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Andrew L. Avins, MD, MPH

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Kaiser Permanente Division of Research
2000 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612

(510) 891-3557 (phone)
andy.l.avins@kp.org
Kaiser Permanente Researcher Profiles


Andrew L. Avins, MD, MPH, is a research scientist at the Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California; he holds appointments in the Departments of Medicine and Epidemiology & Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco, where he remains active in the clinical and teaching programs. Dr. Avins is a board-certified general internist. His research interests include musculoskeletal and cardiovascular diseases, preventive medicine (with an emphasis on screening and treatment policies), complementary and alternative medicine (with an emphasis on clinical trials of alternative therapies), and research methodologies.

Current Position(s):

  • Research Scientist III, Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California
  • Clinical Professor, Department of Medicine and Adjunct Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco
  • Physician, Urgent Care, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Oakland, CA
  • Staff Physician, General Internal Medicine Section, Medical Service, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, CA

Section Affiliations:

Primary Research Interests:

  • Musculoskeletal diseases
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Preventive medicine
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Research methodologies, with an emphasis on clinical trials

    Risk-Based Breast Cancer Screening and Surveillance in Community Settings

    The major goal of this project is to maintain and expand the San Francisco Mammography Registry and to evaluate the performance of mammography in an ethnically diverse population.
    Investigator: Avins, Andrew
    Funder: National Cancer Institute

    Carotid Revascularization and Medical Management for Asymptomatic Carotid Stenosis Trial (CREST-2)

    Carotid revascularization for primary prevention of stroke (CREST-2) is two independent multi-center, randomized controlled trials of carotid revascularization and intensive medical management versus medical management alone in patients with asymptomatic high-grade carotid stenosis. One trial will randomize patients in a 1-to-1 ratio to endarterectomy versus no endarterectomy, and another will randomize patients in a 1-to-1 ratio to carotid stenting with embolic protection versus no stenting. Medical management will be uniform for all randomized treatment groups and will be centrally directed. The purpose of this trial is to determine the best way to prevent strokes in people who have a high amount of blockage of their carotid artery but no stroke symptoms related to that blockage.
    Investigator: Avins, Andrew; Chang, Robert; Nguyen-Huynh, Mai
    Funder: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

    An Evaluation of the KPNC Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening Program

    The objective of this study is to evaluate a new Northern California screening program for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) in terms of its effect among relevant patients on their AAA-related outcomes of care and processes of care. Aneurysms of the infrarenal portion of the abdominal aorta are generally asypmptomatic until they rupture, an event that is usually fatal. Clinical trials have shown that, despite the risk associated with interventions, repair of the aneurysm results in a lower overall and cardiovascular mortality among male smokers, aged 65-75. KPNC will invite all members in this group to a one-time ultrasound screening appointment in a stepped fashion across all facilities. We will take advantage of this stepped program implementation to investigate the effect of an invitation to screening vs. the control membership awaiting screening; the primary outcomes are total mortality, AAA-related mortality and the need for emergent surgery for a ruptured AAA.
    Investigator: Avins, Andrew
    Funder: Center for Effectiveness and Safety Research

    Mindfulness and Migraine: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    The goal of this study is to conduct a randomized clinical trial of a mindfulness-based stress reduction intervention versus a usual care control for the prevention of recurrent migraine in adults.
    Investigator: Avins, Andrew
    Funder: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

    A Pragmatic Trial of Lumbar Image Reporting with Epidemiology (LIRE2)

    The goal of this investigation is to study the effect of providing descriptive epidemiologic information to primary care providers on lumbar spine imaging reports. A pilot study by this group found that including information about the prevalence of abnormal radiographic findings among normals on the radiology reports of lumbar spine imaging reduced health-care utilization and the prescription of opiods to patients with low back pain who had abnormalities on the lumbar spine imaging. This will be a multicenter study using cluster-randomization techniques.
    Investigator: Avins, Andrew
    Funder: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
    No results found matching criteria

    Two Genetic Variants Associated with Plantar Fascial Disorders

    Author(s): Kim SK; Ioannidis JPA; Ahmed MA; Avins AL; Kleimeyer JP; Fredericson M; Dragoo JL

    Int J Sports Med. 2018 Mar 13.

