Russell V. Luepker MD, MS » Faculty in Community Health Promotion

Research Interests:Cardiovascular disease epidemiology and prevention; Health behavior; Community trials; Clinical trials

Professor, Epidemiology & Community Health

Home Div. Epidemiology & Community Health 1300 S. 2nd Street, Suite 300 Minneapolis MN 55454 United States Work Phone: 612-624-6362
Photo of Russell V. Luepker MD, MS


Russell Luepker graduated from the University of Rochester Medical School and pursued postgraduate training in internal medicine and cardiology at the University of California, Johns Hopkins, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard School of Public Health. He received a master’s degree in epidemiology from Harvard. Professor Luepker’s primary research interests are in cardiovascular epidemiology, clinical trials, community disease prevention, and outcomes research. He teaches clinical research methods and research grant writing.

  • M.D. in Medicine, University of Rochester
  • M.S. in Epidemiology, Harvard University
  • B.S. in History, Grinnell College


Behavior & Health, Cardiovascular Disease, Clinical Research, Clinical Trials, Community Intervention, Community-Based Research, Epidemiology, Global Health, Pulmonary Disease, Risk Assessment, Screening, Tobacco, Tobacco: Cessation, Tobacco: Prevention


Professional Experience:

  • Dr. Luepker’s research has focused on the area of cardiovascular disease, epidemiology and prevention. Much of his effort has been in community-based surveillance of cardiovascular disease, including hypertension and stroke.
  • Director of Graduate Studies in Clinical Research and Program Director of the K12 CAPS program.
  • Head of the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health from 1991-2004.
  • Chair of the Child and Adolescent Trial for Cardiovascular Health (CATCH) Steering Committee, and the Rapid Early Action for Coronary Treatment Steering Committee (REACT)
  • Chair of the NHLBI advisory boards of the Honolulu Heart Study and the Framingham Study
  • Member of the National Cholesterol Education Program, ATP III Committee and the American Heart Association
  • Treasurer and membership coordinator of the Council on Epidemiology and Prevention of the World Heart Federation.
  • Dr. Luepker is on the Defense Health Board. He chairs the Advisory Committees for the Framingham and Honolulu Heart Studies.
  • Principal Investigator of the Minnesota Heart Health Program, a community-wide effort to reduce cardiovascular risk. This included work with the general population, high-risk groups and youth, along with a focus on screening as a method for detection and education of high-risk and average-risk individuals.


  • Historical studies with honors, Grinnell College, 1964
  • M.D. with Distinction, University of Rochester, 1969
  • Alfred B. Richie Prize for Medical Research, American College of Chest Physicians, 1970
  • National Research Service Award, NHLBI, 1975-77
  • Delta Omega Society – The Honorary Public Health Society – National Merit Award, 1988
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, Grinnell College, 1989
  • Bush Leadership Fellowship, 1990
  • Ph.D. (h.c.) University of Lund, Sweden, 1996
  • Award of Merit, American Heart Association, Dallas, 1997
  • European Society of Cardiology, Fellow, Vienna, 1998. Joseph Stokes Award, American Society of Preventive Cardiology, Orlando, 1999
  • Ancel Keys Lecture, American Heart Association, 2001
  • Mayo Professor of Public Health, 2001-present. Distinguished Achievement Award, American Heart Association, Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, Dallas, 2005
  • One of the most highly cited researchers in the world, according to the Institute for Scientific Information, 2005
  • Distinguished Service Award – American Heart Association, Council on Epidemiology and Prevention Advocacy Committee, 2003-2007
  • Seasoned Advocate of the Year Award, American Heart Association – Minnesota Chapter, 2007
  • Science-Advocate of the Year Award, American Heart Association – National Center, 2008
  • 2010 President’s Award for Outstanding Service – University of Minnesota
  • Carole Bland Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, 2012

Selected Publications:

