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.
Blood pressure patterns in the first half of pregnancy improve early prediction of preeclampsia and gestational hypertension
Routine blood pressure readings recorded in the first half of pregnancy can be divided into 6 distinct patterns that can effectively stratify patients by their risk of developing preeclampsia and gestational hypertension later in pregnancy.
Kaiser Permanente research included in national clinical oncology conference
Investigators from the Division of Research and physicians from The Permanente Medical Group presented research on topics ranging from care delivery to cancer survivorship at the 2023 American Society of Clinical Oncology conference.
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.
A decade of cultivating the next generation of delivery science researchers
Co-founded in 2012 by Richard W. Grant, MD, MPH, and Julie Schmittdiel, PhD, and funded by The Permanente Medical Group, the fellowship offers training and mentorship to junior investigators interested in research aimed at improving health care delivery.
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.
Racial and ethnic differences seen in marker of early diabetic kidney disease
Among adults with diabetes who had kidney function perceived to be normal, a marker for early diabetic kidney disease was more commonly seen in Asian adults than in white, Black, or Latino adults, a new Kaiser Permanente study found.
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.
Podcast: Improving lung cancer survival
In this episode of KP Research Radio, Lori Sakoda, PhD, a research scientist at the Division of Research, and Jeff Velotta, MD, a thoracic surgeon with The Permanente Medical Group, discuss early lung cancer detection, ways to promote equitable lung cancer care, and Kaiser Permanente Northern California’s regionalized lung cancer care program.
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.
Many patients with blood clots can go home from ER
A decision support tool implemented in Kaiser Permanente Northern California emergency departments in 2016 has continued to help physicians safely discharge patients with an acute pulmonary embolism to their homes without harmful effects, a new study shows.
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.
New radiology reporting system decreased time to pancreatic cancer diagnoses
A new Kaiser Permanente study shows that having radiologists use standardized terms and hashtags to describe what they see creates a clearer path for physician follow-up that can lead to earlier detection of pancreatic cancer.
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.
Blood pressure patterns in early pregnancy tied to later risk of pregnancy-related hypertension complications
Kaiser Permanente research suggests blood pressure patterns seen during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy may offer critical clues to identify the patients most likely to develop high blood pressure complications later in their pregnancies.
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.
Diverse new class of postdoctoral fellows adds to research strength
The Kaiser Permanente Division of Research postdoctoral research program drew one of its largest-ever classes of fellows this year, building the strength of DOR’s research portfolio. Seven fellows cover fields from diet to dementia, cancer to clinical informatics, to women’s and children’s health, and more.
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.
Most stroke patients with severe symptoms could seemingly be treated at a primary stroke center
Even if emergency personnel were able to use the best stroke assessment tool available, most patients taken directly by ambulance to a comprehensive stroke center could have been treated at a primary stroke center instead, a new Kaiser Permanente study suggests.
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.
American Indian, Alaska Native women less likely to start and complete hormone therapy for breast cancer
Kaiser Permanente study, believed to be the first to look at hormone therapy initiation and adherence in this population, suggests lower rates of use may be contributing to higher breast cancer death rates.
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.
Home recovery after surgery is now a mainstay for mastectomy patients
In this new episode of KP Research Radio, we talk with Brooke Vuong, MD, a breast cancer surgeon at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center, about her research on the Surgical Home Recovery Program and the impact the program has had on her patients.
New study aims to help older adults with type 2 diabetes cut back on medications
Richard Grant, MD, MPH, a research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, has received a $3.2 million, 5-year National Institutes of Health Institute on Aging grant to develop an online education program that uses advance care planning concepts to improve diabetes care for adults age 75 and older.
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.
Fewer endometrial cancer diagnoses made during COVID-19 pandemic
The number of patients diagnosed with endometrial cancer in Kaiser Permanente Northern California during the first 12 weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic was more than one-third lower than what would be expected, a new Kaiser Permanente study found.
Early colorectal cancer screening benefits African Americans
Kaiser Permanente researchers showed starting annual colorectal cancer screening at age 45 in African Americans can find colorectal cancers at a rate similar to that seen when screening starts after age 50 — the age most guidelines currently recommend.
Which patients choose telemedicine over in-person primary care?
A new study in JAMA Network Open of patients who self-scheduled a video or phone visit at Kaiser Permanente Northern California shows that patients were more likely to choose telemedicine over an office visit if they were younger, female, or faced logistical challenges.
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.
Blood test to identify risk for diabetes after pregnancy in women with gestational diabetes now one step closer
New findings from Kaiser Permanente Division of Research SWIFT Study in PLOS Medicine advance a potential blood test to predict which women with gestational diabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes.
