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.

Seven Country Study Reunion Conference, Japan, 1994

Blackburn-Keys Collection, University of Minnesota

Ancel Keys, founder of the Seven Countries Study

Blackburn-Keys Collection, University of Minnesota

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

Country Investigators
USA Henry TaylorHenry BlackburnDavid Jacobs
Finland Martti KarvonenAulikki Nissinen
Netherlands Frans van BuchemDaan Kromhout
Italy Flaminio FidanzaVittorio PudduAlessandro Menotti
Greece Christos Aravanis, Andy Dontas
Croatia Ratko Buzina
Serbia Bozidar DjordevicSrecko Nedeljkovic
Japan Noboru KimuraHironori Toshima


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.


Read about half a century of scientific endeavor.

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Study design

Find out how the research team obtained its data.

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Learn about the countries and cohorts studied in the SCS.

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Related studies

Browse the other studies that sprouted from the SCS.

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Scan the list of benefactors that made the SCS happen.

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