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 600-plus staff is working on more than 580 epidemiological and health services research projects.

Yvonne Crites, MD, Assiamira Ferrara, MD PhD, Susan Moore, PhD, and Jenny Ching, RN

Gestational diabetes: Comparing treatment options

Comparative effectiveness research is a big term for a simple idea. How do health care providers like Kaiser Permanente decide which treatment for a problem is best? The National Institutes of Health, as part of its goal to help health…

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Mom and newborn

Gestational diabetes: Can affect a baby’s genes

For the vast majority of women with gestational diabetes, good pre- and postnatal health care, including watching diet and weight, ensures that the condition is only temporary. But for a small number of women, the diabetes can become permanent or…

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Research Program on Genes, Environment, and Health

BPA study of Chinese factory workers finds link to reduced semen quality

In 2010, a five-year Kaiser Permanente Northern California study of more than 500 male Chinese factory workers found that those with high levels of the compound bisphenol A (BPA) in their bodies had decreased sperm concentration, decreased total sperm count,…

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Language barriers linked to worse diabetes control

When patients cannot talk with doctors about diabetes in their own language, even when interpreter services are available, poorer diabetes outcomes may be the result. These were the findings of a recent study by researchers at the Division of Research…

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pregnant woamn

In one form of breast cancer, higher breast tissue density is linked to higher risk of later breast cancer

Researchers at Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California Division of Research have found that patients with a very early form of breast cancer, called ductal carcinoma in situ or DCIS, who have higher mammographic density, may be at increased risk for later…

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Physician speaking with patient

Heavy smoking doubles risk of Alzheimers or vascular dementia

The first study to look at the long-term effects of heavy smoking on dementia risk found that heavy smoking – two packs or more a day — in midlife more than doubles the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or vascular…

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Mature woman smiling

Use of Antidepressant Associated with Reduction in Menopausal Hot Flashes

OAKLAND, Calif. – Peri-menopausal and post-menopausal women experienced a reduction in the frequency and severity of menopausal hot flashes with the use of the antidepressant medication escitalopram, compared to women who received placebo, according to a study in the January…

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pregnant woman

High Activity Staves Off Pounds, Especially for Women

Highly active women gain less than highly active men over 20 years  CHICAGO --- People will gain significantly less weight by middle age –  especially women – if they engage in a vigorous activity five days a week starting as…

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Mature man wearing headphones

Exposure to BPA Associated with Reduced Semen Quality

OAKLAND, Calif. – Increasing urine BPA (Bisphenol-A) level was significantly associated with decreased sperm concentration, decreased total sperm count, decreased sperm vitality and decreased sperm motility, according to a Kaiser Permanente study appearing in the journal of Fertility and Sterility.…

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Physician with patient

Study Suggests Women and Their Children May Benefit from Metabolic Screening Prior to Conception

OAKLAND, Calif. — Cardio-metabolic risk factors such as high blood sugar and insulin, and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol that are present before pregnancy, predict whether a woman will develop diabetes during a future pregnancy, according to a Kaiser Permanente study…

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