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.
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.
A survey of Kaiser Permanente Northern California patients during the early months of the pandemic finds those who used certain coping mechanisms were less likely to have depression or anxiety symptoms.
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.
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.
Kaiser Permanente research ties the presence of breast arterial calcification seen on screening mammography to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
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.
New large Kaiser Permanente study led by Marilyn L. Kwan, PhD, finds higher rate of cardiometabolic abnormalities in breast cancer survivors than in women who have not had breast cancer.
Kaiser Permanente study by Joan Lo, MD, and Marilyn Kwan, PhD, suggests studies that follow breast cancer survivors over time should differentiate between fracture types.
Alongside the Great American Smokeout, Kaiser Permanente research supports efforts to promote smoking cessation.
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.