Michael Marmot

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Sir Michael Marmot
Michael Marmot.jpg
Born Michael Gideon Marmot
(1945-02-26) 26 February 1945 (age 70)[1]
Institutions University College London
Alma mater
Thesis Acculturation and Coronary Heart Disease in Japanese-Americans (1975)
Known for
Notable awards
Spouse Alexandra Naomi Ferster[1]

Sir Michael Gideon Marmot, FBA, FMedSci, FRCP (born 26 January 1945)[1] is Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]

Early life and education[edit]

Marmot was born in London, England. He moved to Australia as a young child,[3] attending Sydney Boys High School (1957-1961)[11] and graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree from the University of Sydney in 1968. He earned an Master of Public Health in 1972[citation needed] and a PhD in 1975 from the University of California, Berkeley for research into Acculturation and Coronary Heart Disease in Japanese Americans.[12]


Marmot became Fellow of the (English) Faculty of Public Health Medicine in 1989 and was appointed Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at UCL in 1985.

This became a joint Chair, held at UCL and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, in 1990. He became Director of the International Centre for Health and Society (now the International Institute for Society and Health)[13] that he established at UCL in 1994. He was a member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution and awarded an MRC Professorship in 1995. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 1996. He was made a founding Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1998. In 2004 he was awarded the Balzan Prize for Epidemiology. He was Chair of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health from 2005 to 2008.


Marmot conducted ground-breaking studies of heart disease and stroke, comparing Japanese people in Japan (high stroke rates, low heart attack rates) with those in Hawaii and California, where, especially in later generations, the disease patterns became reversed after adopting lifestyle, stress and diet changes.[12] He has more recently led the Whitehall Studies of British civil servants, again focusing on heart disease and other disease patterns. His department includes the MRC National Survey of Health & Development, a longitudinal study directed by Professor Michael Wadsworth of people born in Britain in 1946 and followed up since. There are 120 other academic staff in the department.[14][15][16][17][18]

He has worked closely with the Office for National Statistics and its predecessor the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, and especially with Abraham Manie Adelstein and John Fox.

Sir Michael Marmot has a special interest in inequalities in health and their causes and has been a government advisor in seeking to identify ways to mitigate them. He served on the Scientific Advisory Group of the Independent Inquiry into Inequalities in Health chaired by Sir Donald Acheson, the former UK chief medical officer. This reported in November 1998. In 2000 he was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen for services to Epidemiology and understanding health inequalities. Internationally acclaimed, Professor Marmot is a Vice President of the Academia Europaea, a Foreign Associate Member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), and the Chair of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health set up by the World Health Organization in 2005. He won the Balzan Prize for Epidemiology in 2004, gave the Harveian Oration in 2006 and won the William B. Graham Prize for Health Services Research in 2008. [19] In 2008 he became Doctor Honoris Causa of the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

In The Status Syndrome: How your social standing directly affects your health and life expectancy, he argues that socio-economic position is an important determinant for health outcomes. This result holds even if we control for the effects of income, education and risk factors (such as smoking) on health. The causal pathway Marmot identifies concerns the psychic benefits of "being in control" of one's life. Autonomy in this sense is related to our socio-economic position. Based on comparative studies, Marmot argues that we can make our society more participatory and inclusive in order to increase overall public health.

In 2008, Marmot appeared in Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?,[5] an American documentary series examining the social determinants of health that drew heavily from Marmot's work on the Whitehall Studies.

On 6 November 2008, Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that the Secretary of State for Health Alan Johnson had asked Sir Michael Marmot to chair a Review of Health Inequalities in England to inform policy making to address health inequalities from 2010. The Review was announced at the launch of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health report Closing the Gap in a Generation.

The European Office of the WHO is commissioning a European Review on the Social Determinants of Health and the Health Divide. The Review will be conducted by a Consortium of experts/institutions chaired by Professor Sir Michael Marmot.

The purpose of the review will be to identify the relevance of the findings of the WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health (CSDH), the Strategic Review of Health Inequalities in England post 2010 (Marmot Review), and other new evidence to the European context and specificity and translate these into policy proposals.

