Kristin K. Palmsten, ScD
Senior Research Investigator
"My work helps pregnant people make decisions about medicines and vaccines."

Kristin Palmsten, ScD, is a Senior Research Investigator, Co-Director of the Pregnancy and Child Health Research Center, and Research and Scientific Mentor at HealthPartners Institute. Dr. Palmsten is a perinatal epidemiologist and pharmacoepidemiologist. She received her doctorate in Epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California San Diego. She received an Abraham Lilienfeld Student Prize from the Society for Epidemiologic Research and an Early Career Professional Achievement Award from The National Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Awards.

Dr. Palmsten’s research has primarily focused on using big data to study perinatal health, including drug safety during pregnancy, and epidemiologic methods to reduce bias in studies of exposures during pregnancy. Currently, she is the principal investigator of two multi-site studies funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The MOM Study assesses the effects of antidepressants or psychotherapy initiation during pregnancy on infant outcomes and breastfeeding (R01HD100579). The CALM Study assesses the association between antenatal and postpartum COVID-19 vaccination and lactation and infant outcomes (R01HD107753). Dr. Palmsten welcomes the opportunity to build research collaborations within HealthPartners and with external partners.  

Joined the Institute:

Education and training: ScD, Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health (now Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health); MS, Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health; BS, Boston College.

Overview/research interests: Perinatal epidemiology, pharmacoepidemiology, epidemiologic methods, medication use and safety during pregnancy and lactation.

Current research activities and funding: 

  • Tdap Vaccination during Pregnancy or Postpartum and Lactation-Related Outcomes
  • Maternal COVID-19 Vaccination and Lactation Outcomes (CALM study)
  • Managing Our Mood (MOM) Study: Treatment Initiation for New Episodes of Depression in Pregnant Women
  • Mental Health Research Network III-Digital Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Perinatal Depression
  • Maternal Obesity, Milk Composition, and Infant Growth (MILK II)
  • Maternal Health Care Utilization and Morbidity: The First 24 months
  • Birth Defects Study To Evaluate Pregnancy exposures (BD-STEPS) II
  • Vaccine Safety Datalink
  • Innovation in Medical Evidence and Development Surveillance (IMEDS)
  • Distributed Research Network
  • Sr. Research Investigator, Pregnancy and child health 2017 -
  • Research Investigator, Pregnancy and child health 2017 - 2021
  • Publications While At HealthPartners
    selected publications
    Journal Article
  • Acute health care utilization in the first 24 months postpartum by rurality and pregnancy complications: a prospective cohort study
    Health Services Research. 2024
  • Association between hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and cardiovascular diseases within 24 months after delivery
    American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2023
  • Association of prenatal depression with new cardiovascular disease within 24 months postpartum
    Journal of the American Heart Association. 2023
  • Influenza vaccination during pregnancy and risk of selected major structural congenital heart defects, National Birth Defects Prevention Study 2006-2011
    Birth defects research. 2023
  • Maternal hepatitis C prevalence and trends by county, US: 2016-2020
    Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. 2023
  • Mental health within 24 months after delivery among women with common pregnancy conditions
    Journal of women's health (2002). 2023
  • Patterns in prescription opioids, benzodiazepines, and stimulants filled by pregnant Medicaid beneficiaries
    JAMA pediatrics. 2023
  • Provision of postpartum contraception before and after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Maine
    Public Health Reports. 2023
  • Rural-urban residence and sequelae of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy in the first year postpartum, 2007 - 2019
    Pregnancy Hypertension. 2023
  • Special issue: big data in perinatal epidemiology methodologic considerations
    Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. 2023
  • The most common medications dispensed to lactating persons: an electronic health record-based approach
    Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety. 2023
  • Antidepressant fill and dose trajectories in pregnant women with depression and/or anxiety: a Norwegian registry linkage study
    Clinical Epidemiology. 2022
  • Differences in the association between oral glucocorticoids and risk of preterm birth by data source: reconciling the results
    Arthritis Care & Research. 2022
  • Influenza vaccination during pregnancy and risk of selected major structural noncardiac birth defects, National Birth Defects Prevention Study 2006-2011
    Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety. 2022
  • Point: uncertainty about estimating the risks of COVID-19 during pregnancy
    Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. 2022
  • Safety of live-attenuated vaccines in children exposed to biologic response modifiers in utero
    Pediatrics. 2022
  • "I know my body better than you:" patient focus groups to inform a decision aid on oral corticosteroid use during pregnancy
    Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety. 2021
  • Evidence of under-reporting of early-onset preeclampsia using register data
    Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. 2021
  • Oral corticosteroids and risk of preterm birth in the California Medicaid program
    The journal of allergy and clinical immunology. In practice. 2021
  • Rural-urban residence and maternal hepatitis C infection, US: 2010-2018
    American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2021
  • Acetaminophen use in pregnancy: examining prevalence, timing, and indication of use in a prospective birth cohort
    Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. 2020
  • Asthma prevalence among women aged 18 to 44 in the United States: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001-2016
    Journal of Asthma. 2020
  • Oral corticosteroid use during pregnancy and risk of preterm birth
    Rheumatology (Oxford, England). 2020
  • Patterns of prenatal antidepressant exposure and risk of preeclampsia and postpartum haemorrhage
    Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. 2020
  • Prenatal antidepressant use and risk of adverse neonatal outcomes
    Pediatrics. 2020
  • Using nationally representative survey data for external adjustment of unmeasured confounders: an example using the NHANES data
    Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety. 2020
  • Validation of mother-infant linkage using Medicaid Case ID variable within the Medicaid Analytic eXtract (MAX) database
    Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety. 2019
  • Agreement between maternal report and medical records during pregnancy: medications for rheumatoid arthritis and asthma
    Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. 2018
  • In vitro fertilization, interpregnancy interval, and risk of adverse perinatal outcomes
    Fertility and Sterility. 2018
  • Longitudinal trajectories of antidepressant use in pregnancy and the postnatal period
  • Most frequently reported prescription medications and supplements in couples planning pregnancy: The LIFE Study
    Reproductive Sciences. 2018
  • Patterns of prednisone use during pregnancy in women with rheumatoid arthritis: daily and cumulative dose
    Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety. 2018
  • Revisiting the Table 2 fallacy: a motivating example examining preeclampsia and preterm birth
    Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. 2018
  • Subclinical and clinical chorioamnionitis, fetal vasculitis, and risk for preterm birth: a cohort study
    Placenta. 2018
  • Early-onset preeclampsia in lupus pregnancy
    Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. 2017
  • Medication use among pregnant women with systemic lupus erythematosus and general population comparators
    Rheumatology (Oxford, England). 2017
  • Constructing causal diagrams for common perinatal outcomes: benefits, limitations and motivating examples with maternal antidepressant use in pregnancy
    Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. 2016
  • What to expect when expecting with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE): a population-based study of maternal and fetal outcomes in SLE and Pre-SLE
    Arthritis Care & Research. 2016
  • Editorial Article
  • The data giveth, but what do we take away [editorial]?
    Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology.  37. 2023
  • Making the best use of data not created for research [editorial]
    Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology.  32. 2018
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