University of Minnesota

Richard Carleton, MD

1931 — 2001

Richard Carleton was a leader in preventive cardiology and founder and director of the Pawtucket Heart Health Program, a community intervention on CVD risk. Carleton was a Rhode Island native, educated at Dartmouth, with his MD from Harvard in 1955, and with cardiological training at the U. of Illinois, where he became chief of cardiology at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Lukes from 1968-72. Thereafter he became head of medicine at the San Diego VA Hospital, and then at Dartmouth until 1976.

As chief of cardiology at Brown University he designed the community intervention at Pawtucket, which was based strongly on existing institutions and networks and operated from 1982 to 1996. He concluded that community health campaigns require concurrent efforts at state, regional, and federal levels to achieve and maintain goals. The community health promotion efforts indicated little effect on habitual physical activity, and some effect on weight gain. CVD diagnoses he found were influenced by payment plans. He analyzed trends in validated diagnoses of stroke and coronary disease and found a strong relationship between perceived and actual risk of both.

His research activities included contributions to understanding the role of exercise in risk and blood pressure regulation and the acute effects of exercise on anginal thresholds, ischemia and sudden death. Carleton was active on NIH committees and served on the NHLBI Advisory Council from 1984-88 as well as its National Cholesterol Education Project. Please click here for a description of the Pawtucket Heart Health Program.


Marquis Who’s Who on the Web. Richard Allyn Carleton. (accessed January 15, 2007).

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