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

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

Psaty BM, Dekkers OM, Cooper RS. Precision medicine vs preventive medicine-reply. JAMA. 2019;321(4):406-407. doi: 10.1001/jama.2018.18664. 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

Ellervik C, Roselli C, Christophersen IE, Alonso A, Pietzner M, Sitlani CM, Trompet S, Arking DE, Geelhoed B, Guo X, Kleber ME, Lin HJ, Lin H, MacFarlane P, Selvin E, Shaffer C, Smith AV, Verweij N, Weiss S, Cappola AR, Dörr M, Gudnason V, Heckbert S, Mooijaart S, März W, Psaty BM, Ridker PM, Roden D, Stott DJ, Völzke H, Benjamin EJ, Delgado G, Ellinor P, Homuth G, Köttgen A, Jukema JW, Lubitz SA, Mora S, Rienstra M, Rotter JI, Shoemaker MB, Sotoodehnia N, Taylor KD, van der Harst P, Albert CM, Chasman DI. Assessment of the relationship between genetic determinants of thyroid function and atrial fibrillation: a Mendelian randomization study. JAMA Cardiol. 2019 Jan 23. pii: 2722686. doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2018.4635. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Kilpeläinen TO, Bentley AR, Noordam R, Sung YJ, Schwander K, Winkler TW, Jakupovic H, Chasman DI, Manning A, Ntalla I, Aschard H, Brown MR, de Las Fuentes L, Franceschini N, Guo X, Vojinovic D, Aslibekyan S, Feitosa MF, Kho M, Musani SK, Richard M, Wang H, Wang Z, Bartz TM, Bielak LF, Campbell A, Dorajoo R, Fisher V, Hartwig FP, Horimoto ARVR, Li C, Lohman KK, Marten J, Sim X, Smith AV, Tajuddin SM, Alver M, Amini M, Boissel M, Chai JF, Chen X, Divers J, Evangelou E, Gao C, Graff M, Harris SE, He M, Hsu FC, Jackson AU, Zhao JH, Kraja AT, Kühnel B, Laguzzi F, Lyytikäinen LP, Nolte IM, Rauramaa R, Riaz M, Robino A, Rueedi R, Stringham HM, Takeuchi F, van der Most PJ, Varga TV, Verweij N, Ware EB, Wen W, Li X, Yanek LR, Amin N, Arnett DK, Boerwinkle E, Brumat M, Cade B, Canouil M, Chen YI, Concas MP, Connell J, de Mutsert R, de Silva HJ, de Vries PS, Demirkan A, Ding J, Eaton CB, Faul JD, Friedlander Y, Gabriel KP, Ghanbari M, Giulianini F, Gu CC, Gu D, Harris TB, He J, Heikkinen S, Heng CK, Hunt SC, Ikram MA, Jonas JB, Koh WP, Komulainen P, Krieger JE, Kritchevsky SB, Kutalik Z, Kuusisto J, Langefeld CD, Langenberg C, Launer LJ, Leander K, Lemaitre RN, Lewis CE, Liang J; Lifelines Cohort Study, Liu J, Mägi R, Manichaikul A, Meitinger T, Metspalu A, Milaneschi Y, Mohlke KL, Mosley TH Jr, Murray AD, Nalls MA, Nang EK, Nelson CP, Nona S, Norris JM, Nwuba CV, O'Connell J, Palmer ND, Papanicolau GJ, Pazoki R, Pedersen NL, Peters A, Peyser PA, Polasek O, Porteous DJ, Poveda A, Raitakari OT, Rich SS, Risch N, Robinson JG, Rose LM, Rudan I, Schreiner PJ, Scott RA, Sidney SS, Sims M, Smith JA, Snieder H, Sofer T, Starr JM, Sternfeld B, Strauch K, Tang H, Taylor KD, Tsai MY, Tuomilehto J, Uitterlinden AG, van der Ende MY, van Heemst D, Voortman T, Waldenberger M, Wennberg P, Wilson G, Xiang YB, Yao J, Yu C, Yuan JM, Zhao W, Zonderman AB, Becker DM, Boehnke M, Bowden DW, de Faire U, Deary IJ, Elliott P, Esko T, Freedman BI, Froguel P, Gasparini P, Gieger C, Kato N, Laakso M, Lakka TA, Lehtimäki T, Magnusson PKE, Oldehinkel AJ, Penninx BWJH, Samani NJ, Shu XO, van der Harst P, Van Vliet-Ostaptchouk JV, Vollenweider P, Wagenknecht LE, Wang YX, Wareham NJ, Weir DR, Wu T, Zheng W, Zhu X, Evans MK, Franks PW, Gudnason V, Hayward C, Horta BL, Kelly TN, Liu Y, North KE, Pereira AC, Ridker PM, Tai ES, van Dam RM, Fox ER, Kardia SLR, Liu CT, Mook-Kanamori DO, Province MA, Redline S, van Duijn CM, Rotter JI, Kooperberg CB, Gauderman WJ, Psaty BM, Rice K, Munroe PB, Fornage M, Cupples LA, Rotimi CN, Morrison AC, Rao DC, Loos RJF. Multi-ancestry study of blood lipid levels identifies four loci interacting with physical activity. Nat Commun. 2019;10(1):376. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-08008-w. 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