Katherine M. Newton, PhD

“The work I do helps people with chronic conditions such as diabetes manage their health. And I'm helping women make decisions about managing menopause symptoms.”

Katherine M. Newton, PhD

Group Health Research Institute Senior investigator
Director of Research & External Affairs

Biography

Katherine Newton is a chronic disease epidemiologist who is passionate about finding ways to help women stay healthy during midlife. Known for her research on menopause, Dr. Newton is a national leader in the search for non-hormonal treatments for menopausal symptoms.

After a 20-year career as a cardiovascular nurse specialist, Dr. Newton pursued her PhD in epidemiology and shifted her focus to epidemiologic research, joining Group Health Research Institute (GHRI) as a postdoctoral fellow in 1995. Dr. Newton focuses on health concerns for women reaching midlife and on menopause in particular. She has two primary research goals. The first is to help women transition through menopause in the healthiest way possible, and she is especially interested in investigating ways to relieve menopause symptoms without using hormone replacement therapy. Her second goal is to ensure that people with diabetes, or at high risk for diabetes, have access to the information and support they need to stay healthy.

Dr. Newton’s 2006 randomized trial of alternative therapies for menopause received widespread interest, leading to several invited talks around the world. Study analyses continue to yield compelling findings, including a 2007 publication linking low libido in menopause to trouble sleeping. She is currently participating in a multisite network of investigators, MsFLASH Finding Lasting Answers for Symptoms and Health. This group has conducted 5 randomized trials testing the efficacy of yoga, exercise, omega-3 fatty acids, escitalopram and low dose estrogen for menopause symptoms. Dr. Newton’s other areas of interest include studying the intersection of women’s health and chronic disease, especially diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Newton is a member of several professional organizations, including the North American Menopause Society, the American Diabetes Association, and the American Heart Association. She sits on the latter’s councils on cardiovascular epidemiology and cardiovascular nursing. Dr. Newton has held two faculty appointments at the University of Washington since 1999, as affiliate associate professor in epidemiology, biobehavioral nursing, and health systems.

Research interests and experience

Recent publications

Newton KM, Reed SD, Uchiyama S, Qu C, Ueno T, Iwashita S, Gundersen G, Fuller S, Lampe JW.

A cross-sectional study of equol producer status and self-reported vasomotor symptoms.

Menopause. 2014 Nov 6. [Epub ahead of print].

Ensrud KE, Guthrie KA, Hohensee C, Caan B, Carpenter JS, Freeman EW, LaCroix AZ, Landis CA, Manson J, Newton KM, Otte J, Reed SD, Shifren JL, Sternfeld B, Woods NF, Joffe H.

Effects of estradiol and venlafaxine on insomnia symptoms and sleep quality in women with hot flashes.

Sleep. 2014 Oct 17. pii: sp-00082-14 [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

O'Connor PJ, Schmittdiel JA, Pathak RD, Harris RI, Newton KM, Ohnsorg KA, Heisler M, Sterrett AT, Xu S, Dyer WT, Raebel MA, Thomas A, Schroeder EB, Desai JR, Steiner JF.

Randomized trial of telephone outreach to improve medication adherence and metabolic control in adults with diabetes.

Diabetes Care. 2014 Oct 14. pii: DC_140596 [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Reed SD, Mitchell CM, Joffe H, Cohen L, Shifren JL, Newton KM, Freeman EW, Larson JC, Manson JE, LaCroix AZ, Guthrie KA.

Sexual function in women on estradiol or venlafaxine for hot flushes: a randomized controlled trial.

Obstet Gynecol. 2014 Aug;124(2 Pt 1):233-41. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000000386. PubMed