    PubMed abstract

    Systemic effects of epidural steroid injections for spinal stenosis

    Author(s): Friedly JL; Comstock BA; Heagerty PJ; Bauer Z; Rothman MS; Suri P; Hansen R; Avins AL; Nedeljkovic SS; Nerenz DR; Akuthota V; Jarvik JG

    Pain. 2018 Jan 30.

    PubMed abstract

    Long-term outcomes of a large, prospective observational cohort of older adults with back pain

    Author(s): Jarvik JG; Gold LS; Tan K; Friedly JL; Nedeljkovic SS; Comstock BA; Deyo RA; Turner JA; Bresnahan BW; Rundell SD; James KT; Nerenz DR; Avins AL; Bauer Z; Kessler L; Heagerty PJ

    Spine J. 2018 Jan 29.

    PubMed abstract

    Novel Telestroke Program Improves Thrombolysis for Acute Stroke Across 21 Hospitals of an Integrated Healthcare System

    Author(s): Nguyen-Huynh MN; Klingman JG; Avins AL; Rao VA; Eaton A; Bhopale S; Kim AC; Morehouse JW; Flint AC; KPNC Stroke FORCE Team

    Stroke. 2018 Jan;49(1):133-139. Epub 2017-12-15.

    PubMed abstract

    Genome-wide association study identifies a locus associated with rotator cuff injury

    Author(s): Roos TR; Roos AK; Avins AL; Ahmed MA; Kleimeyer JP; Fredericson M; Ioannidis JPA; Dragoo JL; Kim SK

    PLoS ONE. 2017;12(12):e0189317. Epub 2017-12-11.

    PubMed abstract

    Associations of Race and Ethnicity with Patient-Reported Outcomes and Health Care Utilization among Older Adults Initiating a New Episode of Care for Back Pain

    Author(s): Milani CJ; Rundell SD; Jarvik JG; Friedly J; Heagerty PJ; Avins A; Nerenz D; Gold LS; Turner JA; Annaswamy T; Nedeljkovic SS; Suri P

    Spine. 2017 Nov 20.

    PubMed abstract

    A Genetic Marker Associated with De Quervain's Tenosynovitis

    Author(s): Kim SK; Ahmed MA; Avins AL; Ioannidis JPA

    Int J Sports Med. 2017 Oct 06.

    PubMed abstract

    Two genetic loci associated with ankle injury

    Author(s): Kim SK; Kleimeyer JP; Ahmed MA; Avins AL; Fredericson M; Dragoo JL; Ioannidis JPA

    PLoS ONE. 2017;12(9):e0185355. Epub 2017-09-28.

    PubMed abstract

    Associations of Early Opioid Use with Patient-Reported Outcomes and Healthcare Utilization Among Older Adults with Low Back Pain

    Author(s): Gold LS; Hansen RN; Avins AL; Bauer Z; Comstock BA; Deyo RA; Heagerty PJ; Rundell SD; Suri P; Turner JA; Jarvik JG

    Clin J Pain. 2017 Sep 14.

    PubMed abstract

    Study of Methods for Assessing Research Topic Elicitation and pRioritization (SMARTER): Study Protocol to Compare Qualitative Research Methods and Advance Patient Engagement in Research

    Author(s): Lavallee DC; Comstock B; Scott MR; Avins AL; Nerenz DR; Edwards TC; Patrick DL; Lawrence SO; Bauer Z; Truitt AR; Jarvik JG

    JMIR Res Protoc. 2017 Sep 07;6(9):e168. Epub 2017-09-07.