Large decrease in hospitalized heart attack patients seen during COVID-19 pandemic
New research by Kaiser Permanente shows the weekly number of patients admitted to Kaiser Permanente Northern California hospitals with acute myocardial infarction (heart attacks) fell to nearly half of what would be expected after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
Population-level estimates show wide age range of adults hospitalized with COVID-19
A JAMA study, using data on patients hospitalized in March from all 21 Kaiser Permanente Northern California hospitals, is one of the first U.S. studies to look at overall hospitalization admissions of COVID-19 patients.
Emergency physicians can use clinical experience to accurately predict whether a child has appendicitis
A new study shows high success rates for experienced emergency physicians who use the sum of their clinical expertise to make an initial prediction about whether a child has appendicitis — especially in low-risk cases.
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.
David Baer, MD: A passion for cancer research
David Baer, MD, cofounded the KP Oncology Clinical Trials program in the 1980s. He has enrolled significant numbers of patients in these trials, and helped expand the regional effort into a national KP program. As a leading member of the Northern California Central Research Committee for most of his career, he provides valuable experience in the practicality of research within Kaiser Permanente.
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.
The New Faces of Research
Diabetes, medication safety, and understanding chronic conditions are just some of the research areas a new class of postdoctoral fellows at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research will support. The 3 early-career researchers began their appointments this past year.
More metastatic prostate cancers found after change in screening guidelines
In the years after the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended against PSA-based screening in all men, many fewer men were diagnosed with prostate cancer but more were found to have advanced cancers, according to a large Kaiser Permanente study published today in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
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.
Body fatness affects chemo dosages, contributing to increased risk of breast cancer death
Women with greater adiposity, or body fatness, were significantly less likely to receive all of the recommended chemotherapy dose to treat their breast cancer, and they were subsequently 30% more likely to die from the disease as a result, according to research published in JAMA Oncology.
Use of insulin among older adults with type 2 diabetes not aligned with national guidelines
Listen on KP RESEARCH RADIO:
“What we learned is that contrary to recommendations from leading societies, sicker patients were more likely to be on insulin, and over time were less likely to be discontinued from their insulin.”
– Dr. Richard Grant, senior author of study in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Teen bedtime and sleeping patterns can influence risk of obesity and poor cardiometabolic health
Adolescent sleep timing preferences and patterns should be considered risk factors for obesity and cardiometabolic health, according to a new study by researchers with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research and Massachusetts General Hospital.
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.
Kaiser Permanente research shows mastectomy patients recover safely at home
A study in Annals of Surgical Oncology finds that the rate of home recovery after mastectomy increased from 23% regionwide to 61% in the 6 months after the program started, with no significant changes in emergency-department visits, reoperations, or readmissions.
Use of CT scans during pregnancy increased in U.S. and Canada over 2 decades
A large, multicenter study of advanced medical imaging in pregnancy, published in JAMA Network Open and co-led by Marilyn Kwan, PhD, found that CT scans were performed in 0.8% of pregnancies in the United States and 0.4% in Ontario in 2016; these rates increased nearly fourfold in the United States and doubled in Ontario over the 21 years.
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.
New study finds both components of blood pressure predict heart attack, stroke risk
“This research brings a large amount of data to bear on a basic question, and it gives such a clear answer,” said lead author Alexander C. Flint, MD, PhD, Kaiser Permanente stroke specialist and adjunct researcher with the Division of Research. “Every way you slice the data, the systolic and diastolic pressures are both important.”
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.
Clinical tool accurately predicts children’s appendicitis risk in Kaiser Permanente emergency rooms
Erring on the side of caution, emergency physicians tend to order CT scans to evaluate appendicitis in children, “but research shows that we weren’t necessarily catching more appendicitis,” Dr. Cotton said. “CT scans are costly and expose children to ionizing radiation that can increase the risk of cancer. At the same time, emergency physicians do not want to miss an important diagnosis like appendicitis.”
‘Motivational interview’ may lessen problem drinking in people with HIV
A single, 45-minute “motivational interview” with two 20-minute follow-up phone calls may help people with HIV who report unhealthy drinking reduce their alcohol intake, say researchers at UC San Francisco and Kaiser Permanente.
Pregnancy history of red-blood-cell donors not linked to higher mortality in transfusion recipients
Division of Research investigators participated in a multi-institution collaborative analysis, which supported the safety of current transfusion practice within Kaiser Permanente’s network of community hospitals.
