CU Doctor Profile: http://www.cudoctors.com/Find_A_Doctor/Profile/23749
Research Profile: https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/profile/12755828
Dr. Swanson received her MD from Tulane University School of Medicine and MCR from Oregon Health & Science University. She currently sees patients at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and conducts clinical research focused on the novel risk factors for osteoporosis (e.g., sleep disruption).
Research + Funding
Dr. Swanson received funding from the Ludeman Center in 2018 for her project, “Sleep Disruption, Bone Metabolism and Insulin Action: Investigating Mechanistic Links and Sex Differences.” The focus of that interdisciplinary project was to evaluate if sleep restriction with concurrent circadian disruption (akin to the stresses endured during rotating shiftwork) affects bone metabolism differently in women than in men. Through this research, they identified that sleep and circadian disruption negatively altered bone metabolism in women by decreasing markers of bone formation and, in young women, increasing a marker of bone resorption (Swanson et al JCEM 2020). If sleep disruption negatively impacts bone metabolism it could impact women’s health by altering the approach to the prevention, evaluation and treatment of osteoporosis. These data support the hypothesis that sleep and circadian disruption may be particularly detrimental to bone health in young women.
Women are more commonly affected by osteoporosis than men, but the underlying cause of osteoporosis in an individual is often unknown. Dr. Swanson and her collaborators were the first to report that cumulative sleep restriction with concurrent circadian disruption (akin to rotating shiftwork) suppressed bone formation in healthy men and women. These changes in response to a night shift work schedule may negatively impact long-term bone health. Dr. Swanson researches novel risk factors for osteoporosis because it could alter the approach to the prevention, evaluation and treatment of osteoporosis. Through the supportive environment at the Ludeman Center, Dr. Swanson believes that researchers are provided with ongoing support to ensure their success and help them perform rigorous research to improve women’s health.