    PubMed abstract

    Using Natural Language Processing of Free-Text Radiology Reports to Identify Type 1 Modic Endplate Changes

    Author(s): Huhdanpaa HT; Tan WK; Rundell SD; Suri P; Chokshi FH; Comstock BA; Heagerty PJ; James KT; Avins AL; Nedeljkovic SS; Nerenz DR; Kallmes DF; Luetmer PH; Sherman KJ; Organ NL; Griffith B; Langlotz CP; Carrell D; Hassanpour S; Jarvik JG

    J Digit Imaging. 2017 Aug 14.

    PubMed abstract

    A Genetic Marker Associated with Shoulder Dislocation

    Author(s): Kim S; Kleimeyer JP; Ahmed MA; Avins AL; Fredericson M; Dragoo JL; Ioannidis JPA

    Int J Sports Med. 2017 May 18.

    PubMed abstract

    Two Genetic Loci associated with Medial Collateral Ligament Injury

    Author(s): Roos AK; Avins AL; Ahmed MA; Kleimeyer JP; Roos TR; Fredericson M; Ioannidis JPA; Dragoo JL; Kim S

    Int J Sports Med. 2017 May 08.

    PubMed abstract

    Long term effects of repeated injections of local anesthetic with or without corticosteroid for lumbar spinal stenosis: a randomized trial

    Author(s): Friedly JL; Comstock BA; Turner JA; Heagerty PJ; Deyo RA; Bauer Z; Avins AL; Nedeljkovic SS; Nerenz DR; Shi XR; Annaswamy T; Standaert CJ; Smuck M; Kennedy DJ; Akuthota V; Sibell D; Wasan AD; Diehn F; Suri P; Rundell SD; Kessler L; Chen AS; Jarvik JG

    Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2017 Apr 07.

    PubMed abstract

    Prioritizing research topics: a comparison of crowdsourcing and patient registry

    Author(s): Truitt AR; Monsell SE; Avins AL; Nerenz DR; Lawrence SO; Bauer Z; Comstock BA; Edwards TC; Patrick DL; Jarvik JG; Lavallee DC

    Qual Life Res. 2017 Apr 05.

    PubMed abstract

    Genome-wide association screens for Achilles tendon and ACL tears and tendinopathy

    Author(s): Kim SK; Roos TR; Roos AK; Kleimeyer JP; Ahmed MA; Goodlin GT; Fredericson M; Ioannidis JP; Avins AL; Dragoo JL

    PLoS ONE. 2017;12(3):e0170422. Epub 2017-03-30.

    PubMed abstract

    Assessing the Value of High-Quality Care for Work-Associated Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in a Large Integrated Health Care System: Study Design

    Author(s): Conlon C; Asch S; Hanson M; Avins A; Levitan B; Roth C; Robbins M; Dworsky M; Seabury S; Nuckols T

    Perm J. 2016 Oct 03;20(4). Epub 2016-Oct-03.

    PubMed abstract

    The impact of comorbid knee and hip osteoarthritis on longitudinal clinical and health care use outcomes in older adults with new visits for back pain

    Author(s): Rundell SD; Goode AP; Suri P; Heagerty PJ; Comstock BA; Friedly JL; Gold LS; Bauer Z; Avins AL; Nedeljkovic SS; Nerenz DR; Kessler L; Jarvik JG

    Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2016 Aug 9.

    PubMed abstract

    Study Protocol: The Back pain Outcomes using Longitudinal Data (BOLD) Registry

    Author(s): Jarvik JG; Comstock BA; Bresnahan BW; Nedeljkovic SS; Nerenz DR; Bauer Z; Avins AL; James K; Turner JA; Heagerty P; Kessler L; Friedly JL; Sullivan SD; Deyo RA

    BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2012 May 3;13:64.

    PubMed abstract

    Efficacy of Prophylactic Antibiotics in Simple Knee Arthroscopy

    Author(s): Wyatt RW; Maletis GB; Lyon LL; Schwalbe J; Avins AL

    Arthroscopy. 2016 Jun 30.

