David R. Jacobs PhD » Faculty

Research Interests:

Professor, Epidemiology & Community Health

Address Div. Epidemiology & Community Health 1300 S. 2nd Street, Suite 300 Minneapolis MN 55454 United States Work Phone: 612-624-4196 Website: http://www.epi.umn.edu/history/seminars/sem_jacobs/presenter.shtm
Photo of David R. Jacobs PhD


David Jacobs’s research is in nutrition and cardiovascular disease and other diseases such as diabetes. He is co-investigator of CARDIA, a national study of the evolution of cardiovascular risk in young adults and principal investigator of CARDIA’s YALTA ancillary study of oxidative stress. He is co-investigator of MESA, a national longitudinal study of middle-aged and older adults and principal investigator of its MESA Air ancillary study of air pollution. He directs studies of whole grain intake and chronic disease. He has been a statistical analyst or co-investigator in experiments involving the interrelationship of drugs, diet, and exercise. He has also worked with studies of cancer and infectious disease outcomes and with drug and behavioral intervention studies.

  • Ph.D. in Mathematical Statistics, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
  • B.S. in Mathematics, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY


Biostatistics, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Epidemiology, Nutrition / Diet

Professional Experience:

  • 2007-present Mayo Professor of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota
  • 1999-present Visiting professor, University of Oslo, Department of Nutrition, Oslo, Norway
  • 1988-2007 Professor, Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota
  • 1979-88 Associate Professor, Division of Epidemiology (incorporating the Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene), School of Public Health, University of Minnesota
  • 1974-79 Assistant Professor, Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene School of PublicmHealth, University of Minnesota
  • 1974-83 Director of Data Processing, Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene, University of Minnesota
  • 1974-77 Assistant Professor, Division of Biometry, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota
  • 1971-74 Assistant Professor, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Division of Clinical Investigation and Institute of International Medicine, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Maryland
  • 1971 Lecturer, Johns Hopkins University, Statistics
  • 1970-71 Part-time Assistant Professor, Towson State College Taught Probability, Statistics, & Numerical Analysis


  • 2014 inductee:  University of Minnesota’s Academic Health Center Academy for Excellence in Health Research
    2006 National Institutes of Health Annual Bibliography of Significant Advances in Dietary Supplements Research. Peer recognition to investigators involved in research that advances our understanding of dietary supplements. “Lee DH, Folsom AR, Harnack L, Halliwell B, Jacobs DR, Jr. Does supplemental vitamin C increase cardiovascular disease risk in women with diabetes? Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80(5):1194-200.”
  • 2005 Whole Grains and Health Applied Research Award, given as part of the conference “Whole Grains and Health: A Global Summit”, May 18-20, 2005, Minneapolis, MN
  • 2000 Elected to Fellowship, American College of Nutrition 1997-present Visiting professor, University of Oslo, Department of Nutrition, Oslo, Norway, 4-8 weeks per year, funded by Norwegian National Research Council
  • 1989 Visiting professor, University of Bergen, Institute for Social and Organizational Psychology, Bergen, Norway (January – March)
  • 1989 Elected to Membership, Delta Omega, Public Health Honorary Society
  • 1985 Elected to Membership, American Epidemiological Society 1977-82 Research Career Development Award
  • 1976 Elected to Fellowship, American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention (Member since 1972)

Full CV

Research Interests:

Epidemiology, particularly cardiovascular and chronic disease and nutritional epidemiology Biometry and statistical consulting Specific topics of interest:

  • Whole and refined grain intake and chronic disease
  • Inflammation, oxidation and health
  • Xenobiotics and health
  • Diabetes
  • Periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease
  • Lung function in free-living populations
  • Measurement of physical activity and diet
  • Implications of low serum cholesterol for stroke, infection and other noncardiovascular diseases
  • Effects of diet on serum cholesterol
  • Repeated measures regression analysis
  • Design and evaluation of community health education programs

Member: Obesity Prevention Center Research Project

Research Projects (12)

Selected Publications:

