Cardiovascular Health

“Heart health depends on individual genetics and behavior as well as medicines and therapies. We’re studying how to advise people on the safest and most effective care for heart disease.”

Bruce M. Psaty, MD, PhD
Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute Senior Investigator

Research overview

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for American men and women. Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) scientists are working to discover 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,” said 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 the risks of a drug so they receive the safest and most effective therapies."

Kaiser Permanente Washington research to improve cardiovascular health includes studies by:

  • Katherine M. Newton, PhD, senior investigator and director of Research & External Affairs, on how hormone therapy and diabetes affect heart health;
  • Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD, associate investigator, on how drugs can affect or control cardiovascular disease; and
  • Affiliate investigators Susan Heckbert, MD, PhD, and Nick Smith, PhD, MPH, on the irregular heartbeat atrial fibrillation and about the role of menopausal hormones in risk of thromboembolic events, respectively.

Beverly B. Green, MD, MPH, associate 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 said.

Recent publications on Cardiovascular Health

Feinstein MJ, Nance RM, Drozd DR, Ning H, Delaney JA, Heckbert SR, Budoff MJ, Mathews WC, Kitahata MM, Saag MS, Eron JJ, Moore RD, Achenbach CJ, Lloyd-Jones DM, Crane HM. Assessing and refining myocardial infarction risk estimation among patients with human immunodeficiency virus: a study by the centers for AIDS Research Network of Integrated Clinical Systems. JAMA Cardiol. 2017 Feb 1;2(2):155-162. doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2016.4494. PubMed

Hughes-Austin JM, Rifkin DE, Beben T, Katz R, Sarnak MJ, Deo R, Hoofnagle AN, Homma S, Siscovick DS, Sotoodehnia N, Psaty BM, de Boer IH, Kestenbaum B, Shlipak MG, Ix JH. The relation of serum potassium concentration with cardiovascular events and mortality in community-living individuals. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2017 Feb 7;12(2):245-252. doi: 10.2215/CJN.06290616. Epub 2017 Jan 31. PubMed

de Vries PS, Sabater-Lleal M, Chasman DI, Trompet S, Ahluwalia TS, Teumer A, Kleber ME, Chen MH, Wang JJ, Attia JR, Marioni RE, Steri M, Weng LC, Pool R, Grossmann V, Brody JA, Venturini C, Tanaka T, Rose LM, Oldmeadow C, Mazur J, Basu S, Frånberg M, Yang Q, Ligthart S, Hottenga JJ, Rumley A, Mulas A, de Craen AJ, Grotevendt A, Taylor KD, Delgado GE, Kifley A, Lopez LM, Berentzen TL, Mangino M, Bandinelli S, Morrison AC, Hamsten A, Tofler G, de Maat MP, Draisma HH, Lowe GD, Zoledziewska M, Sattar N, Lackner KJ, Völker U, McKnight B, Huang J, Holliday EG, McEvoy MA, Starr JM, Hysi PG, Hernandez DG, Guan W, Rivadeneira F, McArdle WL, Slagboom PE, Zeller T, Psaty BM, Uitterlinden AG, de Geus EJ, Stott DJ, Binder H, Hofman A, Franco OH, Rotter JI, Ferrucci L, Spector TD, Deary IJ, März W, Greinacher A, Wild PS, Cucca F, Boomsma DI, Watkins H, Tang W, Ridker PM, Jukema JW, Scott RJ, Mitchell P, Hansen T, O'Donnell CJ, Smith NL, Strachan DP, Dehghan A. Comparison of hapmap and 1000 genomes reference panels in a large-scale genome-wide association study. PLoS One. 2017 Jan 20;12(1):e0167742. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0167742. eCollection 2017. PubMed

van Rooij FJ, Qayyum R, Smith AV, Zhou Y, Trompet S, Tanaka T, Keller MF, Chang LC, Schmidt H, Yang ML, Chen MH, Hayes J, Johnson AD, Yanek LR, Mueller C, Lange L, Floyd JS, Ghanbari M, Zonderman AB, Jukema JW, Hofman A, van Duijn CM, Desch KC, Saba +++. Genome-wide Trans-ethnic Meta-analysis Identifies Seven Genetic Loci Influencing Erythrocyte Traits and a Role for RBPMS in Erythropoiesis. Am J Hum Genet. 2017 Jan 5;100(1):51-63. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2016.11.016. Epub 2016 Dec 22. PubMed

Appiah D, Fashanu OE, Heckbert SR, Cushman M, Psaty BM, Folsom AR. Relation of coagulation factor XI with incident coronary heart disease and stroke: the Cardiovascular Health Study. Blood Coagul Fibrinolysis. 2016 Dec 22. doi: 10.1097/MBC.0000000000000616. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Researchers in Cardiovascular Health

Bruce M. Psaty, MD, PhD

Senior Investigator
206-543-0710
psaty@u.washington.edu

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Katherine M. Newton, PhD

Senior Investigator (Emeritus)
206-287-2973
newton.k@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Jennifer C. Nelson, PhD

Director of Biostatistics; Senior Investigator
206-287-2004
nelson.jl@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Michael L. Parchman, MD, MPH

Director, MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation; Senior Investigator, GHRI
206-287-2704
parchman.m@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD

Associate Investigator
206-287-2870
dublin.s@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Aruna Kamineni, MPH

Research Associate
206-287-2922
akaminen@fhcrc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Ellen O'Meara, PhD

Research Associate
206-287-2938
omeara.e@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Affiliate researchers

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