Document Type


Publication Date

March 2006


This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Epidemiology Volume 17, Issue 2, March 2006, Pages 234-237. The published version is available at . DOI: 10.1097/01.ede.0000197295.84527.4c Copyright © Lippincott Williams and Wilkins..


Dr. Jeremiah Stamler began his career in New York City and moved to Chicago in 1947 with his wife Rose, to accept a basic research position with Dr. Louis N. Katz. Early animal studies convinced him of the role of dietary factors, particularly cholesterol and salt, in the etiology of atherosclerotic vascular disease. Because of a strong interest in public health, he began the first of many population based cohort studies in the 1950s that subsequently defined the role of health behaviors (adverse nutrition choices, tobacco use, low physical activity) and associated measurable biologic traits, now called risk factors, in the causation of the cardiovascular disease epidemic then at its peak in the United States. He began his professional work in preventive medicine with the City of Chicago Health Department and subsequently developed the Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University Medical School where he now serves as professor emeritus. His research, leadership, and teaching have been critical in defining the contemporary roles of both the American Heart Association (AHA) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. He remains an active investigator at age 85. I interviewed Dr. Stamler at his home.