  • Jerosch-Herold M, Vasaquez G, Wang L, Jacobs DR, Jr., Folsom AR. Variability of myocardial blood flow measurements by magnetic resonance imaging in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Invest Radiol 2008;43(3):155-161. PMID: 18301311
  • Thyagarajan B, Jacobs DR Jr, Carr JJ, Alozie O, Steffes MW, Kailash P, Hayes JH, Gross MD. Factors Associated with Paraoxonase Genotypes and Activity in a Diverse, Young, Healthy Population: The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study. Clin Chem 2008;54(4):738-46. PMID: 18281420
  • Schwartz B, Jacobs DR, Jr, Moran A, Steinberger J, Hong CP, Sinaiko AR. Measurement of Insulin Sensitivity in Children: Comparison Between the Euglycemic Hyperinsulinemic Clamp and Surrogate Measures. Diabetes Care 2008;31(4):783-8 PMID: 18174496
  • Duval S, Jacobs DR, Barber C, Lando HA, Steffen LM, Arnett DK, Luepker RV. Trends in cigarette smoking: The Minnesota Heart Survey, 1980-1982 through 2000-2002. Nicotine & Tobacco Research 2008;10: 827-32. PMID: 18569756
  • Holvoet P, Lee D-H, Steffes M, Gross M, Jacobs DR, Jr. Association between circulating oxidizied low-density lipoprotein and incidence of the metabolic syndrome. JAMA 2008;21;2287-93. PMCID: PMC2562739
  • Thyagarajan B, Jacobs DR, Jr., Apostol GG, Smith LJ, Jensen RL, Crapo RO, Barr RG, Lewis CE, Williams OD. Longitudinal association of body mass index with lung function: The CARDIA Study. Respir Res 2008;9:31. PMCID: PMC2386787
  • Nettleton J, Jacobs DR, Jr. A Priori-defined dietary patterns & markers of Cardiovascular Disease Risk in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85(6):1615-25. PMID: 17556701
  • Cutler GJ, Nettleton JA, Ross JA, Harnack LJ, Jacobs DR Jr, Scrafford CG, Barraj LM, Mink PJ, Robien K. Dietary flavonoid intake and risk of cancer in postmenopausal women: The Iowa Women’s Health Study. Int J Cancer 2008;123(3):664-71. PMID: 18491403
  • Moran A, Jacobs DR Jr, Steinberger J, Steffen LM, Pankow JS, Hong CP, Sinaiko AR. Changes in insulin resistance and cardiovascular risk during adolescence: establishment of differential risk in males and females. Circulation 2008;117(18):2361-8. PMID: 18427135
  • Demmer R, Papapanou P, Jacobs DR, Desvarieux M. Bleeding on probing differentially relates to bacterial profiles: The INVEST Study. J Clin Periodontol 2008;35(6):479-86. PMID: 18400025
  • Lee DH, Gross MD, Steffes MW, Jacobs DR Jr. Is serum gamma-glutamyltransferase a biomarker of xenobiotics, which are conjugated by glutathione? Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2008;28(4):e26-8; author reply e29. PMID: 18354088
  • Berger AK, Duval S, Jacobs DR Jr, Barber C, Vazquez G, Lee S, Luepker RV. Relation of length of hospital stay in acute myocardial infarction to postdischarge mortality. Am J Cardiol 2008;101(4):428-34. PMID: 1831275
  • Moore LV, Diez Roux AV, Nettleton JA, Jacobs DR Jr. Associations of the local food environment with diet quality–a comparison of assessments based on surveys and geographic information systems: the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis. Am J Epidemiol. 2008;167(8):917-24. PMCID: PMC2587217
  • Demmer R, Jacobs DR, Jr., Desvarieux M. Periodontal disease and incident Type 2 diabetes Mellitus: Results from NHANES I. Diabetes Care 2008;31(7):1373-9. PMID: 18390797
  • Majahid MS, Diez Rouz AV, Shen M, Gowda D, Sanchez B, Shea S, Jacobs DR, Jr., Jackson SA. Relationship between neighborhood environments and obesity in the Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Am J Epidemiol 2008;167(11):1349-57. PMID: 18367469
  • Valappil NI, Jacobs DR, Jr., Duprez DA, Gross MD, Arnett DK, Glasser S. Associations between endothelial biomarkers and arterial elasticity in young adults – The CARDIA Study. Journal of the American Society of Hypertension 2008;2(2);70-79. PMCID: PMC2390876
  • Rademacher E, Mauer M, Jacobs DR Jr, Chavers B, Steinke J, Sinaiko A. Albumin excretion rate in normal adolescents: relation to insulin resistance and cardiovascular risk factors and comparisons to type 1 diabetes mellitus patients. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 2008;3(4):998-1005. PMID: 18400966
