Research briefs

Our research helps us understand risk, improve patient outcomes, and inform policies and practices.

Research briefs

Our research helps us understand risk, improve patient outcomes, and inform policies and practices.

Our research briefs highlight our important research and findings about many high-priority health topics.

We benefit from our innovative electronic health record system and data from decades of providing care. Our expertise in research, epidemiology, and clinical trials allows us to publish findings that help improve care delivery — not just for Kaiser Permanente members but for everyone.

Adolescent health

Adolescence is widely considered to be a period of ideal physical health. Our research focuses on specific issues affecting youth that can lead to illnesses in adulthood. Our brief includes studies on mental health disorders, high-risk behaviors, injuries and accidents, and issues such as obesity, exercise, and nutrition.

Adolescent health research brief


For much of the past century, the average life expectancy in the United States has increased dramatically. By 2030, adults age 65 and older are expected to comprise 20% of the U.S. population. Our research brief focuses on geriatric syndromes such as frailty and falls, cognitive illnesses, the management of multiple chronic conditions, and end-of-life care.

Aging research brief

Breast cancer

Although the incidence of breast cancer has decreased since 2000, breast cancer is a common disease. In the U.S. approximately 1 in 8 women and 1 in 1,000 men will develop invasive breast disease during their lifetimes. Our research brief focuses on risk factors and prediction, timing and treatment strategies for care pathways, and improving patient outcomes.

Breast cancer research brief

Cardiovascular disease

Coronary heart disease is the most common form of heart disease. Though mostly preventable, it remains the leading cause of death nationally in both men and women, and across nearly all racial and ethnic groups. Although cardiovascular disease encompasses a wide array of health conditions, we focus primarily on research related to stroke, coronary heart disease, and heart failure.

Cardiovascular disease research brief

Colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer and the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States. People can decrease their chances of getting colorectal cancer through a variety of actions, including regular screening. We’ve contributed substantially to the evidence base on strategies to increase screening as well as many other related topics.

Colorectal cancer research brief


This brief summarizes recent contributions of Kaiser Permanente Research on the topic of diabetes, including type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Our research focuses on understanding who is at risk for developing diabetes, strategies for prevention and treatment, and other health risks associated with the disease.

Diabetes research brief


Kaiser Permanente is among the largest providers of HIV care in the United States. Since the height of the HIV and AIDS epidemic in the mid-1980s, the number of new HIV infections occurring each year in the U.S. has fallen by more than two-thirds. Nevertheless, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 40,000 new cases of HIV are diagnosed each year and an estimated 13% of people living with HIV are unaware of their infection. Our research has informed policy and practice and helped people live longer, healthier lives.

HIV and AIDS research brief

Maternal and child health

Although most babies are healthy and born without complications, pregnancy carries risks for both mothers and infants. High-quality prenatal care helps keep mothers and babies healthy. This brief summarizes our research on the topic of maternal and child health, including pre-pregnancy risk factors and a variety of risks and outcomes occurring both during and following childbirth.

Maternal and child health research brief

Men's health

Men in the United States are at risk for a variety of acute and chronic health problems. Our research brief focuses on specific conditions such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and erectile dysfunction. It also addresses certain conditions for which men have specific or elevated risks, such as infertility, hypogonadism, bladder cancer, cardiovascular disease, back pain, and opioid use disorders.

Men's health research brief

Mental health

Anxiety disorders and depressive disorders are the first and second most common mental health conditions in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 25 people live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression. Our research brief focuses on the topic of mental health, including depression, anxiety, and other affective and stress disorders.

Mental health research brief


Obesity is a common but serious health condition that affects more than 2 out of every 5 adults in the U.S. Our research brief focuses on risk factors for developing obesity, health risks that people with obesity face, strategies for improving health and well-being, and the translation of our research findings into policy and practice to improve care delivery.

Obesity research brief

Substance use disorders

Drug and alcohol addiction, also called substance use disorder, impacts millions of people in the United States. This brief summarizes the contributions of Kaiser Permanente Research since 2007 on the topic of substance use disorders, including misuse of tobacco products, alcohol, prescription medications, and illicit drugs.

Substance use disorders research brief


In addition to the direct effect of immunizing patients against dangerous diseases, vaccination also benefits society through “herd immunity.” Herd immunity happens when high vaccination rates help protect even unvaccinated people by making encounters with infected people rare. This brief summarizes our research on the topic of vaccines and includes information on vaccinations delivered in early childhood as well as those delivered to adolescents and adults.

Vaccines research brief