Waning potency of pertussis vaccine a significant contributor to recent whooping cough outbreaks
Children who were up to date on their pertussis vaccine schedule were far less likely to develop the disease than those unvaccinated. The risk of vaccinated children becoming ill increased with time since vaccination, suggesting waning effectiveness.
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.
American Diabetes Association honors Kaiser Permanente researcher with its Norbert Freinkel Award
The American Diabetes Association’s 2019 Norbert Freinkel Award has been presented to Kaiser Permanente researcher Assiamira Ferrara, MD, PhD, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the understanding and treatment of diabetes in pregnancy.
Mother’s pregnancy weight linked to early puberty in daughters
A Kaiser Permanente study of more than 2,000 mothers and daughters found that the amount of weight mothers gained during pregnancy — whether too much or too little — was linked to the earlier onset of puberty in their daughters; the associations were even stronger when the mothers were overweight or obese at the beginning of the pregnancy.
New study data suggests revising heart disease management guidelines for colon cancer survivors
“This study demonstrates the importance at every BMI level of having more precise measures of muscle and fat to help identify those patients who are at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease,” said co-author Bette J. Caan, DrPH.
Video visits convenient and high quality, Kaiser Permanente members say
Nine out of 10 Kaiser Permanente members who had a primary-care video visit were confident in the quality of care received, reported that the provider was familiar with their medical history, and felt that their health care needs were adequately addressed.
Fewer Reproductive Years May Be Linked to an Increased Risk of Dementia
Women who start their period later, go through menopause earlier or have a hysterectomy may have a greater risk of developing dementia, according to a new study led by Kaiser Permanente researchers and published in the journal, Neurology.
Temperament of Babies Born to Mothers with Diabetes During Pregnancy Linked to Childhood Obesity
Kaiser Permanente prospective study finds that easier-to-soothe babies were more likely to be obese by age 5, and more likely to have started drinking sugared beverages during the first 6 months of life.
New Guidelines for Perinatal Depression are Important, but Barriers Remain
New recommendations suggest that clinicians should provide or refer pregnant and postpartum women who are at increased risk of perinatal depression to counseling interventions. These recommendations are “an important step forward” wrote research scientists and doctors at Kaiser Permanente, in a JAMA Pediatrics editorial.
Work by the Division of Research Makes Top JAMA Lists for 2018
The JAMA Network, the publication home for numerous top-tier journals from the American Medical Association, released a list of the “Most Talked About Articles” in each of their various publications for 2018. DOR research appears on four lists.
Kaiser Permanente Study Finds 10-Year Follow-up Interval After Negative Colonoscopies Is Associated with Reduced Risk of Colorectal Cancer and Mortality
Ten years after a negative colonoscopy, Kaiser Permanente members had 46 percent lower risk of being diagnosed with and were 88 percent less likely to die from colorectal cancer compared with those who did not undergo colorectal cancer screening.
Kaiser Permanente “Tele-triage” of Chest Pain Safely Reduces Emergency Room Visits
A new Kaiser Permanente study led by Dana Sax, MD, published today in the December issue of the journal Health Affairs, found that “tele-triage” of patients with chest pain over the phone can safely and effectively direct people to the right place for receiving care.
Emotional Abuse, PTSD Linked with Menopause Misery
A Kaiser Permanente study of more than 2,000 midlife and older women found that one in five had been emotionally abused by their current or former partners, and that these women had 50 percent higher odds of night sweats and 60 percent higher odds of painful sex.
Delivering the Next Generation of Diabetes Scientists
The Kaiser Permanente Division of Research has received a T32 grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) to train young scientists in translating research into practice for people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.
5 Questions for… Steve Sidney
“If other health care systems and providers had adopted Kaiser Permanente’s approach and achieved the same rate of decline, I estimated in this latest National Forum report that 40,000 heart disease and stroke deaths in this age group would have been prevented in 2015 alone.”
Kaiser Permanente Research Featured at ID Week 2018
Kaiser Permanente Division of Research scientists recently presented research on influenza vaccines, colorectal screening outcomes in HIV-infected individuals, a genetic basis for fever after measles-containing vaccines, and more at ID Week, a leading conference on infectious diseases.
A Better Way to Assess Ovarian Cancer Risk
New radiology guidelines developed by Kaiser Permanente gynocological oncologist and researcher Betty Suh-Burgman, MD, allow women at higher risk for ovarian cancer to be promptly referred for surgical evaluation while women at low risk can safely avoid surgery.
Study Finds Wide Variations in Projected Heart Benefits of Anti-Blood-Clotting Medications for People with Atrial Fibrillation
The reported rates of ischemic stroke in four large studies vary substantially, creating uncertainty about the predicted benefits of anticoagulation medication, according to new findings in Annals of Internal Medicine by Kaiser Permanente researchers and colleagues.
