Most telehealth users say they are interested in using it again
A survey of 1,000 Kaiser Permanente Northern California patients who used a phone or video visit to see their primary care doctor in 2020 found that most were satisfied with their visit, and two-thirds are interested in using telemedicine again.
Syndemics: Untangling a complex mix of HIV, heart disease, social issues
This episode of KP Research Radio podcast features investigators at the Division of Research who are using a method called syndemics to examine the complex ways that biological, social, and other factors interact to increase the risk of heart disease for a person living with HIV.
Pregnant patients seek open-minded support from doctors on cannabis
People who have used legal cannabis during pregnancy say they would welcome non-judgmental advice from their doctors about its possible negative side effects, according to new focus group research led by Kaiser Permanente Northern California researchers.
Autism-related traits more likely in children of mothers with prenatal depression
A Kaiser Permanente analysis of parents and their children in communities across the country finds a greater likelihood of autism-related traits in children of mothers who experienced depression while they were pregnant.
Similar outcomes for pregnant patients who received prenatal care in-person or in a combination of telehealth and in-person visits
Pregnant patients who received some of their prenatal care during the COVID-19 pandemic in a combination of virtual and in-office visits had similar health outcomes as those who were seen mostly in person before the pandemic.
COVID-19 vaccination was effective in children, adolescents during 2021
A large study of U.S. children and teens who received the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine finds that it was effective through much of 2021, but waned over time, especially as the omicron variant became dominant in 2022. Teens who received a booster dose regained some protection.
Widely used triage method overestimates severity of a quarter of emergency department patients
A Kaiser Permanente study looking at the application of the Emergency Severity Index — a method commonly used to triage emergency department patients — found some imprecision, suggesting there may be an opportunity for the ESI to be updated.
COVID-19 vaccination of mother during pregnancy protects infant, though protection wanes
Being vaccinated against COVID-19 during pregnancy provides protection for the baby through its first several months of life, a Kaiser Permanente analysis finds. Protection was stronger against the delta variant than the more recent omicron variant.
Children’s pandemic screen time rose nearly 2 hours per day
Children increased their screen time by nearly 2 hours per day after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and an hour of that increase persisted even after some restrictions had eased, according to a new analysis in JAMA Network Open by Kaiser Permanente researchers.
Alcohol check-in at primary care visit may benefit other conditions
Patients with hypertension and unhealthy alcohol use were more likely to see a decline in their blood pressure if they were asked about their alcohol drinking habits and provided a brief intervention during a visit with their primary care team, according to new Kaiser Permanente research.
Study finds little evidence of link between autistic traits and PFAS environmental chemicals
A Kaiser Permanente analysis of prenatal exposure to the persistent environmental chemicals known as PFAS found suggestive evidence of an association with autism-related traits in children for just 1 of 8 PFAS chemicals studied.
Helping patients with addiction tackle their health needs
Teaching patients who are in addiction treatment to work with their primary care medical team on both mental and physical health concerns resulted in long-term benefits over 5 years, including more primary care use and fewer emergency department visits, Kaiser Permanente researchers have found.
Public health group honors Kaiser Permanente researcher with Young Professional Award
Kelly Young-Wolff, PhD, MPH, a clinical psychologist and Kaiser Permanente Division of Research investigator who studies substance use among vulnerable populations, including pregnant women, was awarded the 2022 Young Professional Award by the American Public Health Association (APHA) Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Section.
Intervening with at-risk adolescents shows long-term benefits
A long-term Kaiser Permanente study following 1,851 adolescents who reported substance use or mood problems at a pediatric clinic found those who had access to a brief intervention and referral to treatment were less likely to have a related diagnosis 7 years later, in their 20s.
Shorter wait between COVID-19 and elective surgery possible
Kaiser Permanente researchers have good news for patients, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and hospital administrators who have had to put off elective surgery because of a positive COVID-19 test. Among fully vaccinated patients, there may not be an elevated risk with surgery soon after COVID-19.
Early antibiotics for sepsis supported in new study
A large multi-hospital analysis found that early antibiotics in sepsis patients resulted in improved health outcomes for them without posing unintended consequences for others, such as expanding overall antibiotic use or worsening antibiotic resistance.
COVID-19 patients did better if they had booster vaccination
A large Kaiser Permanente analysis of COVID-19 patients confirms the value of vaccination, finding higher rates of hospitalization and advanced medical care for COVID-19 patients who were unvaccinated, were vaccinated but not boosted, or who had an additional health condition such as obesity or heart disease.
