University of Minnesota

Siegfried Heyden, MD, PhD

1926 — 2009

Professor Heyden was the son of a (German) Lutheran pastor and was born in Bolzano, accounting for the fact that his birth certificate reads “Sigisfredo.” He served in the German Army during World War II, escaping the Soviet occupation of Berlin to Switzerland. He received his medical degree from Berlin’s Humboldt University in 1951, studied at the U. of Zurich, interned at the Jewish Hospital in Baltimore and was resident in radiology at the Albert Einstein Center in Philadelphia and the Jewish Hospital in Berlin. He escaped from Berlin a second time with his wife on the night the Berlin Wall blockade was enforced in 1961. Much of his career was spent as Professor of Family Medicine at Duke University.

Heyden was a pioneer in CVD epidemiology, an early collaborator on the Evans County Study and the Hypertension Detection and Follow-up Program (HDFP), and made many contributions to the understanding of CVD risk factors. His particular research and major reviews are observations on body weight and weight change, salt and potassium intake, and coffee-drinking and their effects on other risk factors and on CVD risk itself. He was also a pioneer in the study of youth and of Black/White differences. His main collaborators have been John Cassel, Al Tyroler, Curtis Hames, and George Fodor. (HB)


S. Heyden; G. Fodor