Kimberly K. Vesco, MD, MPH

Senior Investigator

Areas of Focus

 

Meet Kim Vesco

Half of U.S. women gain too much weight during pregnancy. Dr. Kim Vesco has a solution to this problem—and she’s testing it among thousands of Kaiser Permanente patients.

Biography

Kimberly Vesco, MD, MPH, is a board-certified, practicing obstetrician-gynecologist with Kaiser Permanente Northwest whose clinical work has strongly influenced her research on women’s health issues. While her research experience covers a broad range of women’s health topics, her current work centers on pregnancy- and prepregnancy-related health issues, specifically obesity, diabetes, and weight management. She also has an interest in postmenopausal women’s health issues and has studied the impact of oophorectomy on fracture risk in older women and the diagnosis and treatment of the genitourinary syndrome of menopause.

Dr. Vesco co-led the Healthy Moms Study, a randomized trial of a group-based diet and lifestyle weight management program for pregnant women. She is the PI on one study examining the relationship between visceral and liver fat stores in pregnancy and metabolic changes, placental function, and fetal growth, and she is co-investigator on a randomized trial of a preconception intervention for overweight and obese women planning pregnancies.

Dr. Vesco is a co-investigator on a trial testing two screening strategies for gestational diabetes mellitus among more than 17,500 pregnant women and their babies to determine how diagnosis and treatment in routine clinical care affect complications for the baby and mother. She recently led a health system-based, cluster randomized trial at KPNW that aimed to increase the detection and treatment of symptomatic vulvovaginal changes in postmenopausal women. She also has worked with the Oregon Evidence-based Practice Center, conducting systematic evidence reviews for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force on topics including screening for gestational diabetes mellitus and cervical cancer.

Dr. Vesco earned her medical degree from the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine. She trained in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Utah and completed a women’s health fellowship funded by and conducted through the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center and an MPH degree with a focus in epidemiology and biostatistics at Oregon Health & Science University.

Selected Publications

 
  • Vesco KK, Leo MC, Karanja N, Gillman MW, McEvoy CT, King JC, Eckhardt CL, Smith KS, Perrin N, Stevens VJ. One-year postpartum outcomes following a weight management intervention in pregnant women with obesity. Obesity 2016;24(10) :2042-9. PMCID: PMC5084910 [Available on 2017-10-01]
  • LeBlanc ES, Vesco KK, Funk KL, Karanja N, Smith N, Stevens VJ. Prepare, a randomized trial to promote and evaluate weight loss among overweight and obese women planning pregnancy: Study design and rationale. Contemp Clin Trials 2016 Jul;49:174-80.
  • Vesco KK, Karanja N, King JC, Gillman MW, Leo MC, Perrin N, McEvoy CT, Eckhardt CL, Smith KS, Stevens VJ. Efficacy of a group-based dietary intervention for limiting gestational weight gain among obese women: A randomized trial. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2014 Sep;22(9):1989-1996.
  • Vesco K, Dietz PM, Bulkley J, Bruce CF, Callaghan WM, England L, Kimes T, Bachman D, Hartinger KJ, Hornbrook M. A system-based intervention to improve postpartum diabetes screening among women with gestational diabetes. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2012 Oct;207(4):283. [Epub 2012 Aug 16]
  • Vesco KK, Karanja N, King JC, Gillman MW, Perrin N, McEvoy C, Eckhardt C, Smith KS, Stevens, VJ. Healthy Moms, a randomized trial to promote and evaluate weight maintenance among obese pregnant women: study design and rationale. Contemp Clin Trials 2012 Jul;33(4):777-85. [Epub 2012 Mar 20] PMCID: PMC3361519
  • Vesco KK, Marshall, LM, Nelson HD, Humphrey L, Rizzo JH, Pedula KL, Cauley JA, Ensrud KE, Hochberg MC, Antoniucci D, Hillier TA for the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures. Surgical menopause and nonvertebral fracture risk among older US women. Menopause 2012 May;19(5):510-6. PMCID: PMC3342015
  • Vesco KK, Whitlock EP, Eder M, Burda BU, Senger CA, Lutz K. Risk factors and other epidemiologic considerations for cervical cancer screening. Ann Intern Med 2011 Nov 15;155(10):698-705, W216. [Epub 2011 Oct 17]
  • Vesco K, Whitlock E, Eder M, Lin J, Burda B, Senger C, Holmes R, Fu R, Zuber S. Screening for cervical cancer: A systematic evidence review for the US Preventive Services Task Force. Evidence Synthesis No. 86. AHRQ Publication No. 11-05156-EF-1. Rockville, Maryland: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality May 2011.
  • Vesco KK, Sharma AJ, Dietz PM, Rizzo J, Callaghan WM, England L, Bruce FC, Bachman DJ, Stevens VJ, Hornbrook MC. Newborn size among obese women with weight gain outside the 2009 Institute of Medicine recommendation. Obstet Gynecol 2011 Apr;117(4):812-8.
  • Vesco KK, Dietz PM, Rizzo J, Stevens VJ, Perrin NA, Bachman DJ, Callaghan WM, Bruce FC, Hornbrook MC. Excessive gestational weight gain and postpartum weight retention among obese women. Obstet Gynecol 2009 Nov;114(5):1069-1075.
  • Hillier TA, Vesco KK, Pedula KL, Beil T, Whitlock E, Pettitt DJ. Screening for gestational diabetes: A systematic review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Ann Intern Med 2008;148(10):766-75.
  • Vesco KK, Haney E, Humphrey L, Fu R, Nelson HD. Influence of menopause on mood: A systematic review of cohort studies. Climateric 2007;10(6):448-65.

Story

Landmark Study of Osteoporotic Fractures Draws to a Close After 31 Years

Our longest-running CHR study has produced dramatic discoveries, hundreds of scientific papers, and memorable relationships between researchers and participants.

Sep 20, 2017

Press Release

Mothers’ Excess Pregnancy Weight Gain and Elevated Blood Sugar ‘Imprint’ Obesity in Children

Children whose mothers gain excess weight or have elevated blood sugar during their pregnancies are more likely to become overweight or obese during their first decade of life, according to a new Kaiser Permanente study published today in Maternal and Child Health Journal.

May 6, 2017

Press Release

Why Pregnant Women Don't Need to Eat for Two

More than half of pregnant women in the United States gain more than the recommended amount of weight, and that extra weight can lead to large babies, difficult deliveries, birthing injuries, weight retention after pregnancy, and a higher risk of obesity for those babies later in life, according to recent research.

Feb 19 2015

Press Release

 

Novel Study Helps Women Who Are Obese Limit Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Healthy Moms program aims to reduce risk of complications for mothers and babies

Aug 28, 2014

Press Release

Obese Women WHo Gain More than 15 Pounds in Pregnancy Retain Nearly Half the Weight a Year Later

Study finds nearly 70 percent of obese women gain more than recommended amount during pregnancy

Oct 22, 2009