University of Minnesota

Nemat Borhani, MD, MPH

1926 — 1996

Nemat Borhani was early involved in the California Department of Health where he and colleagues were first to report the onset of the decline in U.S. coronary disease death rates in the 1960s. He became a leader in many aspects of CVD prevention, vigorously testing the system at every point.

Borhani was a native of Iran and immigrated to the U.S. in 1952, received his MD from the University of Teheran in 1949, and an MPH from Johns Hopkins in 1960, with specialty training at the Kaiser Hospital in Oakland, CA, and Belleview Hospital in New York City. He was early involved with blood pressure issues as head of the hypertension clinic at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He joined the USPHS Heart Disease Control Program during the 1960s and thereafter spent most of his career at UC Davis as Chair of Community Medicine.

From UC Davis, Borhani was active in collaborative observational studies and trials with emphasis on hypertension and atherosclerosis and could be found in the leadership of the Hypertension Detection and Follow-up Program, the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial, and the Community Health Study, where he elaborated the power of risk factors in elder communities. He wrote a seminal 1981 editorial on the role of trace elements in CVD. His latter contributions were as principal in the study of Isolated Systolic Hypertension and in the design and conduct of the first study to show the value of its treatment, in one of the more successful multicenter trials, the Systolic Hypertension in Elderly Persons trial.

Borhani held many positions in CVD organizations, including chairperson of the AHA Council on Epidemiology from 1973-75, during which tenure the Tahoe 10-day Seminar in CVD Epidemiology was founded, and for years he edited the council’s newsletter. He was particularly active in the teaching programs of the American College of Cardiology.

In his many national roles, Borhani’s active curiosity and keen index of suspicion served to keep the management of multi-center studies transparent. Rarely was a policy position unchallenged by him, and his Levantine sense of pride and honor in combat won him both fast friends and irate opponents.

Nemat Borhani trod not lightly. He did prodigious things. (HB)


Marquis Who’s Who on the Web. ‘Nemat Borhani’. Available from: [Accessed 2 January 2007].

Related Content