Heather Johnson, MD, MS

Heather Johnson photo

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine - Cardiovascular Medicine




Heather M. Johnson, MD, MS is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, and Co-Director of UW Health's Advanced Hypertension Program. She leads a research program to improve hypertension control rates and management of cardiovascular disease risk factors in young adult populations. As an NIH-funded health services investigator, preventive cardiologist, and American Society of Hypertension Clinical Hypertension Specialist, her research program parallels her clinical interests to improve both the quality and timeliness of hypertension clinical care. Her research findings have highlighted critical delays in the diagnosis of hypertension, lifestyle counseling, and antihypertensive medication initiation among young adults. Her research has informed the development of sustainable primary care clinic interventions across multiple healthcare systems. She has also worked with the University of Wisconsin Atherosclerosis Imaging Research Program to evaluate the effects of tobacco cessation and smoking on mechanisms of cardiovascular disease. In addition, she evaluated the use of carotid ultrasonography to improve evidence-based cardiovascular disease risk factor management in primary care clinics.

Research Funding

The MyHEART Study: A Young Adult Hypertension Self-Management Randomized Controlled Trial
NIH National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, 1R01HL132148-01A1, 5/2017-4/2022
Role: Principal Investigator

Identifying and Addressing Barriers to Hypertension Control in Young Adults
NIH National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, 1K23HL112907-01, 6/2012-4/2018
Role: Principal Investigator

Recent Publications (selected)

King CC, Bartels CM, Magnan EM, Fink JT, Smith MA, Johnson HM. The importance of frequent return visits and hypertension control among U.S. young adults: a multi-disciplinary group practice observational study. J Clin Hypertens. September 19, 2017. [Epub ahead of print]. 

Johnson HM, LaMantia JN, Brown CM, Warner RC, Zeller LM, Haggart RC, Stonewall K, Lauver DR. MyHEART: Development and dissemination of a patient-centered website for young adults with hypertension. JMIR Cardio. 2017;1(2):e5.

Johnson HM, Bartels CM, Thorpe CT, Schumacher JR, Pandhi N, Smith MA. Differential diagnosis and treatment rates between systolic and diastolic hypertension in young adults: a multi-disciplinary observational study. J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich) 2015;17(11):885-94.

Ho AK, Bartels CM, Thorpe CT, Pandhi N, Smith MA, Johnson HM. Achieving weight loss and hypertension control among obese adults: a US multidisciplinary group practice observational study. Am J Hypertens 2016;29(8):984-91.

Ho AK, Thorpe CT, Pandhi N, Palta M, Smith MA, Johnson HM. Association of anxiety and depression with hypertesnion control: a US multidisciplinary group practice observational study. J Hypertens 2015;33(11):2215-22.

Wallace ML, Magnan EM, Thorpe CT, Schumacher JR, Smith MA, Johnson HM. Diagnosis and treatment of incident hypertension among patients with diabetes: a U.S. multi-disciplinary group practice observational study. J Gen Intern Med 2015;30(6):768-76.

Johnson HM, Olson AG, LaMantia JN, Kind AJH, Pandhi N, Mendonça EA, Craven M, Smith MA. Documented lifestly education among young adults with incident hypertension. J Gen Intern Med 2015;30(5):556-34.

Johnson HM, Thorpe CT, Bartels CM, Schumacher JR, Palta M, Pandhi N, Sheehy AM, Smith MA. Antihypertensive medication initiation among young adults with regular primary care use. J Gen Intern Med 2014;29(5):723-31.

Johnson HM, Thorpe CT, Bartels CM, Schumacher JR, Palta M, Pandhi N, Sheehy AM, Smith MA. Undiagnosed hypertension among young adults with regular primary care use. J Hypertens 2014;32(1):65-74.

Johnson HM, Gossett LK, Piper ME, Aeschlimann SE, Korcarz CE, Baker TB, Fiore MC, Stein JH. Effects of smoking and smoking cessation on endothelial function: 1-year outcomes from a randomized clinical trial. J Am Coll Cardiol 2010;55(18):1988-95.

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