  • Palmas W, Ma S, Jacobs DR Jr, Arnett D, Jackson S, Olson J, Saad MF, Kronmal R, Kramer H, Barr RG. Ethnicity and sex modify the association of serum c-reactive protein with microalbuminuria. Ethn Dis 2008;18(3):324-9. PMID: 18785447
  • Sood A, Cui X, Qualls C, Beckett WS, Gross MD, Steffes MW, Smith LJ, Jacobs DR. Association between Asthma and Serum Adiponectin Concentration in Women. Thorax. 2008;63(10):877-82. PMID: 18390629.
  • Tsai MY, Johnson C, Kao WH, Sharrett AR, Arends VL, Kronmal R, Jenny NS, Jacobs DR Jr, Arnett D, O’Leary D, Post W. Cholesteryl ester transfer protein genetic polymorphisms, HDL cholesterol, and subclinical cardiovascular disease in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis 2008;200(2):359-67. PMID: 18243217
  • Ackard DM, Vik N, Neumark-Sztainer D, Schmitz KH, Hannan P, Jacobs DR Jr. Disordered eating and body dissatisfaction in adolescents with type 1 diabetes and a population-based comparison sample: comparative prevalence and clinical implications. Pediatr Diabetes 2008;9(4 Pt 1):312-9. PMID: 18466215
  • Demmer RT, Kocher T, Schwahn C, Völzke H, Jacobs DR Jr, Desvarieux M. Refining exposure definitions for studies of periodontal disease and systemic disease associations. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2008;36(6):493-502. PMID: 18422705
  • Steffen LM, Vessby B, Jacobs DR Jr, Steinberger J, Moran A, Hong CP, Sinaiko AR. Serum phospholipid and cholesteryl ester fatty acids and estimated desaturase activities are related to overweight and cardiovascular risk factors in adolescents. Int J Obes 2008;32(8):1297-304. PMID: 18560369.
  • Lim JS, Lee DH, Jacobs DR Jr. Association of Brominated Flame Retardants with Diabetes and Metabolic syndrome in the United States Population: 2003-2004. Diabetes Care 2008;31(9):1802-7. PMID: 18559655
  • Nettleton JA, Steffen LM, Ni H, Liu K, Jacobs DR Jr. Dietary Patterns and Risk of Incident Type 2 Diabetes in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Diabetes Care 2008;31(9):1777-82. PMID: 18544792
  • Klein R, Knudtson MD, Klein BE, Wong TY, Cotch MF, Liu K, Cheng CY, Burke GL, Saad MF,Jacobs DR Jr, Sharrett AR. Inflammation, Complement Factor H, and Age-Related Macular Degeneration The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Ophthalmology. 2008;115(10):1742-9. PMID: 18538409
  • Reiner AP, Carlson CS, Thyagarajan B, Rieder MJ, Polak JF, Siscovick DS, Nickerson DA, Jacobs DR Jr, Gross MD. Soluble P-Selectin, SELP Polymorphisms, and Atherosclerotic Risk in European-American and African-African Young Adults. The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2008;28(8):1549-55. PMID: 18535285
  • Lee CD, Jacobs DR Jr, Hankinson A, Iribarren C, Sidney S. Cardiorespiratory fitness and coronary artery calcification in young adults: The CARDIA Study. Atherosclerosis 2008 Jun 22. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 18653190
  • Lee D-H, Buijsse B, Steffen L, Holtzman JL, Luepker RV, Jacobs DR, Jr. Association between serum gamma-glutamyltransferase and cardiovascular mortality varies by age: The Minnesota Heart Survey. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil 2009;16(1):16-20. PMID: 18753951
  • Lee DH, Jacobs DR Jr, Steffes M. Association of Organochlorine Pesticides with Peripheral Neuropathy among Patients with Diabetes or Impaired Fasting Glucose. Diabetes 2008;57(11):3108-11. PMID: 18647952
  • Nettleton JA, Schulze MB, Jiang R, Jenny NS, Burke GL, Jacobs DR Jr. A priori-defined dietary patterns and markers of cardiovascular disease risk in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Am J Clin Nutr 2008;88(1):185-94. PMID: 18614740
  • Nettleton JA, Steffen LM, Palmas W, Burke GL, Jacobs DR Jr. Associations between microalbuminuria and animal foods, plant foods, and dietary patterns in the Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Am J Clin Nutr 2008;87(6):1825-36. PMID: 18541574
  • Lutsey PL, Diez Roux AV, Jacobs DR Jr, Burke GL, Harman J, Shea S, Folsom AR. Associations of acculturation and socioeconomic status with subclinical cardiovascular disease in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Am J Public Health 2008;98(11):1963-1970.