Kaiser Permanente Receives $7 Million to Better Identify Those at Risk of Getting Cancer
A research team at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research has been awarded $7 million that will allow them to assess three different methods for acquiring and acting on family history, from initial acquisition to final results.
Integrated Colorectal Cancer Screening Program Saves Lives
Kaiser Permanente members in Northern California are 52 percent less likely to die from colorectal cancer since the health care system launched a comprehensive, organized screening program, according to a new study in the specialty’s top journal, Gastroenterology.
Partners of Newly Diagnosed Diabetes Patients More Likely to Adopt Healthy Behaviors
Partners of people with newly diagnosed diabetes are more likely to improve their health behaviors than partners of people without the disease, according to a large new Kaiser Permanente study published today in Annals of Family Medicine.
Kaiser Permanente Data Helps Create Street-level View of the Health Impacts of Air Pollution in Oakland
Google’s Street View mapping cars have been mapping more than roads lately. Outfitted with new sensors to measure traffic-related air pollution, the cars roamed the streets of Oakland to create a block-by-block map of air pollution in three neighborhoods.
Division of Research’s Theodore Levin, MD, honored for colorectal cancer screening program
DOR’s Theodore (TR) Levin, MD, is one of four recipients of The Permanente Medical Group’s 2018 Sidney R. Garfield Exceptional Contribution Awards, for pioneering efforts to expand colorectal cancer screening.
Kaiser Permanente Dataset Helps ID Dozens of Genetic Markers for Depression
By analyzing the genomes of people with depression and comparing them with the genomes of people without depression, a global team, including Kaiser Permanente researchers, identified 44 specific places in the human genome with links to depression.
NCI Funds New 5-year, $16M, Program to Understand Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening
Researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research will lead a consortium evaluating colorectal cancer as part of the NCI’s Population-based Research to Optimize the Screening Process program.
Personalized Letter Improves Pregnancy Weight for Women with Gestational Diabetes
Women with gestational diabetes who received a tailored letter with personalized weight-gain recommendations were significantly more likely to meet national weight-gain guidelines, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published in Diabetes Care.
Low Blood Sugar Emergencies Usually Go Unreported in Medical Records
A study of diabetes patients at Kaiser Permanente suggests that severe episodes of hypoglycemia occur far more often than is captured in electronic medical records, pointing to a nationwide need for improved tracking of these events.
In Reducing Deaths from Heart Disease and Stroke, Kaiser Permanente Outpaces Nation
Death rates from heart disease and stroke in adults under age 65 are lower and dropping faster for Kaiser Permanente members in Northern California than in the rest of the United States, according to new research published today in the American Journal of Medicine.
Integrated Program Improves Heart and Stroke Risk Factors in Those With Diabetes
Over a 10-year period, control of three key cardiovascular risk factors improved faster for Kaiser Permanente diabetes patients in Northern California than in the rest of the United States, according to research published in the American Journal of Medicine.
A Heart-to-Heart for Researchers
The second Cardiovascular Research Symposium drew approximately 80 people including researchers, sub-specialty physicians, quality and operational staff, and others from across Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California region. It was convened at the Division of Research (DOR) in Oakland by Alan S. Go, MD, DOR’s associate director of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Conditions Research.
Eight Weeks or Twelve? Kaiser Permanente Study Shows Shorter Hepatitis C Regimen Effective in Black Patients
A new study shows that a treatment regimen of 8 weeks for hepatitis C may be just as effective as 12 weeks in black patients. The study also showed that more people overall can take advantage of the shorter treatment durations, which has important implications for access given the medication’s high cost.
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.
Historic Kaiser Permanente Artifact Donated to Smithsonian Institution
The Smithsonian recently received punch cards used in Kaiser Permanente’s multiphasic exam; the Division of Research (then the Medical Records Research) received its first U.S. Public Health Service grant to automate the results in 1962.
30-Year National Study Shows Women Who Breastfeed for 6 Months or More Reduce their Diabetes Risk by 50%
In a long-term national study, breastfeeding for six months or longer cuts the risk of developing type 2 diabetes nearly in half for women throughout their childbearing years, according to new Kaiser Permanente research published Jan. 16 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
New Kaiser Permanente Study Reveals an Increase in Marijuana Use During Pregnancy
A new study from the Division of Research, using data from almost 300,000 pregnant women treated at Kaiser Permanente Northern California, found that maternal prenatal marijuana use increased from 4 to 7 percent from 2009 to 2016.
