University of Minnesota

Marcel Kornitzer, MD, PhD

Born: 1937

Dr. Kornitzer was born in Antwerp, Belgium and sequestered on a farm in the south of Belgium during the Nazi occupation. He was educated at the Free University in Brussels, receiving an MD in 1962, Cardiology specialty in 1967, and doctoral degree in Cardiology in 1976. Kornitzer was offered a new post in CVD epidemiology (Here, read this about the Framingham Study and give me your answer in 48 hours.) by his Brussels chief, Jean Lequime, who had become a part of the Paul White-Ancel Keys Research Committee of the International Society of Cardiology. After a hurried indoctrination at WHO and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, he was put in charge of a survey and prospective study among Belgian bankers.

Kornitzer pioneered in the epidemiological investigation of job stress, psychosocial factors, and habitual physical activity and work capacity (fitness) as CVD risk factors, and headed the Belgian component of a WHO Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial starting in 1972. In the 1980s he participated in the Belgian Heart Disease Prevention Project and the BIRNH Study of north-south differences in Belgium and initiated the Belgian contributions to MONICA, the WHO international CVD surveillance program. Later, he initiated new studies of peripheral artery disease and of job stress, hemostatic factors, and the electrocardiogram as predictors of CVD risk, and participated in drug trials and INTERSALT, the international survey of electrolytes and blood pressure. He reviewed the epidemiological evidence on Type-A Behavior and wrote a defining editorial indicting its weakness and absent biological plausibility. Kornitzer culminated a 40-year career of CVD epidemiology and prevention researches and retired with his extended family in Israel. (HB)

Please click here for a description of the Belgian Bank Study.


Kornitzer, M. (1984) Why those differences between the U.K. and the Belgian Heart Disease Prevention Project Results. Preventive Medicine, 13, 136-139.

Kornitzer, M. (1992) Type A Behavior and coronary heart disease: an update. Nutr. Metab. Cardiovasc. Dis., 2, 86-93.

Kornitzer, M, G De Backer, M Dramaix, and C. Thilly. (1979) Regional differences in risk factor distributions, food habits and coronary heart disease mortality and morbidity in Belgium. International Journal of Epidemiology, 8, 23-31.