  • Ha MH, Lee DH, Son HK, Park SK, Jacobs DR Jr. Association between serum concentrations of persistent organic pollutants and prevalence of newly diagnosed hypertension: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2002. J Hum Hypertens 2008 Oct 9. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 18843279
  • Jacobs DR, Jr., Pereira M. Patterns of beverage consumption and long-term association with body weight in German adolescents-results from the Donald Study. Invited commentary, Br J Nutri 2008;99(6):1169-70.
  • Lee DH, Jacobs DR, Kocher T. Associations of serum concentrations of persistent organic pollutants with the prevalence of periodontal disease and subpopulations of white blood cells. Environ Health Perspect 2008;116(11):1558-62. PMCID: PMC2592278
  • Gordon-Larson P, Hou N, Sidney S, Sternfeld B, Lewis CE, Jacobs DR, Jr, Popkin B. Fifteen-year longitudinal trends of walking patterns and their impact on weight change in young adults, the CARDIA Study. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89(1):19-26. PMID: 19056560
  • Rasmussen-Torvik LJ, Pankow JS, Jacobs DR Jr, Steinberger J, Moran A, Sinaiko AR. The association of SNPs in ADIPOQ, ADIPOR1, and ADIPOR2 with insulin sensitivity in a cohort of adolescents and their parents. Hum Genet. 2008 Nov 27. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 19037660
  • Nettleton JA, Diez-Roux A, Jenny NS, Fitzpatrick AL, Jacobs DR Jr. Dietary patterns, food groups, and telomere length in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Am J Clin Nutr 2009;125(1):21-8. PMID: 18996878
  • Jacobs DR Jr., Sluik DH Rokling-Andersen MH, Anderssen SA, Drevon CA. Associations of one year change in diet pattern with cardiovascular disease risk factors and adipokines. Results from the 1-year randomized Oslo Diet and Exercise Study. Am J Clin Nutri 2009;89(2):509-17. PMID: 19116328
  • Rasmussen-Torvik LJ, Pankow JS, Jacobs DR Jr, Steinberger J, Moran AM, Sinaiko AR. Influence of waist on adiponectin and insulin sensitivity in adolescence. Obesity 2009;17(1):156-61. PMID: 19107128
  • Hozawa A, Jacobs DR Jr, Steffes MW, Gross MD, Steffen LM, Lee DH. Circulating carotenoid concentrations and incident hypertension: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study. J Hypertens 2009;27(2):237-242. PMCID: PMC2440581
  • Bertoni AG, Whitt-Glover MC, Chung H, Le KY, Barr RG, Mahesh M, Jenny NS, Burke GL, Jacobs DR. The Association Between Physical Activity and Subclinical Atherosclerosis: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Am J Epidemiol 2009;169(4):444-54. PMID: 19075250
  • Alonso A, Jacobs DR Jr., Menotti A, Nissinen A, Dontas A, Kafatos A, Kromhout D. Cardiovascular risk factors and dementia mortality: 40 years of follow-up in the Seven Countries Study. J Neurol Sci. 2009 Feb 27. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Park K, Harnack L, Jacobs DR Jr. Trends in Dietary Supplement Use in a Cohort of Postmenopausal Women From Iowa. Am J Epidemiol. 2009 Feb 10. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 19208725
  • Jacobs DR Jr, Gross MD, Steffen L, Steffes MW, Yu X, Svetkey LP, Appel LJ, Vollmer WM, Bray GA, Moore T, Conlin PR, Sacks F. The Effects of Dietary Patterns on Urinary Albumin Excretion: Results of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Trial. Am J Kidney Dis. 2009;53:638-646. PMID: 19167797
  • Nettleton JA, Lutsey PL, Wang Y, Lima JA, Michos ED, Jacobs DR Jr. Diet Soda Intake and Risk of Incident Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Diabetes Care 2009 Jan 16. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 1915120
  • Lutsey PL, Virnig BA, Durham SA, Steffen LM, Hirsh AT, Jacobs DR,Jr., Folsom AR. Correlates and consequences of venous thromboembolism: The Iowa Women’s Health Study. Am J Public Health, in press 2009.
  • Nettleton J, Rock C, Wang Y, Jenny N, Jacobs DR, Jr. Associations between dietary macronutrients intake and plasma lipids demonstrate criterion performance of the the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) food frequency questionnaire. British Journal of Nutrition, in press April 2009.
  • Buijsse B, Holtzman JL, Steffen L, Lee D-H, Erickson RR, Eckfeldt JH, Luepker RV, Jacobs DR, Jr. Serum Glutathione Peroxidase 3 Activity in Relation to Cardiovascular Mortality: The Minnesota Heart Survey. Submitted Clin Chem, January 2009.