Division of Research Spotlight
The Kaiser Permanente Division of Research conducts, publishes, and disseminates epidemiologic and health services research to improve the health and medical care of Kaiser Permanente members and society at large. We seek to understand the determinants of illness and well-being, and to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care. Currently, DOR’s 550-plus staff is working on more than 350 epidemiological and health services research projects.
Kaiser Permanente Northern California pediatric transgender clinic sees a sharp rise in referrals from families with children and teens with questions about their gender.
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.
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.”
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.
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 Kaiser Permanente study adds evidence to body of research suggesting pregnant women are using marijuana to self-medicate morning sickness.
Kaiser Permanente study confirms recommendations for catch-up HPV vaccination with 3 doses in females aged 15 to 20, but not when started at or after age 21.
Kaiser Permanente study provides detailed information on links between cardiometabolic conditions and cesarean sections.
In a study of more than 15,000 girls and their mothers — all Kaiser Permanente members in Northern California — maternal overweight and hyperglycemia were linked to the earlier onset of puberty in girls 6 to 11 years old.
As a research scientist for the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research and director of KP’s Vaccine Study Center, it’s Nicola Klein's job to study the safety and effectiveness of both new and older vaccines.