A concerted action
Extensive research projects such as the Seven Countries Study entail the skills and contributions of many investigators and institutions. From the early independent explorations of many, Ancel Keys of Minnesota became the catalyst and leader of this collaborative undertaking, surrounding himself with the people who contributed to the development of cardiovascular epidemiology and preventive cardiology internationally.
Ancel Keys, founder of the Seven Countries Study
Ancel Keys was a founder of cardiovascular disease epidemiology participating with other pioneers. (Read more) With other researchers of the time they developed a new academic discipline – cardiovascular disease epidemiology – that led to a new practice – preventive cardiology – and to state-of-the-art public health and nutrition policies.
The principal investigators in each country
Many people contributed to the SCS and to the studies in the elderly that grew from that study. They were recruited and trained for roles in surveys, data processing and analysis and included examining physicians, fieldworkers, technicians, dieticians, data managers, statisticians, doctoral students, and investigators. The names of these indispensible persons can be found at the end of the chapters for each country in the different monographs of the SCS (Keys et al. 1967, Den Hartog et al. 1968 and Keys et al. 1970), in the acknowledgement section of the monographs (Keys et al. 1967, Keys et al. 1970 and Keys et al. 1980), the books (Kromhout et al. 1994, Kromhout et al. 2002), and in peer-reviewed papers (see Publications section). Without their roles the SCS would never have seen daylight. It was an inspiring team effort.