It will feed into the development of a renewed European Regional Health Policy and contribute to specific aspects of the policy especially where it relates to the social determinants of health. Marmot's research has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Medical Research Council (MRC).[20]

Awards and honours[edit]

In 2011, Marmot became Doctor Honoris Causa of the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Peru.[21][22] In July 2012, Marmot was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Northumbria University in England.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Marmot is married to Alexandra Naomi Ferster, and has two sons and a daughter (Deborah)[1] and lives in Hampstead, London.[citation needed]

Selected bibliography[edit]


  • Marmot, Michael; Wilkinson, Richard G. (2003). The solid facts. Copenhagen: World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe. ISBN 9780585492520. 
  • Marmot, Michael (2004). The status syndrome: how social standing affects our health and longevity. New York: Times Books. ISBN 9780805073706. 
  • Marmot, Michael; Wilkinson, Richard G. (2006) [1999]. Social determinants of health (2nd ed.). Oxford New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198565895. 
  • Marmot, Michael; Siegrist, Johannes (2006). Social inequalities in health: new evidence and policy implications. Oxford New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198568162. 


  1. ^ a b c d "MARMOT, Prof. Sir Michael (Gideon)". Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press. (subscription required)
  2. ^ Whitehall Study II at UCL site
  3. ^ a b Michael Marmot interviewed by Kirsty Young on BBC Desert Island Discs 2014-07-06
  4. ^ Michael Marmot's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database, a service provided by Elsevier.
  5. ^ a b Michael Marmot at the Internet Movie Database
  6. ^ Torjesen, I (2014). "Low paid workers are not paid enough to live healthily, Marmot says". BMJ (Clinical research ed.) 348: g1939. doi:10.1136/bmj.g1939. PMID 24594545. 
  7. ^ Kiefer, B (2010). "Health according to Michael Marmot". Revue medicale suisse 6 (238): 480. PMID 20345002. 
  8. ^ Marmot, M (2008). "Michael Marmot on eliminating social injustice". The Health service journal: 15. PMID 19018626. 
  9. ^ Boseley, S (2008). "Michael Marmot: Leader in the social determinants of health". The Lancet 372 (9650): 1625. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(08)61675-X. PMID 18994652. 
  10. ^ List of publications from Microsoft Academic Search
  11. ^ http://www.shsobu.org.au/wp-content/uploads/imperial-honours.pdf
  12. ^ a b Marmot, Michael Gideon (1975). Acculturation and Coronary Heart Disease in Japanese-Americans (PhD thesis). University of California, Berkeley. 
  13. ^ Marmot, M; Horton, R; Grant, M (2005). "International Institute for Society and Health". Lancet 366 (9494): 1339–40. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(05)67545-9. PMID 16226598. 
  14. ^ Marmot, M. G.; Smith, G. D.; Stansfeld, S; Patel, C; North, F; Head, J; White, I; Brunner, E; Feeney, A (1991). "Health inequalities among British civil servants: The Whitehall II study". Lancet 337 (8754): 1387–93. doi:10.1016/0140-6736(91)93068-k. PMID 1674771. 
  15. ^ "Intersalt: An international study of electrolyte excretion and blood pressure. Results for 24 hour urinary sodium and potassium excretion. Intersalt Cooperative Research Group". BMJ (Clinical research ed.) 297 (6644): 319–28. 1988. doi:10.1136/bmj.297.6644.319. PMC 1834069. PMID 3416162. 
  16. ^ McKeigue, P. M.; Shah, B; Marmot, M. G. (1991). "Relation of central obesity and insulin resistance with high diabetes prevalence and cardiovascular risk in South Asians". Lancet 337 (8738): 382–6. doi:10.1016/0140-6736(91)91164-p. PMID 1671422. 
  17. ^ Hemingway, H; Marmot, M (1999). "Evidence based cardiology: Psychosocial factors in the aetiology and prognosis of coronary heart disease. Systematic review of prospective cohort studies". BMJ (Clinical research ed.) 318 (7196): 1460–7. doi:10.1136/bmj.318.7196.1460. PMC 1115843. PMID 10346775. 
  18. ^ Marmot, MG (1997). "Contribution of job control and other risk factors to social variations in coronary heart disease incidence". The Lancet 350 (9073): 235–239. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(97)04244-X. 
  19. ^ "New Years Honours List – United Kingdom". The London Gazette. 55710: 2. 1999-12-30. 
  20. ^ UK Government grants awarded to Michael Marmot via Research Councils UK
  21. ^ "Sir Michael Marmot fue investido Doctor Honoris Causa por la UPCH – Perú". Cayetano Online 2011: 1. 2011-09-22. 
  22. ^ "Sir Michael Marmot recibe Doctor Honoris Causa – Perú". Facultad de Salud Pública y Administración (FASPA) 2011: 1. 2011-09-22. 
  23. ^ "Honour for health expert". Northumbria University. July 17, 2012

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