Teresa A. Hillier, MD, MS

Distinguished Investigator

Areas of Focus

 

Biography

Teresa Hillier, MD, MS, is an endocrinologist and senior investigator who holds dual appointments at CHR-Northwest and CHR-Hawaii. Her research focuses on how modifiable risk factors earlier in life can affect future risk of endocrine diseases across the lifespan, including gestational diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis.

Active in diabetes and obesity research, Dr. Hillier has done pioneering work in gestational diabetes in pregnancy (GDM). In 2007, she and her team demonstrated an ongoing effect of maternal hyperglycemia to imprint childhood obesity in a study of nearly 10,000 children at KPNW and KP-Hawaii. She directs a study partnering with both the KPNW and KP-Hawaii regions to determine whether early screening and treatment of GDM among high-risk obese women reduces complications for both mother and baby. In addition, Dr. Hillier is leading a study that also partners with both the KPNW and KP-Hawaii regions to randomize two different strategies of GDM screening to evaluate outcomes for mother and baby.

Dr. Hillier has nearly 20 years’ experience as the principal investigator (PI) of multicenter trials and as the PI of multi-site projects at both CHR-NW and Hawaii. Since 2000, she has been PI of the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures (SOF) CHR clinical site, an ongoing, nearly 30-year US multicenter prospective cohort study of 9,704 women ages 65 and older. The SOF study examines risk factors for osteoporosis as well as characteristics of exceptional aging among post-menopausal women. She also directs two studies associated with SOF at her clinical site, one that examines health outcomes relating to hip fracture and another that compares health outcomes among women who are caregivers.

Dr. Hillier received her MD from Oregon Health & Science University in 1990, then an MS in Epidemiology from the University of Virginia in 1998. She served her residency in Internal Medicine at the Providence Medical Center in Portland and an Endocrinology fellowship at the University of Virginia.

Selected Publications

 
  • LeBlanc ES, Rizzo JH, Pedula KL, Yaffe K, Ensrud KE, Cauley J, Cawthon PM, Cummings S, Hillier TA. Study of Osteoporotic Fractures (SOF) Research Group. Weight Trajectory over 20 Years and Likelihood of Mild Cognitive Impairment or Dementia Among Older Women. J Am Geriatr Soc 2017 Mar;65(3):511-519. PMCID: PMC5685172
  • Hillier TA, Pedula KL, Vesco KK, Oshiro C, Ogasawara KK. Impact of maternal glucose and gestational weight gain on child obesity over the first decade of life in normal birth weight infants. Maternal and Child Health Journal 2016 Aug;20(8):1559-68.
  • Hillier TA, Ogasawara K, Pedula K, Vesco KK. Markedly different rates of incident insulin treatment based on universal GDM screening in a diverse HMO population. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2013 Nov;209(5):440. [Epub 2013 June 28]
  • Hillier TA, Lui LY, Kado DM, LeBlanc ES, Vesco KK, Bauer DC, Cauley JA, Ensrud KE, Black DM, Hochberg MC, Cummings SR. Height loss in older women: Risk of hip fracture and mortality independent of vertebral fractures. J Bone Miner Res 2012 Jan;27(1):153-9. [Epub 2011 Nov 9]
  • Hillier TA, Cauley JA, Rizzo JH, Pedula KL, Ensrud KE, Bauer DC, Lui LY, Vesco KK, Black, DM, Donaldson MG, LeBlanc ES, Cummings SR. The WHO absolute fracture risk models (FRAX): Do clinical risk factors improve fracture prediction in older women with normal or low bone mass? J Bone Miner Res 2011 Aug; 26(8):1774-82. PMCID: PMC3622725
  • 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.
  • Hillier TA, Pedula KL, Vesco KK, Schmidt MM, Mullen JA, LeBlanc ES, Pettitt DJ. Excess gestational weight gain: Modifying fetal macrosomia risk associated with maternal glucose. Obstet Gynecol 2008;112(5):1007-14.
  • Hillier TA, Pedula KL, Schmidt MM, Mullen JA, Charles MA, Pettitt DJ. Childhood obesity and metabolic imprinting: The ongoing effects of maternal hyperglycemia. Diabetes Care 2007;30(9):2287-92.

Stories

Research Team Ends Three-Decade Study with Publication on Older Women and Long-Term Weight Loss

Launched in 1987, the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures became the longest-running study in the 54-year history of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research.

Oct 29, 2018

Press Release

Study Finds Early Testing for Gestational Diabetes May Benefit Some High-Risk Women

A recent study conducted by the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research shows that testing high-risk women for gestational diabetes in the first trimester of pregnancy may identify the worst cases of the condition, allowing for earlier treatment.

Sep 12 2013

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, 2016

Press Release

Height Loss of Two Inches or More Increases Risk of Fractures and Death

Study Suggests Significant Height Loss May Indicate More Serious Health Problems

Jan 10, 2012