Pandemic stressors taking a toll on pregnant patients’ mental health
Pregnant patients surveyed by Kaiser Permanente researchers early in the COVID-19 pandemic reported more severe mental health symptoms when they were distressed about changes in prenatal care, childcare challenges, and food insecurity. A second study found disparities in how Black and Hispanic pregnant individuals experienced pandemic stressors compared with white patients.
National recognition for Kaiser Permanente early alert system
Kaiser Permanente Northern California’s life-saving Advance Alert Monitor (AAM) program — an early detection system that helps care teams predict when hospitalized patients are at risk for clinical deterioration — has been recognized by The Joint Commission and National Quality Forum.
Autistic people join autism project – as research partners
A group of Kaiser Permanente investigators is inviting their study subjects — autistic people — to participate as research partners, providing their own unique perspective on being autistic. Their initial focus is on gender, sexuality, and reproductive health in autism, but once trained, the advisers could help shape any future research project.
Medical assistants help close virtual visit digital divide
Patients participating in video visits with their primary care doctors in fall 2020 benefited from having a medical assistant help connect the call, particularly if they needed language interpretation or lived in a low-socioeconomic-status neighborhood, according to new Kaiser Permanente research.
No difference found in infant outcomes between glyburide and insulin for gestational diabetes
A study of 11,321 patients treated for gestational diabetes with insulin or the medication glyburide did not find a difference in cesarean section rates or outcomes for the patients’ infants, suggesting many people with gestational diabetes could forego insulin injections in favor of taking a pill.
Coronavirus may double severe complications in pregnancy
A Kaiser Permanente analysis of pregnant patients who tested positive for the coronavirus found more than double the risk of poor outcomes including preterm birth, venous thromboembolism (blood clot), and severe maternal morbidity, which includes conditions such as acute respiratory distress syndrome and sepsis.
Early data on COVID-19 vaccine in teens shows booster effectiveness
An analysis of early data on the effectiveness of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children and teens found that a third shot, or booster, extended protection against emergency department and urgent care visits in 16- and 17-year-olds.
New approach to alcohol withdrawal treatment reduced patients’ time in the hospital
Kaiser Permanente quality improvement effort to update hospital management of alcohol withdrawal was associated with shorter time in the hospital and less use of the intensive care unit (ICU), according to research published Feb. 22 in JAMA Network Open.
Online quiz can help parents assess if their teen has a substance use problem
An analysis by Kaiser Permanente researchers suggests there may be clues in a child’s medical history about their risk for a substance use problem. The investigators used that research and input from parents to develop a free online risk prediction tool that anyone can use.
Filling in evidence gaps about preventive care
A new report from a consensus committee headed by Kaiser Permanente Division of Research Director Tracy Lieu, MD, MPH, for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM), makes recommendations to accelerate the research needed to fill evidence gaps for clinical preventive services.
Researchers expand understanding of hernia genetics
A Kaiser Permanente genetic analysis found 41 new locations on the human genome related to risk of hernia in the lower abdomen and identified for the first time 2 locations associated with inguinal hernia risk in people with African ancestry and another 8 that show sex-specific effects.
Pandemic mental health, diabetes, early puberty highlighted in 2021 research podcasts
Investigators at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research (DOR) study a wide variety of research topics, and that’s reflected in the range of subjects highlighted by KP Research Radio podcasts in 2021, offering a chance to hear researchers discuss the what – and why – of their work in their own words.
Higher risk of dementia for older adults living with HIV
A study reviewing 16 years of patient data found nearly double the rate of dementia among people with HIV compared with those without HIV. The rate of dementia decreased over time for both groups but remained higher for those with HIV, reported research published in the journal AIDS.
Similar follow-up after telemedicine and office visits
Patients who made appointments to see their primary care doctors by video or over the phone did not seek substantially more follow-up care overall than those who had traditional in-person visits, according to Kaiser Permanente research published November 16 in JAMA Network Open.
Risk score assigns surgery patients to best level of preoperative counseling
A clinical decision support tool developed with predictive analytics could lead to more consistent patient preparation for elective surgery and reduce complications, according to Kaiser Permanente research published Nov. 10 in Annals of Surgery.
