Salim Yusuf

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Salim Yusuf
Born (1952-11-26) 26 November 1952 (age 68)
Alma mater
Known forPresident of the World Heart Federation
AwardsRhodes Scholarship
Canadian Medical Hall of Fame
Canada Gairdner Wightman Award
Scientific career
ThesisBeta adrenergic blokade in myocardial infarction (1980)
Doctoral advisorPeter Sleight

Salim Yusuf OC FRSC (born 26 November 1952) is an Indian-born Canadian physician, the Marion W. Burke Chair in Cardiovascular Disease at McMaster University Medical School. He is a cardiologist and epidemiologist.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in the town of Kottarakkara in Kerala, Yusuf studied medicine at St. John's Medical College in Bangalore and earned a DPhil at Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar. At Oxford, he also took part in research into cardiovascular disease.

His doctoral thesis was titled "Beta adrenergic blockade in myocardial infarction" and his supervisor was Peter Sleight.[2]


In 1984, Yusuf moved to the National Institutes of Health in the United States, where he led clinical trials that showed the value of ACE inhibitors in people with left ventricular dysfunction and the optimal use of digoxin).[1][3] He came to the McMaster school of medicine in 1992 as director of the cardiology division.[1] In 1999 McMaster created the Population Health Research Institute at the Hamilton Health Sciences campus of McMaster, and made Yusuf the director of the center and vice president of research at HHS.[4][3]

From 1999 to 2004, he also held an appointment as a senior scientist at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.[1]

In 2011, he was the world's second-most cited researcher.[1] Yusuf's large-scale clinical trials have had a significant impact on the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease.[1] in particular he has demonstrated the value of combinations of BP lowering and lipid lowering with statins and of combinations of anti platelets therapy and joint use of anti coagulants and aspirin in low doses to prevent Cardiovascular diseases and death.

He was president of the World Congress of Cardiology in 2015 and 2016.[5] Where he initiated the Emerging leaders program that mentors 25 people form around the world to undertake research into improving cardiovascular health . In its first 6 years , the program ( now called the Salim Yusuf Emerging leaders program of the WHF) has trained 150 people from about 50 countries .

In 2017 he was criticized for claiming that saturated fats had no impact on heart disease, while at the same time admitting that he was not an expert in nutrition; he had been criticized earlier for making claims about salt and cardiovascular disease outside of the medical mainstream.[6] Since then increasing number of independent scientists and cardiologists have supported Yusuf s views on both the optimal level of salt intake ( European Heart J 2020) as well as the role of saturated fats in diet ( Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2020).


In 2013, Yusuf was named an Officer in the Order of Canada.[7] He is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 2014, he was awarded the Canada Gairdner Wightman Award and was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.[1] In November 2020 he received the McLaughlin medal of the Royal Society of Canada


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Dr. Salim Yusuf". Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. 2014.
  2. ^ "Yusuf, Salim, (1980). Beta adrenergic blokade in myocardial infarction. DPhil. University of Oxford". Oxford Research Archive. University of Oxford.
  3. ^ a b Semeniuk, Ivan (26 March 2014). "Canada's Salim Yusuf wins prestigious Gairdner award". Globe and Mail.
  4. ^ "History". PHRI. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Our History". World Heart Federation. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  6. ^ Phend, Crystal (2 March 2017). "Fat Wars: Diet Docs Have Salim Yusuf in the Cross Hairs". MedPage Today.
  7. ^ "Professor named to Order of Canada". McMaster University. 2 July 2013.

External links[edit]