Esa Matius Davis, MD, MPH, FAAFP

  • Associate Professor of Medicine and Clinical and Translational Science

Esa Matius Davis, MD, MPH, FAAFP, is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Clinical and Translational Science. She is the Director of both the UPMC Tobacco Treatment Service and the Career Education and Enhancement for Health Care Research Diversity (CEED) Program. Dr. Davis has a patient-oriented research program focused on obesity-related maternal and child health outcomes and in comparative effectiveness research in obesity and tobacco. She has investigated the perinatal, cultural, and behavioral factors associated with disparities in obesity among women. Dr. Davis has contributed new analytic methods in investigating pregnancy factors associated with the development of maternal obesity and related outcomes. Her current study aims to examine differences in perinatal outcomes of women randomized to two screening/diagnostic strategies for gestational diabetes. She has also conducted studies that investigate the association between obesity and cardiac recovery and remodeling in women with postpartum cardiomyopathy. Dr. Davis’ research also focuses on reducing risk factors such as hypertension, obesity, smoking and patient attitudes associated with cardiovascular disease.

Education & Training

  • BS (Biology), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1993
  • MD, New Jersey Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, 1997
  • Residency (Family Medicine), Overlook Hospital, New Jersey, 2000
  • MPH (Epidemiology), Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2002
  • Research Fellowship, Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, Johns Hopkins University, 2002
  • General Internal Medicine and National Research Service Award Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University, 2003

Representative Publications

Davis EM, Ewald G, Givertz MM, Rajagopalan N, Cooper Jr LT, Briller J, Felker GM, Bozkurt B, Drazner MH, Hanley-Yanez K, Halder I, McTiernan CF, McNamara DM. Maternal obesity affects cardiac remodeling and recovery in women with peripartum cardiomyopathy. American Journal of Perinatology. 2019;36(5):476-483.

A prospective analysis of 100 women with peripartum cardiomyopathy found that obese women had greater cardiac remodeling, higher leptin levels, and diminished cardiac recovery.

Davis EM, Scifres CM, Abebe K, Costacou T, Comer D, Catalano P, Simhan H, Freiberg M, Day N. Comparison of birth outcomes by gestational diabetes screening criteria. American Journal of Perinatology Reports. 2018;8(4):e280-e288.

Examining the association between different diagnostic criteria for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and adverse birth outcomes, this retrospective cohort study found little difference in birth outcomes between GDM/Carpenter-Coustan and GDM/International Association of Diabetes in Pregnancy Study Group.

Mendez DD, Sanders SA, Karimi HA, Gharani P, Rathbun SL, Gary-Webb TL, Wallace ML, Gianakas JJ, Burke LE, Davis EM. Understanding pregnancy and postpartum health using ecological momentary assessment and mobile technology: protocol for the Postpartum Mothers Mobile Study. JMIR Research Protocols. 2019;8(6): e13569.

This protocol outlines the development of the Postpartum Mothers Mobile Study, one of the first published studies to use an ongoing ecological momentary assessment and mobile technology protocol during pregnancy and throughout 1 year postpartum to understand the health of childbearing populations and enduring racial disparities in postpartum weight and cardiometabolic health.

Davis EM, Babineau DC, Wang X, Zyzanski S, Abrams B, Bodnar LM, Horwitz RI. Short inter-pregnancy intervals, parity, excessive pregnancy weight gain and risk of maternal obesity. Maternal and Child Health Journal. 2014;18(3):554-562.

This prospective cohort study found that primiparous and nulliparous women had similar obesity risk unless the primiparous women had excessive pregnancy weight gain in the first pregnancy, then their risk of obesity was greater. Multiparous women with the same excessive pregnancy weight gain in the first pregnancy and at least one additional short inter-pregnancy interval had a significant risk of obesity after childbirth.

Click here for a more complete bibliography of Dr. Davis’s works.

Research Interests

  • Tobacco treatment in hospitalized smokers
  • Obesity-related maternal and child health
  • Comparative effectiveness
  • Patient-oriented research