Highlighted Recent Research
Doctors less likely to ask women about their drinking
Kaiser Permanente study finds gender difference in intervention, despite increasing alcohol use by women
Neighborhood privilege tied to timing of girls’ puberty
Kaiser Permanente study explores ties between racial segregation and risk factors for early puberty in Black and Latinx girls
Current air pollution standards are insufficient to reduce heart risks
Kaiser Permanente study of 3.7 million adults supports proposals to strengthen air quality standards
State-level educational quality linked to risk of dementia
Kaiser Permanente analysis finds people who attended schools in states with higher educational quality less likely to get dementia in later life
Racial and ethnic differences seen in marker of early diabetic kidney disease
Kaiser Permanente study finds highest rates in Asians, with variations among ethnic subgroups
Messages from doctors increased COVID-19 vaccination among Black, Latino elders: Kaiser Permanente clinical trial compared methods to reach at-risk populations
Lifestyle coaching helps Black adults control high blood pressure: Kaiser Permanente study finds culturally tailored program leads to long-term benefits in adults with hypertension
Pandemic stressors taking a toll on pregnant patients' mental health: Kaiser Permanente analysis finds more depression, anxiety among Black and Hispanic individuals
Autistic people join autism project – as research partners: Kaiser Permanente investigators provide training in research methods
Medical assistants help close virtual visit digital divide: Kaiser Permanente study finds patients in low-socioeconomic-status neighborhoods benefited from help connecting with video medical visits
Heart disease and stroke deaths up during first year of COVID-19 pandemic: Kaiser Permanente study finds reversal of prior national trends and widening racial disparities
Colorectal cancer screening program erases disparities in outcomes:
Regional program eliminated disparities in colorectal cancer death rates between Black and white members in Kaiser Permanente Northern California
Colorectal cancer disparities between Black and white adults were eliminated in Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC) members after the health care system instituted a regionwide, structured colorectal cancer screening program, new research shows.
Racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 infections are not explained by social risk factors:
New Kaiser Permanente study suggests working and living conditions may be key contributors to disproportionate impact of COVID-19 in communities of color
Holding a public-facing job considered "essential" and living in a multigenerational household — both of which facilitate transmission of an airborne virus — may be key contributors to the higher COVID-19 infection rates seen early in the pandemic in the U.S. in Black, Latinx, and Asian adults, a new Kaiser Permanente study suggests.
Researchers expand understanding of hernia genetics:
Kaiser Permanente analysis finds several novel genome locations associated with a frequently diagnosed lower abdominal condition
A Kaiser Permanente genetic analysis found 41 new locations on the human genome related to risk of hernia in the lower abdomen, known as inguinal hernia. The study, published in Human Molecular Genetics, also 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.
People with HIV are at increased risk for heart failure:
Kaiser Permanente research finds risk difference more pronounced in women, Asians and Pacific Islanders, and people under 40
People with HIV are at higher risk of developing heart failure than people without HIV, a new study found.
Patients who need language interpretation less likely to initially choose a video visit:
Kaiser Permanente research shows that once patients try talking to a clinician by video they will probably do it again
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.
Method found to remove race from controversial kidney function equations without losing accuracy:
Kaiser Permanente study supports eventual use of test for cystatin C — instead of creatinine — to advance health equity
Researchers have identified an approach to remove race from equations used to estimate a person's kidney function. These equations have been criticized for potentially perpetuating racial health disparities. The findings, reported September 23 in the New England Journal of Medicine, are expected to inform National Kidney Foundation-American Society of Nephrology Task Force guidelines on evaluating kidney function.
Stroke rate four times higher in Black young and middle-aged adults, compared to whites:
Kaiser Permanente research shows the need for increased education about the dangers of high blood pressure
Black young and middle-aged adults have an incidence rate of stroke 4 times higher than that of white young and middle-aged adults, a large national multi-center prospective study by Kaiser Permanente researchers found.
American Indian, Alaska Native women less likely to start and complete hormone therapy for breast cancer:
Kaiser Permanente study suggests lower rates of use my be contributing to higher breast cancer death rates
Women who identified as American Indian or Alaska Native were less likely than women of other racial and ethnic groups to start hormone therapy for breast cancer after surgery and stay on the treatment for the recommended 5 years, a new Kaiser Permanente study shows.
Analysis confirms racial disparities in COVID-19 infection:
Kaiser Permanente study examines race, ethnicity and risk of infection, hospitalization, and death
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.
Heart failure hospitalizations and deaths vary by race and ethnicity:
Kaiser Permanente study highlights need to identify reasons for these differences
Black patients with heart failure have higher rates of hospitalization for heart failure but lower rates of death than white patients with heart failure, a new Kaiser Permanente study shows.
Unique genetic factors and ancestry, along with lifestyle, influence skin cancer risk:
Investigators find clues in large database of Kaiser Permanente members
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.
Girls who do not live with both parents more likely to start puberty early:
New Kaiser Permanente study supports previous research suggesting link between early life family structure and onset of puberty
Girls who did not live in a 2-parent household from birth to age 2 were significantly more likely to start puberty earlier than girls who had both parents in their homes, with the association strongest among Black girls, new Kaiser Permanente research shows.
Teens, parents, physicians support screening young people for gender identity, study suggests:
Kaiser Permanente physician researchers say screening could improve care for gender diverse adolescents
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.
Early colorectal cancer screening benefits African Americans:
Kaiser Permanente study supports starting screening at age 45 among this higher-risk population
A study by researchers at Kaiser Permanente Northern California 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.
Kaiser Permanente reduces racial disparities in who gets minimally invasive hysterectomies:
Racial gap nearly disappears during project to train surgeons and establish best practices
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.
How to reduce racial disparities in surgery:
National figures show white women are more likely to get an advanced, minimally invasive version of hysterectomy than are Black women and Hispanic women. Kaiser Permanente Northern California found much of that difference disappeared when it carried out a quality improvement project.
Chronic disease prevalence varies by Asian subgroup, Kaiser Permanente research finds:
Findings suggest value in identifying Asian patients' ethnic backgrounds in medical records
Asian-Americans from different parts of Asia have very different cardiovascular risk factors and chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease, research from the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research suggests. The study, published in
BMC Public Health, used electronic health record (EHR) data for 1.4 million adults aged 45 to 84 who were Kaiser Permanente Northern California members during 2016.
Minority racial and ethnic groups get diabetes at lower weights:
Diabetes occurs 3 times more often among normal-BMI Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders than normal-BMI whites, Kaiser Permanente research finds
Being overweight or obese is commonly associated with diabetes, but a Kaiser Permanente study finds the connection differs widely by race or ethnicity. Members of racial and ethnic minority groups were much more likely to have diabetes or prediabetes at lower weights — even at normal or below-normal body mass index (BMI), according to research published in
Large study links genetic marker of aging to greater neighborhood deprivation:
Kaiser Permanente and UCSF researchers find strong connection between which neighborhood a person lives in, how much education they have, and the length of their telomeres
A large Kaiser Permanente study has identified links between a genetic marker of aging, how much education a person has, and the degree of socioeconomic deprivation in their neighborhood. Genetics research suggests that longer telomeres — the "end caps" of DNA that keep strands of chromosomes from unraveling — mean more years of healthy life ahead.
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