University of Minnesota

Thomas J. Thom

Born: 1936

Tom Thom is an engine of CVD epidemiology in the vehicle of NHLBI, a prolific investigator and effective collaborator in the academy of NIH.

He was educated at the University of Minnesota and spent one year at its School of Public Health before joining the Heart Disease Control Program full time in 1965 as Public Health Analyst. Subsequently he has served until the present in the Epidemiology and Biometry program of the NHLBI.

His research has been in the forefront of trend analysis in the morbidity, mortality, and costs of CVD, providing particular insights on the decline in coronary deaths and its implications, and on sex and ethnic and geographic trends. He made early contributions to analysis of trends in congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and hypertension and its control. He had a rich collaboration with Fred Epstein in interpretive analyses of international trends in CVD in relation to cancer and total mortality. He contributes to the valuable standard NHLBI Fact Books annually.

Tom Thom is a model of the professional analyst providing over a long period of service the most reliable and essential contributions of data and their interpretation to the academy and to the public health. (HB)


Thom, T.J., Epstein, F.A., Feldman, J.J., and Leaverton, P.E. 1985. ‘Trends in total mortality and mortality from heart disease in 26 countries from 1950 to 1978’. International Journal of Epidemiology. 14:4, 510-520.

Levy, D. and Thom, T.J. 1998. ‘Death rates from coronary disease — progress and a puzzling paradox (editorial)’. New England Journal of Medicine. 359:13, 915-917.

Lenfant, C., Friedman, L., and Thom, T. 1998 ‘Fifty years of death certificates: The Framingham study (editorial)’. Annals of Internal Medicine. 29:12:1067-1068.

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