Patients who need language interpretation less likely to initially choose a video visit
Patients with limited English proficiency who need a language interpreter for a telemedicine visit were less likely to choose a video visit for their first time than patients who did not need an interpreter, Kaiser Permanente research found.
Kaiser Permanente researchers study pandemic pregnancies
Kaiser Permanente researchers are surveying pregnant women during the pandemic and the first findings from the survey show a low percentage of COVID-19 infections, with higher prevalence among younger women, Hispanic women, and those living in neighborhoods with greater economic deprivation.
Teen suicidal thoughts and behaviors during pandemic vary by gender, diagnosis
The number of teens being seen at Kaiser Permanente Northern California emergency departments (ED) for suicidal thoughts and behaviors did not increase significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, though specific groups of teens may have sought care at higher rates during late 2020.
The findings were reported Sept. 1 in JAMA Psychiatry.
HIV prevention treatment shows gaps among key populations
A large, detailed look by Kaiser Permanente researchers at patients taking HIV-prevention drug therapy finds strong adherence soon after patients get the prescription, but less consistent use thereafter, particularly among groups considered high priority for receiving the medication.
Predictive model paired with case management reduced rate of readmitted hospital patients
A follow-up program for Kaiser Permanente Northern California patients discharged from the hospital was associated with reduced readmissions without increased mortality, new research in the journal BMJ suggests.
Study finds no link between autism and common antidepressant when used in pregnancy
Mothers with psychiatric conditions such as depression and anxiety were more likely to have a child with autism than mothers without such conditions, new research led by Kaiser Permanente investigators finds. But the analysis found no association between use of common antidepressants by pregnant women and likelihood of autism in their children.
Teens who stop taking ADHD medication at adulthood more prone to health, social problems
Teens diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often don’t take their medication regularly, and new Kaiser Permanente research finds the problem gets worse when they hit adulthood. The study also related non-adherence to ADHD medication with some negative health and social outcomes.
Longtime women’s health study SWAN tackles the challenges of aging
A long-term study that has produced important insights into menopause and women’s health at midlife is starting its 27th year with new federal funding from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at 7 sites including the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland.
Gender, sexuality in autism a largely unexplored area of research
The Autism Research Program at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research is pursuing a new project to identify gaps in knowledge about gender, sexuality, and reproductive health among autistic people. Our KP Research Radio podcast explores the issue.
Analysis confirms racial disparities in COVID-19 infection
An analysis of Kaiser Permanente members in Northern California early in the COVID-19 pandemic found racial and ethnic disparities in the likelihood of testing positive for the coronavirus, but no significant disparities in mortality among those who were hospitalized.
Pediatrician screening of young people with substance use, mood problems can have long-term results
Adolescents who had access to a brief intervention and referral to treatment for substance use or mood problems at a pediatric clinic were less likely to have a related diagnosis 3 years later, new Kaiser Permanente research finds.
Unique genetic factors and ancestry, along with lifestyle, influence skin cancer risk
People can look to the Northern European side of their genetic heritage for increased risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer, according to the first large analysis of genetic risk factors for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma in diverse populations with European ancestry from Kaiser Permanente researchers.
Kaiser Permanente to study statins’ effect on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias
The potential for statins — a widely prescribed class of cholesterol-lowering medication — to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias will be explored in a 4-year study led by Division of Research investigator Catherine Schaefer, PhD.
5 Questions for… Lyndsay Avalos
To help pregnant women make informed decisions, Division of Research (DOR) investigator Lyndsay Avalos, PhD, MPH is leading a study to shed light on the nuances of depression treatment during pregnancy. Avalos recently received a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the topic.
Real-time in-hospital alerts associated with lower patient mortality
A sophisticated system that analyzes electronic data about hospital patients, identifies those at risk of deteriorating, and issues an alert to a centralized team of specially trained nurses resulted in a lower mortality rate, Kaiser Permanente researchers reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Pediatricians at Kaiser Permanente find advantages to video visits with children, families
Parents, children, and pediatricians with Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC) have found advantages to home-based video medical visits, which have increased markedly since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 antibody research to illuminate pandemic’s course in Northern California
Researchers with Kaiser Permanente are launching a study using blood tests for antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus to estimate the prevalence and incidence of COVID-19 disease in Northern California and explore whether antibodies confer protection from recurrent disease.
