University of Minnesota

Jean Lequime, MD

1908 — 1999

Jean Lequime was for years the leading cardiologist of Belgium. He is of interest to cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention as one of the earliest, and the few, academic cardiologists to recognize the important and complementary role of epidemiology and preventive approaches. His mentee, Marcel Kornitzer, recounts how he was given 48 hours to read up on the Framingham Study and decide whether to accept Lequime’s life-changing challenge to develop CVD epidemiology in Belgium. He did accept, and the field has since flourished there.

Lequime was educated at the Free University of Brussels and did post-graduate studies with Andre Cournand in New York City, from which experience he developed the first cardiac physiology (catheterization) laboratory in Belgium, leading to the first center for cardiac surgery. His team of investigators included international leaders in biophysics and physiology: Rylant, Denolin, Segers, and Vastesaeger, among others.

He early signed on with the efforts of Paul Dudley White and Ancel Keys to bring population studies and trials into mainstream cardiology. His close contacts with international cardiology were responsible for the rapid and effective organization of the International Society of Cardiology (now the World Heart Federation) into scientific councils at the 1966 World Congress of Cardiology in New Delhi.

An international leader, he was, nevertheless, a devoted citizen of the Queen, with
an associated royal title, for which he suffered the cognomen, “Le Baron,” among his proletarian colleagues. He was lifelong editor from 1946 of the first cardiology specialty journal, “Acta Cardiologia,” and wrote editorials into his old age. (HB)


Kesteloot, H. and Tellerman, M. 2000. Acta Cardiologica, 55:1.

Lequime, J. 2007. Re: Jean Lequime. Communication to H. Blackburn.