    PubMed abstract

    A genome-wide association study identifies four novel susceptibility loci underlying inguinal hernia

    Author(s): Jorgenson E; Makki N; Shen L; Chen DC; Tian C; Eckalbar WL; Hinds D; Ahituv N; Avins A

    Nat Commun. 2015;6:10130. Epub 2015-12-21.

    PubMed abstract

    Lumbar Imaging With Reporting Of Epidemiology (LIRE)-Protocol for a pragmatic cluster randomized trial

    Author(s): Jarvik JG; Comstock BA; James KT; Avins AL; Bresnahan BW; Deyo RA; Luetmer PH; Friedly JL; Meier EN; Cherkin DC; Gold LS; Rundell SD; Halabi SS; Kallmes DF; Tan KW; Turner JA; Kessler LG; Lavallee DC; Stephens KA; Heagerty PJ

    Contemp Clin Trials. 2015 Oct 19.

    PubMed abstract

    Prevalence of migraine in a diverse community-electronic methods for migraine ascertainment in a large integrated health plan

    Author(s): Pressman A; Jacobson A; Eguilos R; Gelfand A; Huynh C; Hamilton L; Avins A; Bakshi N; Merikangas K

    Cephalalgia. 2015 Jun 11.

    PubMed abstract

    Systematic Literature Review of Imaging Features of Spinal Degeneration in Asymptomatic Populations

    Author(s): Brinjikji W; Luetmer PH; Comstock B; Bresnahan BW; Chen LE; Deyo RA; Halabi S; Turner JA; Avins AL; James K; Wald JT; Kallmes DF; Jarvik JG

    AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2015 Apr;36(4):811-6. Epub 2014-11-27.

    PubMed abstract

    Association of early imaging for back pain with clinical outcomes in older adults

    Author(s): Jarvik JG; Gold LS; Comstock BA; Heagerty PJ; Rundell SD; Turner JA; Avins AL; Bauer Z; Bresnahan BW; Friedly JL; James K; Kessler L; Nedeljkovic SS; Nerenz DR; Shi X; Sullivan SD; Chan L; Schwalb JM; Deyo RA

    JAMA. 2015 Mar 17;313(11):1143-53.

    PubMed abstract

    Clinical decision rule for primary care patient with acute low back pain at risk of developing chronic pain

    Author(s): Mehling WE; Ebell MH; Avins AL; Hecht FM

    Spine J. 2015 Jul 1;15(7):1577-86. Epub 2015-03-13.

    PubMed abstract

    Effectiveness of a pharmacist-based gout care management programme in a large integrated health plan: results from a pilot study

    Author(s): Goldfien RD; Ng MS; Yip G; Hwe A; Jacobson A; Pressman A; Avins AL

    BMJ Open. 2014;4(1):e003627. Epub 2014-01-10.

    PubMed abstract

    Patients' attitudes about the use of placebo treatments: telephone survey

    Author(s): Hull SC; Colloca L; Avins A; Gordon NP; Somkin CP; Kaptchuk TJ; Miller FG

    BMJ. 2013 Jul 2;347:f3757.

    PubMed abstract

    Clinical and ethical aspects of placebos in clinical practice-reply

    Author(s): Avins AL

    JAMA Intern Med. 2013 Apr 22;173(8):711-2.

    PubMed abstract

    Needling the Status Quo: Comment on 'Acupuncture for Chronic Pain'

    Author(s): Avins AL

    Arch Intern Med. 2012 Oct 22;172(19):1454-5.

    PubMed abstract

    Safety and Toxicity of Saw palmetto in the Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Urological Symptoms (CAMUS) Trial

    Author(s): Avins AL; Lee JY; Meyers CM; Barry MJ; CAMUS Study Group

    J Urol. 2013 Apr;189(4):1415-20. Epub 2012 Oct 9.

    PubMed abstract

    Placebo adherence and mortality in the heart and estrogen/progestin replacement study

    Author(s): Padula AM; Pressman AR; Vittinghoff E; Grady D; Neuhaus J; Ackerson L; Rudd P; Avins AL

    Am J Med. 2012 Aug;125(8):804-10.

