Laura B. Harrington, PhD, MPH

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"Broadly, my research uses epidemiologic methods to further our understanding of cardiovascular disease etiology, prevention, and treatment, especially among older adults, and in particular, among postmenopausal women."

Laura B. Harrington, PhD, MPH

Assistant Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute
Assistant Professor, Department of Health Systems Science, Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine
Affiliate Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington School of Public Health

Biography

Laura B. Harrington, PhD, MPH, is a cardiovascular epidemiologist and Assistant Investigator at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) who works to improve the understanding of cardiovascular event risk in relation to a variety of risk factors, with a focus on modifiable factors. In particular, her research focuses on cardiovascular risk among older women and on risk factors associated with incident and recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE), blood clots occurring predominantly in the veins of the legs or lungs.

VTE is the third most common cardiovascular diagnosis in the United States, yet there is more to understand about its etiology and prevention. Thus, Dr. Harrington’s work currently aims to improve health by furthering our knowledge of the etiology, prevention, and treatment of these events.

In August 2018, Dr. Harrington joined KPWHRI, where she is leading research as part of a career development award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to evaluate the relationship between physical activity, sedentary behavior, and VTE risk. She is using data from the Women’s Health Initiative, the Nurses’ Health Study, and interview data collected directly from KP Washington enrollees, as part of the Research about Venous Events (RaVE) study, to improve the understanding of how physical activity and sedentary behavior are associated with the risk of a first VTE, as well as health after someone has experienced a VTE.

Before joining KPWHRI, Dr. Harrington completed a postdoctoral fellowship in cardiovascular epidemiology in the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition, a PhD in epidemiology at the University of Washington, and an MPH in epidemiology at the University of Michigan. She conducts epidemiologic research using a variety of data sources, including the integrated health care delivery system-based Heart and Vascular Health Study, the Women’s Health Initiative, the Cardiovascular Health Study, the Nurses’ Health Studies I and II, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, and the Adult Changes in Thought Study.

Dr. Harrington is also an Affiliate Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Washington, where she enjoys guest lecturing and mentoring students.

RESEARCH INTERESTS AND EXPERIENCE

  • Cardiovascular Health

    Risk factors for incident and recurrent venous thrombosis; pharmacologic risk factors; lifestyle-based risk factors; hormonally-related risk factors; women’s cardiovascular health

  • Women's Health

    Endogenous hormones and exogenous hormone use in relation to cardiovascular health; menopausal transition; vasomotor symptoms

  • Aging & Geriatrics

    Long-term prognosis following cardiovascular events

  • Medication Use & Patient Safety

    Pharmacologic risk factors associated with cardiovascular outcomes

 

Recent publications

Dublin S, Walker R, Floyd JS, Shortreed SM, Fuller S, Albertson-Junkans L, Harrington LB, Greenwood-Hickman MA, Green BB, Psaty BM. Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors and COVID-19 infection or hospitalization: a cohort study. Am J Hypertens. 2021 Apr 20;34(4):339-347. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpaa168. PubMed

Dublin S, Walker RL, Floyd JS, Shortreed SM, Fuller S, Albertson-Junkans LH, Harrington LB, Greenwood-Hickman MA, Green BB, Psaty BM. Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors and COVID-19 infection or hospitalization: a cohort study. medRxiv. 2020:2020.07.06.20120386. doi: 10.1101/2020.07.06.20120386. PubMed

Hagan KA, Harrington LB, Kim J, Lindström S, Camargo CA Jr, Grodstein F, Kabrhel C. Adiposity throughout the life course and risk of venous thromboembolism. Thromb Res. 2018 Dec;172:67-73. doi: 10.1016/j.thromres.2018.10.024. Epub 2018 Oct 26. PubMed

Hagan KA, Harrington LB, Kim J, Zeleznik O, Rimm EB, Grodstein F, Kabrhel C. Reduction in physical function in women after venous thromboembolism. J Thromb Haemost. 2018 Jun 8. doi: 10.1111/jth.14196. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Harrington LB, Hagan KA, Mukamal KJ, Kang JH, Kim J, Crous-Bou M, Lindström S, Rimm EB, Kabrhel C, Jensen MK. Alcohol consumption and the risk of incident pulmonary embolism in US women and men. J Thromb Haemost. 2018 Jul 5. doi: 10.1111/jth.14224. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

 

News

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COVID risks not meaningfully greater with estrogen-containing medications

Oral contraceptives, hormone therapy not linked to more severe COVID outcomes.

Research

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Study finds bariatric surgery linked to substantially lower risk of blood clots long-term

Largest study to date helps patients weigh risks and benefits of surgery.

Healthy findings blog

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New grant boosts research on cardiovascular disease

Epidemiologist Laura B. Harrington, PhD, MPH, speaks about working in cardiovascular and aging research.

Drugs, diabetes, disparities

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Studying COVID-19 risk and outcomes

Dr. Sascha Dublin tells how studies of KP electronic health record data can improve COVID-19 treatment and prevention.