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Study highlights serious risks for intensive blood pressure control

PASADENA, Calif. — Kaiser Permanente research published today in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found if patients with hypertension taking prescribed medications experience unusually low blood pressures — systolic blood pressure under 110mmHg — they are twice as likely to experience a fall or faint as patients whose treated blood pressure remains 110mmHg and above.

This research is timely because late last year the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology lowered its definition of high blood pressure from a systolic blood pressure of at least 140 to a systolic of at least 130,

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Tdap vaccination for pregnant women does not increase autism risk

PASADENA, Calif. — A Kaiser Permanente study of more than 80,000 children born over a 4-year period showed that the prenatal Tdap vaccination (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis) was not associated with increased risk of autism spectrum disorder in children. The study was published today in Pediatrics.

“Infants are at the highest risk of hospitalization and death among any population subgroup after contracting a pertussis infection, a highly contagious respiratory disease also known as the whooping cough,” said Tracy A.

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Reducing opioids not associated with lower patient satisfaction

PASADENA, Calif. — A Kaiser Permanente study of nearly 2,500 patients who used high doses of opioids for at least 6 months showed that reducing their opioid use did not lower their satisfaction with care. The study, “Satisfaction With Care After Reducing Opioids for Chronic Pain,” was published today in The American Journal of Managed Care.

“Physicians are often concerned they will receive lower satisfaction scores if they reduce opioids for patients who are accustomed to high opioid doses to manage chronic pain,” said the study’s lead author,

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Transgender youth more often diagnosed with mental health conditions

PASADENA, Calif. — Transgender and gender-nonconforming youth are diagnosed with mental health conditions much more frequently than young people who identify with the gender they are assigned at birth, according to new Kaiser Permanente research published today in Pediatrics.

While this subject has been analyzed in small, specialized, clinic-based studies that rely on self-reported behavior problems, this large cohort study is based on electronic medical record information from a transgender/gender-nonconforming group enrolled in a comprehensive care system.

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Some racial/ethnic groups have greater chance of developing high blood pressure regardless of weight or where they live

PASADENA, Calif. — People who are African-American, American Indian/native Alaskan, Asian, or native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders have a significantly greater chance of developing hypertension than people who are white or Hispanic who are in the same weight category or live in neighborhoods with similar education levels.

The Kaiser Permanente study, which included more than 4 million people across the United States, was published today in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension.

“This research shines new light on how pervasive the racial/ethnic disparities are in hypertension,

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Research shows importance of second pediatric blood pressure screening

PASADENA, Calif. — Nearly one-quarter of children and teens who had their blood pressure screened at a primary care appointment showed a reading in the hypertensive range, but less than half of those readings could be confirmed after the blood pressure was repeated, according to a new Kaiser Permanente study released today in The Journal of Clinical Hypertension. The research shows the importance of taking a second blood pressure reading for those ages 3 to 17 years when the first reading is elevated.

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Reducing antibiotic prescriptions through physician education and intervention

PASADENA, Calif. — Physicians at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California reduced the odds of prescribing an antibiotic for sinusitis by 22 percent using computer alerts to inform doctors when antibiotics may not be the best course of treatment. The research was published today in the American Journal of Managed Care.

The work is a continuation of research to better understand what drives over-prescription of antibiotics and determine best approaches to improving physician prescribing practices,

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Kaiser Permanente study finds a more effective way to test for HPV

A study of more than 850 women demonstrated it is effective to conduct a human papillomavirus test in the same preservative fluid as a Pap test. This has the potential to increase efficiency and decrease waste. The findings were published this month in the Journal of Clinical Pathology.

As a result of the findings, organizations such as Kaiser Permanente can consider transitioning to single collection of a Pap test and HPV test, rather than sending two different samples to the lab,

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Taking health care to the work site increases primary care visits

Before Kaiser Permanente opened a clinic at the California Steel Industries worksite, the location was home to Kaiser Steel Mill, and the first Kaiser Permanente hospital in Southern California.

A decade ago, Kaiser Permanente in Southern California sought to improve access to primary care by expanding patient services outside of hospitals and medical offices. They considered the possibility of offering health care at an actual worksite, just like Kaiser Permanente founders Sidney Garfield, MD, and Henry J. Kaiser did early in the development of what is now the nation’s largest integrated health system.

At the same time, California Steel Industries in Fontana,

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Androgen deprivation therapy associated with higher risk of heart failure in men with early-stage prostate cancer

PASADENA, Calif. — Men with localized prostate cancer who received androgen deprivation therapy, a hormone treatment, were at significantly higher risk of heart failure than men who did not receive this therapy, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published today in the British Journal of Cancer.

In the past, androgen deprivation therapy has been used for advanced prostate cancer. Now, it is increasingly being used to treat prostate cancer in an earlier stage,

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