    PubMed abstract

    Audio recordings of mindfulness-based stress reduction training to improve cancer patients' mood and quality of life-a pilot feasibility study

    Author(s): Altschuler A; Rosenbaum E; Gordon P; Canales S; Avins AL

    Support Care Cancer. 2012 Jun;20(6):1291-7. Epub 2011 Jun 19.

    PubMed abstract

    Should we reconsider the routine use of placebo controls in clinical research?

    Author(s): Avins AL; Cherkin DC; Sherman KJ; Goldberg H; Pressman A

    Trials. 2012 Apr 27;13:44.

    PubMed abstract

    The prognosis of acute low back pain in primary care in the United States: a 2-year prospective cohort study

    Author(s): Mehling WE; Gopisetty V; Bartmess E; Acree M; Pressman A; Goldberg H; Hecht FM; Carey T; Avins AL

    Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2012 Apr 15;37(8):678-84.

    PubMed abstract

    Study Protocol- Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections for Spinal Stenosis (LESS): a double-blind randomized controlled trial of epidural steroid injections for lumbar spinal stenosis among older adults

    Author(s): Friedly JL Md; Bresnahan BW Phd; Comstock B Ms; Turner JA Phd; Deyo RA Md Mph; Sullivan SD Phd; Heagerty P Phd; Bauer Z Md; Nedeljkovic SS Md; Avins AL Md Mph; Nerenz D Phd; Jarvik JG Md Mph

    BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2012 Mar 29;13:48.

    PubMed abstract

    Adherence to placebo and mortality in the Beta Blocker Evaluation of Survival Trial (BEST)

    Author(s): Pressman A; Avins AL; Neuhaus J; Ackerson L; Rudd P

    Contemp Clin Trials. 2012 May;33(3):492-8. Epub 2012 Jan 12.

    PubMed abstract

    What do I tell patients about saw palmetto for benign prostatic hyperplasia?

    Author(s): Kane CJ; Raheem OA; Bent S; Avins AL

    Urol Clin North Am. 2011 Aug;38(3):261-77.

    PubMed abstract

    Randomised trial comparing hand expression with breast pumping for mothers of term newborns feeding poorly

    Author(s): Flaherman VJ; Gay B; Scott C; Avins A; Lee KA; Newman TB

    Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2012 Jan;97(1):F18-23. Epub 2011 Jul 11.

    PubMed abstract

    Performance of the American Urological Association Symptom Index with and without an additional urge incontinence item

    Author(s): Barry MJ; Avins AL; Meleth S; Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Urological Symptoms Study Group

    Urology. 2011 Sep;78(3):550-4. Epub 2011 Jul 8.

    PubMed abstract

    A comparison of two worlds: How does Bayes hold up to the status quo for the analysis of clinical trials?

    Author(s): Pressman AR; Avins AL; Hubbard A; Satariano WA

    Contemp Clin Trials. 2011 Jul;32(4):561-8. Epub 2011 Mar 29.

    PubMed abstract

    Clinical-trial regulation

    Author(s): Avins A

    Clin Trials. 2011;8(2):238.

    PubMed abstract

    Placebo adherence and its association with morbidity and mortality in the studies of left ventricular dysfunction

    Author(s): Avins AL; Pressman A; Ackerson L; Rudd P; Neuhaus J; Vittinghoff E

    J Gen Intern Med. 2010 Dec;25(12):1275-81. Epub 2010 Aug 13.

    PubMed abstract

    Glucosamine and the ongoing enigma of chronic low back pain

    Author(s): Avins AL

    JAMA. 2010 Jul 7;304(1):93-4.

    PubMed abstract

    When clinical practice guidelines meet the black box

    Author(s): Avins AL

    Arch Intern Med. 2010 Jun 28;170(12):1013-4.

