University of Minnesota

Ignacio Balaguer Vintro, MD

1925 — 2014

Ignacio Balaguer Vintró is a founder of cardiovascular epidemiology and prevention in Spain. He was educated at the University of Barcelona and received his MD degree in 1949. He took his clinical training in cardiology at the Escuela de Cardiologia of the University of Barcelona. He was appointed in 1971 to the Faculty of Medicine (Autonomous University of Barcelona), where his research interests already had been focused since the 1950s on atherosclerotic vascular disease and its risk factors, particularly blood lipids. His 1973 doctoral thesis was entitled: “Coronary heart disease between the ages of 30 and 49. Risk factors, clinical forms and evolution.”

With Luis Tomàs Abadal, he started the Manresa Study in 1968 among Pirelli company employees, the first prospective epidemiological study of cardiovascular disease risk in Spain. In 1974 his research group began the Spanish contribution to the WHO European collaborative trial on multifactorial prevention of coronary heart disease in industry. To support these activities, the Hospital de Santa Creu i Sant Pau created in 1977 a Section of Cardiovascular Epidemiology to which Ignacio Balaguer Vintró was named head. In 1980 the Ministry of Health of Catalonia established a Program of Prevention and Control of Chronic Diseases in Catalonia (CRONICAT) with Ignacio Balaguer Vintró as Director. This program ran the Barcelona unit of WHO MONICA, with Susana Sans Menendes as co-principal and later principal investigator.

Ignacio Balaguer Vintró combined in his career clinical, laboratory and population studies and prevention and control at the community level. He also trained the current generation of leaders in CVD Prevention in Catalonia, and contributed widely to cardiology and the humanities, including books on Preventive Cardiology and Coronary Disease in Mediterranean Countries, as well as a charming memoir. He retired in 1995. (KP)


Kalevi Pyorala

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