  • Filion KB, Luepker RV.  Cigarette Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease: Lessons from Framingham.  Global Heart 8(1): 35-41, 2013.
  • Zantek ND, Luepker RV, Duval S, Miller K, Oldenburg N, Hirsch AT.  Confirmation of Reported Aspirin Use in Community Studies: Utility of Serum Thromboxane B2 Measurement.  Clin Appl Thromb Hemost, DOI: 10.1177/1076029613486537.  May 7, 2013. [PMID: 23653145]
  • Ellrodt AG, Fonarow GC, Schwamm LH, Albert N, Bhatt DL, Cannon CP, Hernandez AF, Hlatky MA, Luepker RV, Peterson PN, Reeves M, Smith EE.  Synthesizing Lessons Learned From Get With The Guidelines: The Value of Disease-Based Registries in Improving Quality and Outcomes.  Circulation 128(22): 2447-2460, 2013. [PMID: 24166574]
  • Oldenburg NC, Duval S, Luepker RV, Finnegan JR, LaMarre H, Peterson KA, Zantek ND, Jacobs G, Straka RJ, Miller KH, Hirsch AT.  A 16-Month Community-Based Intervention to Increase Aspirin Use for Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease.  Prev Chronic Dis 11:130378. DOI:, 2014. [PMCID: PMC 4023687]
  • Lakshminarayan K, Berger AK, Fuller CC, Jacobs DR Jr, Anderson DC, Steffen LM, Sillah A, Luepker RV. Trends in 10-Year Survival of Patients With Stroke Hospitalized Between 1980 and 2000: The Minnesota Stroke Survey.  Stroke 45: 2575-2581, 2014. [PMID: 25028450]
  • Vakil K, Taimeh Z, Sharma A, Abidl KS, Colvin M, Luepker R, Levy WC, Adabag S.  Incidence, Predictors, and Temporal Trends of Sudden Cardiac Death After Heart Transplantation.  Heart Rhythm 2014 Jul 15. pii:S1547-5271(14)00789-9. doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2014.07.016. [PMID 25048441]
  • Luepker RV.  Careers in Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention. Circulation 120: 533-538, 2009. [PMID: 19667244]
  • Adabag AS, Peterson G, Apple FS, Titus J, King R, Luepker RV.  Etiology of Sudden Death in the Community:  Results of Anatomic, Metabolic and Genetic Evaluation.  Am Heart J 159: 33-39, 2010. [PMCID: PMC2905235]
  • Adabag AS, Luepker RV, Roger VL, Gersh BJ.  Sudden Cardiac Death: Epidemiology and Risk Factors.  Nat Rev Cardiol 7: 216-225, 2010. [PMID: 20142817]
  • Lakshminarayan K, Borbas C, McLaughlin B, Morris NE, Vazquez G, Luepker RV, Anderson DC.  A Cluster-Randomized Trial to Improve Stroke Care in Hospitals.  Neurology 74: 1634-1642, 2010. [PMCID: PMC2875128]
  • Brook RD, Rajagopalan S, Pope CA III, Brook JR, Bhatnagar A, Diez-Roux AV, Holguin F, Hong Y ,Luepker RV, Mittleman MA, Peters A, Siscovick D, Smith SC Jr., Whitsel L, Kaufman JD, on behalf of he Interdisciplinary Committee on Prevention of the American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention.  Particulate Matter Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Disease: An Update to the Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association.  Circulation 121: 2331-2378, 2010. [PMID: 20458016]
  • Luepker RV.  Cardiovascular Disease: Rise, Fall and Future Prospects.  Annu Rev Public Health 32: 18.1-18.3, 2011. [PMID: 21219158]
  • Wang H, Steffen LM, Jacobs DR, Zhou X, Blackburn H, Berger AK, Filion KB, Luepker RV.  Trends in Cardiovascular Risk Factor Levels in the Minnesota Heart Survey (1980-2002) as Compared With the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1976-2002): A Partial Explanation for Minnesota’s Low Cardiovascular Disease Mortality? Am J Epidemiol 173: 526-538, 2011. [PMID: 21273396]
  • Luepker RV.  Tobacco Use, Passive Smoking, and Cardiovascular Disease:  Research and Smoking Cessation Interventions.  In: Preventive Cardiology (3rd Edition).  (Blumenthal RS, Foody J, Wong ND, eds.).  Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders, pp. 331-343, 2011.

Journal Articles In Press

  • Lakshminarayan K, Schissel C, Anderson DC, Vazquez G, Jacobs DR, Ezzeddine M, Luepker RV,Virnig BA. Five Year Rehospitalization Outcomes in a Cohort of Acute Ischemic Stroke Patients: Medicare Linkage Study.  Stroke In Press, 2011. [NIHMSID: NIHMS 266808]
  • Harnack LJ, Steffen LM, Zhou X, Luepker RV.  Trends in Vitamin D Intake From Food Sources Among Adults in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN Metropolitan Area, 1980-82 through 2007-2009.  J Am Diet Assoc In Press, 2011.
  • Filion KB, Steffen L, Duval S, Jacobs DR Jr., Blackburn H, Luepker RV.  Trends in Smoking Among Adults From 1980 to 2009: The Minnesota Heart Survey.  Am J Pub Health In Press, 2011.
  • Neumar RW, Barnhart JM, Berg RA, Chan PS, Geocadin RG, Luepker RV, Newby LK, Sayre MR, Nichol G.  Implementation Strategies for Improving Survival After Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest in the United States: Consensus Recommendations From the 2009 American Heart Association Cardiac Arrest Survival Summit.  Circulation In Press, 2011.