    PubMed abstract

    Comparing recruitment strategies in a study of acupuncture for chronic back pain

    Author(s): Sherman KJ; Hawkes RJ; Ichikawa L; Cherkin DC; Deyo RA; Avins AL; Khalsa PS

    BMC Med Res Methodol. 2009 Oct 27;9:69.

    PubMed abstract

    Characteristics of patients with chronic back pain who benefit from acupuncture

    Author(s): Sherman KJ; Cherkin DC; Ichikawa L; Avins AL; Barlow WE; Khalsa PS; Deyo RA

    BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2009 Sep 21;10:114.

    PubMed abstract

    A randomized trial comparing acupuncture, simulated acupuncture, and usual care for chronic low back pain

    Author(s): Cherkin DC; Sherman KJ; Avins AL; Erro JH; Ichikawa L; Barlow WE; Delaney K; Hawkes R; Hamilton L; Pressman A; Khalsa PS; Deyo RA

    Arch Intern Med. 2009 May 11;169(9):858-66.

    PubMed abstract

    A detailed safety assessment of a saw palmetto extract

    Author(s): Avins AL; Bent S; Staccone S; Badua E; Padula A; Goldberg H; Neuhaus J; Hudes E; Shinohara K; Kane C

    Complement Ther Med. 2008 Jun;16(3):147-54. Epub 2008 Feb 20.

    PubMed abstract

    Initial experience with a group presentation of study results to research participants

    Author(s): Avins AL; Bent S; Padula A; Staccone S; Badua E; Goldberg H

    Trials. 2008 Mar 21;9:16.

    PubMed abstract

    Efficacy of acupuncture for chronic low back pain: protocol for a randomized controlled trial

    Author(s): Cherkin DC; Sherman KJ; Hogeboom CJ; Erro JH; Barlow WE; Deyo RA; Avins AL

    Trials. 2008 Feb 28;9:10.

    PubMed abstract

    Hepatic effects of lovastatin exposure in patients with liver disease: a retrospective cohort study

    Author(s): Avins AL; Manos MM; Ackerson L; Zhao W; Murphy R; Levin TR; Watson DJ; Hwang PM; Replogle A; Levine JG

    Drug Saf. 2008;31(4):325-34.

    PubMed abstract

    Creating a culture of research

    Author(s): Avins AL; Goldberg H

    Contemp Clin Trials. 2007 Jul;28(4):557-62. Epub 2007 Feb 27.

    PubMed abstract

    Saw palmetto and lower urinary tract symptoms: what is the latest evidence?

    Author(s): Avins AL; Bent S

    Curr Urol Rep. 2006 Jul;7(4):260-5.

    PubMed abstract

    Saw palmetto for benign prostatic hyperplasia

    Author(s): Bent S; Kane C; Shinohara K; Neuhaus J; Hudes ES; Goldberg H; Avins AL

    N Engl J Med. 2006 Feb 9;354(6):557-66.

    PubMed abstract

    Spontaneous bleeding associated with ginkgo biloba: a case report and systematic review of the literature: a case report and systematic review of the literature

    Author(s): Bent S; Goldberg H; Padula A; Avins AL

    J Gen Intern Med. 2005 Jul;20(7):657-61.

    PubMed abstract

    Use of an embedded N-of-1 trial to improve adherence and increase information from a clinical study

    Author(s): Avins AL; Bent S; Neuhaus JM

    Contemp Clin Trials. 2005 Jun;26(3):397-401. Epub 2005 Mar 28.

    PubMed abstract

    Nonvitamin, nonmineral supplement use over a 12-month period by adult members of a large health maintenance organization

    Author(s): Schaffer DM; Gordon NP; Jensen CD; Avins AL

    J Am Diet Assoc. 2003 Nov;103(11):1500-5.

    PubMed abstract

    Bundle-branch block and in-hospital mortality in acute myocardial infarction. National Registry of Myocardial Infarction 2 Investigators

    Author(s): Go AS; Barron HV; Rundle AC; Ornato JP; Avins AL

    Ann Intern Med. 1998 Nov 1;129(9):690-7.

    PubMed abstract