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.
Menopause; alternative therapies for menopause; hormone replacement therapy; urinary incontinence; selective estrogen receptor modulators
Diabetes care and prevention; management
Cardiovascular health in women; effect of hormone replacement therapy on cardiovascular health
Schmittdiel JA, Desai J, Schroeder EB, Paolino AR, Nichols GA, Lawrence JM, O'Connor PJ, Ohnsorg KA, Newton KM, Steiner JF. Methods for engaging stakeholders in comparative effectiveness research: a patient-centered approach to improving diabetes care. Healthc (Amst). 2015;3(2):80-8. doi: 10.1016/j.hjdsi.2015.02.005. Epub 2015 Mar 13. PubMed
Otte JL, Rand KL, Landis CA, Paudel ML, Newton KM, Woods N, Carpenter JS. Confirmatory factor analysis of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index in women with hot flashes. Menopause. 2015 May 4. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Schroeder EB, Powers JD, O'Connor PJ, Nichols GA, Xu S, Desai JR, Karter AJ, Morales LS, Newton KM, Pathak RD, Vazquez-Benitez G, Raebel MA, Butler MG, Lafata JE, Reynolds K, Thomas A, Waitzfelder BE, Steiner JF; SUPREME-DM Study Group. Prevalence of chronic kidney disease among individuals with diabetes in the SUPREME-DM Project, 2005-2011. J Diabetes Complications. 2015 Apr 16. pii: S1056-8727(15)00164-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2015.04.007. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
O'Connor PJ, Schmittdiel JA, Pathak RD, Harris RI, Newton KM. Response to comment on O'Connor et al. Randomized trial of telephone outreach to improve medication adherence and metabolic control in adults with diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2015;38(3):e46. doi: 10.2337/dc14-2928. PubMed
The New York Times, October 4, 2013