Kaiser Permanente stroke patients receive clot-busting medication more than twice as fast as national rates
Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Northern California are delivering clot-busting medication to new stroke patients more than twice as fast as the national average. This follows the region-wide adoption of an integrated telemedicine program, according to new research published December 15 in the journal Stroke.
Large Genome Study Reveals Record Number of DNA Loci Linked with Eye Pressure
Analysis of DNA from nearly 70,000 Kaiser Permanente Northern California patients uncovered 47 specific positions, or loci, in the genome that are associated with variations in pressure inside the eye. The findings could help clarify how elevated eye pressure leads to glaucoma.
New Kaiser Permanente Study Provides Evidence of Health Risks Linked to Electromagnetic Field Exposure
A Kaiser Permanente study of real-world exposure to non-ionizing radiation from magnetic fields in pregnant women found a significantly higher rate of miscarriage, providing new evidence regarding their potential health risks.
Urban American-Indian and Alaskan Natives May Have Lower Survival Following Invasive Prostate and Breast Cancer
Compared with the non-Hispanic white (NHW) population, the urban American-Indian and Alaskan Native (AIAN) community was more likely to have lower survival rates following invasive prostate and breast cancer, according to results published by Kaiser Permanente researchers and colleagues in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
World’s Most Impactful Researchers List Includes Kaiser Permanente Northern California Scientist and Oncologist
Alan Go, MD, of the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, and Kaiser Permanente Northern California oncologist Louis Fehrenbacher, MD, are among the less than 400 people named as Highly Cited Researchers in clinical medicine for 2017 by Clarivate Analytics. The annual list recognizes investigators whose research ranks in the top 1 percent most cited works in their field, indicating exceptional scientific impact.
DOR’s Steve Sidney honored by National Forum for “exceptional contributions,” research on U.S. heart disease trends
The Division of Research’s Stephen Sidney, MD, MPH was honored by the National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention for his “exceptional contributions” as well as his work on understanding national trends in cardiovascular disease.
Early Adversity, Birthplace Contribute to Lifelong Racial Disparities in Dementia Risk
Two studies presented by Kaiser Permanente researchers Rachel Whitmer, PhD, and Paola Gilsanz, ScD, at an Alzheimer’s conference in July found that early life adversity and birthplace contribute to racial disparities in dementia rates, and that these disparities persist even among the oldest of the elderly.
Targeted analysis program seeks quick answers to pressing health care questions
An innovative program based at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research is breaking down barriers between researchers and clinical leadership, allowing them to work together on short-term projects that can directly and quickly impact care.
Physician researchers build bridges to health care innovation
David Vinson, MD, has been conducting research on nights and weekends for much of his 17-year career as an emergency-room physician in The Permanente Medical Group. A new program sponsored by TPMG will allow him to dedicate a portion of his clinical work week to research, while collaborating with investigators at the Division of Research.
Translating Research Into Improved Women’s Health Care
Elizabeth “Betty” Suh-Burgmann, MD, says her latest research project was “born out of frustration with the state of affairs” for managing adnexal masses in women. Like gynecological oncologists across the nation, she saw many women at her Kaiser Permanente Walnut Creek practice undergo surgeries to determine whether small masses in their ovaries were benign or cancerous.
Edmund (Ted) Van Brunt, former Kaiser Permanente research director and pioneer of electronic health records, dies at age 91
Edmund (Ted) Van Brunt, MD, former director of the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research and a pioneer in the use of electronic health records in medical science, died at his home in Berkeley on May 19, 2017. He was 91 years old.
Groundbreaking, Large-Scale Study to Examine Transgender Health Outcomes
Transgender people represent a sizable, underserved population with unique health needs and systemic barriers to health care access. Research on transgender health has been limited to very small studies that have not focused on long-term issues or quality of life.
Study finds that patients using statins for the first time, and who used mail-order pharmacies, are more likely to have good cholesterol control
Patients at Kaiser Permanente Northern California who got their new statin prescriptions from mail-order pharmacies showed better cholesterol control, in...
Researchers Have Identified New Risk Factors That May Be Helpful In Identifying Women Who May Succumb to a Rare, Pregnancy-related Deterioration of Heart Function
OAKLAND, Calif. – Kaiser Permanente Researchers have identified several readily available patient characteristics that may be useful in identifying women...
Lifestyle Interventions in Women with Gestational Diabetes May Prevent Diabetes by Reducing Pregnancy Weight Retention and Helping Overweight Women Lose Weight
OAKLAND, Calif., -- In women with gestational diabetes, a lifestyle intervention, including modified diet and physical activity that starts during...