Teens, parents, physicians support screening young people for gender identity, study suggests
Teenagers who question their gender identity may not feel comfortable bringing up the issue with their doctors. New research suggests that adding gender identity questions to a pre-visit screening could make those conversations easier.
Study identifies geographic clusters of pregnant women who missed flu shots
A Kaiser Permanente analysis of women who did not get flu shots during their pregnancies found the women clustered in geographic “hot spots.” These women tended to have fewer prenatal medical visits and live in low-income neighborhoods.
Genetic regions associated with corneal thickness identified by Kaiser Permanente researchers
The investigators wanted to better understand corneal thickness variation between individuals and its relationship with vision disorders such as primary open-angle glaucoma and keratoconus, which can both lead to vision loss.
Telephone coaching helped pregnant women with overweight or obesity manage gestational weight gain
Pregnant women with overweight or obesity better controlled their weight gain and improved health behaviors when they received a series of telephone sessions with a registered dietician, a new study from Kaiser Permanente finds.
People with medical conditions more likely to abstain from drinking heavily
An analysis of 2.7 million Kaiser Permanente patients finds a higher risk of unhealthful drinking among people who drink and have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic liver disease, diabetes, and hypertension.
COVID-19 clinical studies ramp up quickly at Kaiser Permanente Northern California
In the race to find safe and effective treatments for seriously ill patients with COVID-19, Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC) is enrolling patients in nationwide clinical trials and pursuing other innovative treatment options.
Can knowing common search terms lead to better usability of electronic health records?
Kaiser Permanente researchers’ study identified top search terms in the electronic health record and analyzed the relationships among search terms. They then used these data to identify what users were looking for most – and consider how they might find it more easily.
Heart attack patients who follow more guidelines live longer
Patients who followed more medical advice after a heart attack were more likely to survive years later, and their prospects improved with every additional recommendation they followed, according to new research from Kaiser Permanente published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Depressed pregnant women more likely to eat poorer diets, Kaiser Permanente analysis finds
Pregnant women with depression were more likely to eat poor diets with a higher intake of empty calories and lower intake of greens, beans, and fruit, according to an analysis of 1,160 adult pregnant women who were treated at Kaiser Permanente Northern California.
Large study finds physical inactivity as dangerous as smoking for heart disease, stroke
A broad look at an ethnically diverse sample of nearly 1 million Kaiser Permanente patients compared the individual contributions of major risk factors for heart attacks and stroke and found physical inactivity a greater risk than expected.
Kaiser Permanente reduces racial disparities in who gets minimally invasive hysterectomies
Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California hospitals significantly increased minimally invasive surgery for hysterectomy and found the change also reduced racial disparities in the types of hysterectomies patients get.
Study in pregnant women suggests maternal infection, not antibiotics, associated with childhood obesity
Women who had an untreated infection during pregnancy were more likely to have a child who later went on to be obese than pregnant women who never had an infection, new research from Kaiser Permanente finds.
Medical imaging rates continue to rise despite push to reduce their use
Despite a broad campaign among physician groups to reduce the amount of imaging in medicine, the rates of use of CT, MRI and other scans have continued to increase in both the United States and Ontario, Canada, according to a new study of more than 135 million imaging exams.
How do patients’ genes affect their medication choice?
Analysis finds that neurological side effects from the anti-seizure medication phenytoin are more common in patients with certain genetic variants that were also associated with lower adherence to treatment, suggesting they may play a role in patients finding the right medication.
More women using cannabis daily before and during pregnancy, Kaiser Permanente research finds
The number of women using cannabis in the year before they get pregnant and early in their pregnancies is increasing, and their frequency of use is also rising, according to new data from Kaiser Permanente.
Lower surgical opioid dosage leads to less long-term use, Kaiser Permanente research finds
Surgical patients given less opioids and more alternative methods of pain control were less likely to continue using opioids 6 months to a year later, an analysis by Kaiser Permanente Northern California researchers finds.
Hepatitis C drugs not associated with more adverse events
Direct-acting antiviral agents used to treat patients with the hepatitis C virus are not associated with higher rates of adverse liver, kidney, and cardiovascular events, according to research published in JAMA Network Open and supported by data from Kaiser Permanente Northern California.
Kidney Disease Patients with Implantable Heart Defibrillators at Greater Risk of Hospitalization
In a study of nearly 6,000 community-based patients with chronic kidney disease and heart failure, the use of implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) was associated with a significantly increased risk of subsequent hospitalization.