Women's Health

“What excites me most about our work is the chance to answer questions and develop evidence that is helpful to patients—that includes before, during, and after pregnancy, and through menopause and aging.”

Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD
Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute Senior Investigator 
Physician, Washington Permanente Medical Group, Internal Medicine

Research overview

Women make up half of the world’s population, but for many years, much health research has focused on men. Women face unique health choices about birth control and pregnancy, cancer screening, preventing osteoporosis, and treating menopause symptoms. For many years, studies of new drugs have systematically excluded pregnant individuals, so when a drug is approved, little is known about its potential impact on a pregnancy or fetus. Studies by Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) investigators are helping women make the best decisions for a healthy pregnancy and a long and healthy life.

In addition to studying “equal-opportunity” conditions such as heart disease, which are common in many people, prior and current areas of study for Kaiser Permanente Washington investigators include:

An advantage of doing this research at KPWHRI is the large, diverse patient population available through connections to Kaiser Permanente Washington and collaborating research partners across the country. KPWHRI studies include participants of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, ages, genders, educational levels, and socioeconomic status.

“We work with big populations that resemble the real world,” says Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD, KPWHRI senior investigator. “And one reason I love doing research at Kaiser Permanente is that when we get data on how to make our patients’ health better, that research can help make clinical decisions and the clinical decisions then influence our research.”

Recent publications on Women's Health

Anthony MS, Reed SD, Armstrong MA, Getahun D, Gatz JL, Saltus CW, Zhou X, Schoendorf J, Postlethwaite DA, Raine-Bennett T, Fassett MJ, Peipert JF, Ritchey ME, Ichikawa LE, Lynen R, Alabaster AL, Merchant M, Chiu VY, Shi JM, Xie F, Hui SL, Wang J, Hunter S, Bartsch J, Frenz AK, Chillemi G, Im TM, Takhar HS, Asiimwe A. Design of the association of uterine perforation and expulsion of IUD (APEX-IUD) study: a multisite retrospective cohort study. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2021 Jan 15:S0002-9378(21)00026-0. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2021.01.003. Online ahead of print. PubMed

Hoopes A, Timko CA, Akers AY. What's known and what's next: contraceptive counseling and support for adolescents and young adult women. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2020 Dec 14:S1083-3188(20)30404-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2020.12.008. PubMed

Rosenberg DE, Rillamas-Sun E, Bellettiere J, LaMonte M, Buchner DM, Di C, Hunt J, Marshall S, Stefanick M, Zhang Y, LaCroix AZ. Accelerometer-measured sedentary patterns are associated with incident falls in older women. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2020 Nov 30. doi: 10.1111/jgs.16923. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Carpenter JS, Tisdale JE, Chen CX, Kovacs R, Larson JC, Guthrie KA, Ensrud KE, Newton KM, LaCroix AZ. A Menopause Strategies-Finding Lasting Answers for Symptoms and Health (MsFLASH) investigation of self-reported menopausal palpitation distress. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2020 Nov 20. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2020.8586. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Badon SE, Dublin S, Nance N, Hedderson MM, Neugebauer R, Easterling T, Cheetham TC, Chen L, Holt VL, Avalos LA. Gestational weight gain and adverse pregnancy outcomes by pre-pregnancy bmi category in women with chronic hypertension: a cohort study. Pregnancy Hypertens. 2020 Oct 24;23:27-33. doi: 10.1016/j.preghy.2020.10.009. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Researchers in Women's Health

Diana S. Buist, PhD, MPH

Director of Research and Strategic Partnerships; Senior Investigator

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD

Senior Investigator

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Laura Harrington, PhD, MPH

Assistant Investigator

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Karen Wernli, PhD

Associate Investigator

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Erin J. Bowles, MPH

Research Associate

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Laura E. Ichikawa, MS

Biostatistician III

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Jennifer F. Bobb, PhD

Associate Investigator

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Gaia Pocobelli, PhD

Research Associate

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Ellen O'Meara, PhD

Senior Research Associate

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Paige D. Wartko, PhD, MPH

Research Associate

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Mary A. Akosile, MS, MPH

Biostatistician I

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Denise M. Boudreau, PhD

Senior Investigator

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Aruna Kamineni, PhD, MPH

Assistant Investigator

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Susan M. Shortreed, PhD

Senior Investigator

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Onchee Yu, MS

Biostatistician III

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Weiwei Zhu, MS

Biostatistician III

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Karen J. Sherman, PhD

Senior Investigator

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Katherine M. Newton, PhD

Senior Investigator (Emeritus)

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Yu-Ru Su, PhD

Assistant Investigator

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Affiliate researchers

Amy Bonomi, PhD, MPH
Professor and Chair, Human Development and Family Studies
Michigan State University

Susan D. Reed, MD, MPH
Harborview Medical Center; UW Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Rachel Winer, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology
University of Washington