Bruce M. Psaty, MD, PhD

“Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., so I'm studying how genes, medications, and everyday behaviors influence heart health.”

Bruce M. Psaty, MD, PhD

Group Health Research Institute Senior Investigator

Areas of focus:

Biography

Bruce Psaty is a general internist and cardiovascular disease epidemiologist with interests and expertise in pharmaco-epidemiology, pharmacogenetics, and drug safety. Also a professor of medicine, epidemiology, and health services at the University of Washington (UW), he co-directs the UW’s Cardiovascular Health Research Unit.

Dr. Psaty’s work includes population-based case-control studies of myocardial infarction, stroke, atrial fibrillation, and venous thromboembolism conducted at Group Health Cooperative. His primary research interests include risk factors such as high blood pressure, dyslipidemia, and diabetes and the drugs used to treat these conditions; new or emerging risk factors for heart disease and stroke; genetics, genomics, and pharmacogenetics; and genetic risk factors for a variety of conditions.

His several current NIH-funded projects focus on interactions between medications and genes; they represent efforts to translate findings from the Human Genome Project into clinical practice and, thus, improve the safety and efficacy of commonly used medications. He is a founding member of the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology consortium (CHARGE), which conducts genome-wide association studies in collaborating cohorts, including the Cardiovascular Health Study and the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. He also teaches and mentors students, fellows, and junior faculty in medicine and epidemiology.

A national leader in encouraging better postmarket surveillance of approved medications, Dr. Psaty is a member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Science Board, a committee that advises the commisioner and chief scientist. He previously served on two Institute of Medicine (IOM) panels charged with reviewing the FDA, most recently the ethical and scientific issues in studying the safety of approved drugs. Dr. Psaty is also a member of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Advisory Council. In 2013, he was elected to the IOM and designated a distinguished scientist by the American Heart Association.

Dr. Psaty maintains a small but long-standing primary care practice in the Adult Medicine Clinic at Harborview Medical Center.

Research interests and experience

  • Cardiovascular Health

    Myocardial infarction and stroke; venous thrombosis; atrial fibrillation; and risk factors, including hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes

  • Medication Use & Patient Safety

    Pharmaco-epidemiology; drug safety

  • Genetics, Genomics, and Pharmacogenetics

  • Epidemiologic Methods

     

Recent publications

Zaheer S, de Boer I, Allison M, Brown JM, Psaty BM, Robinson-Cohen C, Ix JH, Kestenbaum B, Siscovick D, Vaidya A. Parathyroid hormone and the use of diuretics and calcium-channel blockers: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. J Bone Miner Res. 2016 Jan 8. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.2779. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Harrington LB, Weiss NS, Wiggins KL, Heckbert SR, McKnight B, Blondon M, Woods NF, LaCroix AZ, Psaty BM, Smith NL. Prior hysterectomy and oophorectomy and incident venous thrombosis risk among postmenopausal women: a population-based, case-control study. Menopause. 2016 Jan 6. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Fretts AM, Mozaffarian D, Siscovick DS, King IB, McKnight B, Psaty BM, Rimm EB, Sitlani C, Sacks FM, Song X, Sotoodehnia N, Spiegelman D, Lemaitre RN. Associations of plasma phospholipid SFAs with total and cause-specific mortality in older adults differ according to SFA chain length. J Nutr. 2015 Dec 23. pii: jn222117. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Yu B, Pulit SL, Hwang SJ, Brody JA, Amin N, Auer PL, Bis JC, Boerwinkle E, Burke GL, Chakravarti A, Correa A, Dreisbach AW, Franco OH, Ehret GB, Franceschini N, Hofman A, Lin DY, Metcalf GA, Musani SK, Muzny D, Palmas W, Raffel L, Reiner A, Rice K, Rotter JI, Veeraraghavan N, Fox E, Guo X, North KE, Gibbs RA, van Duijn CM, Psaty BM, Levy D, Newton-Cheh C, Morrison AC, Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Consortium, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute GO Exome Sequencing Project. Rare exome sequence variants in CLCN6 reduce blood pressure levels and hypertension risk. Circ Cardiovasc Genet. 2015 Dec 11. pii: CIRCGENETICS.115.001215. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

 

healthy findings blog

Tough conversations: How can we help patients get off risky drugs?

Dr. Sascha Dublin describes a Group Health-UW finding that benzodiazepines probably don’t cause dementia. But she cautions that they’re still bad for you.

Read it in Healthy Findings.

GHRI IN THE MEDIA

Screening children for cholesterol

New York Times, Feb 13, 2012