Holm H, Sulem P, Thorleifsson G, Thorolfsdottir RB, Thorsteinsdottir U, Benjamin EJ, Tinker A, Stefansson K, Ellinor PT, Jamshidi Y, Lubitz SA, Munroe PB. Multi-ancestry GWAS of the electrocardiographic PR interval identifies 202 loci underlying cardiac conduction. Nat Commun. 2020 May 21;11(1):2542. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-15706-x. PubMed

Häberle AD, Biggs ML, Cushman M, Psaty BM, Newman AB, Shlipak MG, Gottdiener J, Wu C, Gardin JM, Bansal N, Odden MC. Level and change in N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide and kidney function and survival to age 90. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2020 May 17. pii: glaa124. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glaa124. [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