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

Dublin S, Walker R, Floyd JS, Shortreed SM, Fuller S, Albertson-Junkans L, Harrington LB, Greenwood-Hickman MA, Green BB, Psaty BM. Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors and COVID-19 infection or hospitalization: a cohort study. Am J Hypertens. 2020 Oct 13:hpaa168. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpaa168. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Suthahar N, Lau ES, Blaha MJ, Paniagua SM, Larson MG, Psaty BM, Benjamin EJ, Allison MA, Bartz TM, Januzzi JL Jr, Levy D, Meems LMG, Bakker SJL, Lima JAC, Cushman M, Lee DS, Wang TJ, deFilippi CR, Herrington DM, Nayor M, Vasan RS, Gardin JM, Kizer JR, Bertoni AG, Allen NB, Gansevoort RT, Shah SJ, Gottdiener JS, Ho JE, de Boer RA. Sex-specific associations of cardiovascular risk factors and biomarkers with incident heart failure. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020;76(12):1455-1465. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2020.07.044. PubMed

Yaghootkar H, Zhang Y, Spracklen CN, Karaderi T, Huang LO, Bradfield J, Schurmann C, Fine RS, Preuss MH, Kutalik Z, Wittemans LB, Lu Y, Metz S, Willems SM, Li-Gao R, Grarup N, Wang S, Molnos S, Sandoval-Zárate AA, Nalls MA, Lange LA, Haesser J, Guo X, Lyytikäinen LP, Feitosa MF, Sitlani CM, Venturini C, Mahajan A, Kacprowski T, Wang CA, Chasman DI, Amin N, Broer L, Robertson N, Young KL, Allison M, Auer PL, Blüher M, Borja JB, Bork-Jensen J, Carrasquilla GD, Christofidou P, Demirkan A, Doege CA, Garcia ME, Graff M, Guo K, Hakonarson H, Hong J, Ida Chen YD, Jackson R, Jakupovic H, Jousilahti P, Justice AE, Kähönen M, Kizer JR, Kriebel J, LeDuc CA, Li J, Lind L, Luan J, Mackey D, Mangino M, Männistö S, Martin Carli JF, Medina-Gomez C, Mook-Kanamori DO, Morris AP, de Mutsert R, Nauck M, Nedeljkovic I, Pennell CE, Pradhan AD, Psaty BM, Raitakari OT, Scott RA, Skaaby T, Strauch K, Taylor KD, Teumer A, Uitterlinden AG, Wu Y, Yao J, Walker M, North KE, Kovacs P, Ikram MA, van Duijn CM, Ridker PM, Lye S, Homuth G, Ingelsson E, Spector TD, McKnight B, Province MA, Lehtimäki T, Adair LS, Rotter JI, Reiner AP, Wilson JG, Harris TB, Ripatti S, Grallert H, Meigs JB, Salomaa V, Hansen T, Willems van Dijk K, Wareham NJ, Grant SF, Langenberg C, Frayling TM, Lindgren CM, Mohlke KL, Leibel RL, Loos RJ, Kilpeläinen TO. Genetic studies of leptin concentrations implicate leptin in the regulation of early adiposity. Diabetes. 2020 Sep 11;db200070. doi: 10.2337/db20-0070. Online ahead of print. PubMed

Vuckovic D, Bao EL, Akbari P, Lareau CA, Mousas A, Jiang T, Chen MH, Raffield LM, Tardaguila M, Huffman JE, Ritchie SC, Megy K, Ponstingl H, Penkett CJ, Albers PK, Wigdor EM, Sakaue S, Moscati A, Manansala R, Lo KS, Qian H, Akiyama M, Bartz TM, Ben-Shlomo Y, Beswick A, Bork-Jensen J, Bottinger EP, Brody JA, van Rooij FJA, Chitrala KN, Wilson PWF, Choquet H, Danesh J, Di Angelantonio E, Dimou N, Ding J, Elliott P, Esko T, Evans MK, Felix SB, Floyd JS, Broer L, Grarup N, Guo MH, Guo Q, Greinacher A, Haessler J, Hansen T, Howson JMM, Huang W, Jorgenson E, Kacprowski T, Kähönen M, Kamatani Y, Kanai M, Karthikeyan S, Koskeridis F, Lange LA, Lehtimäki T, Linneberg A, Liu Y, Lyytikäinen LP, Manichaikul A, Matsuda K, Mohlke KL, Mononen N, Murakami Y, Nadkarni GN, Nikus K, Pankratz N, Pedersen O, Preuss M, Psaty BM, Raitakari OT, Rich SS, Rodriguez BAT, Rosen JD, Rotter JI, Schubert P, Spracklen CN, Surendran P, Tang H, Tardif JC, Ghanbari M, Völker U, Völzke H, Watkins NA, Weiss S; VA Million Veteran Program, Cai N, Kundu K, Watt SB, Walter K, Zonderman AB, Cho K, Li Y, Loos RJF, Knight JC, Georges M, Stegle O, Evangelou E, Okada Y, Roberts DJ, Inouye M, Johnson AD, Auer PL, Astle WJ, Reiner AP, Butterworth AS, Ouwehand WH, Lettre G, Sankaran VG, Soranzo N. The polygenic and monogenic basis of blood traits and diseases. Cell. 2020 Sep 3;182(5):1214-1231.e11. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.08.008. PubMed

Chen MH, Raffield LM, Mousas A, Sakaue S, Huffman JE, Moscati A, Trivedi B, Jiang T, Akbari P, Vuckovic D, Bao EL, Zhong X, Manansala R, Laplante V, Chen M, Lo KS, Qian H, Lareau CA, Beaudoin M, Hunt KA, Akiyama M, Bartz TM, Ben-Shlomo Y, Beswick A, Bork-Jensen J, Bottinger EP, Brody JA, van Rooij FJA, Chitrala K, Cho K, Choquet H, Correa A, Danesh J, Di Angelantonio E, Dimou N, Ding J, Elliott P, Esko T, Evans MK, Floyd JS, Broer L, Grarup N, Guo MH, Greinacher A, Haessler J, Hansen T, Howson JMM, Huang QQ, Huang W, Jorgenson E, Kacprowski T, Kähönen M, Kamatani Y, Kanai M, Karthikeyan S, Koskeridis F, Lange LA, Lehtimäki T, Lerch MM, Linneberg A, Liu Y, Lyytikäinen LP, Manichaikul A, Martin HC, Matsuda K, Mohlke KL, Mononen N, Murakami Y, Nadkarni GN, Nauck M, Nikus K, Ouwehand WH, Pankratz N, Pedersen O, Preuss M, Psaty BM, Raitakari OT, Roberts DJ, Rich SS, Rodriguez BAT, Rosen JD, Rotter JI, Schubert P, Spracklen CN, Surendran P, Tang H, Tardif JC, Trembath RC, Ghanbari M, Völker U, Völzke H, Watkins NA, Zonderman AB; VA Million Veteran Program, Wilson PWF, Li Y, Butterworth AS, Gauchat JF, Chiang CWK, Li B, Loos RJF, Astle WJ, Evangelou E, van Heel DA, Sankaran VG, Okada Y, Soranzo N, Johnson AD, Reiner AP, Auer PL, Lettre G. Trans-ethnic and ancestry-specific blood-cell genetics in 746,667 individuals from 5 global populations. Cell. 2020 Sep 3;182(5):1198-1213.e14. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.06.045. 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)

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