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F Javier Nieto, MD, MPH, PhD

Research Area: Global Health, Clinical research, Epidemiology
Keywords: Survey research, Sleep disorders, Hypertension, Cardiovascular disease, Aging

Chair of Population Health Sciences
Helfaer Professor of Public Health
Professor of Population Health Sciences and of Family Medicine



Javier Nieto is the chair of the department of Population Health Sciences. He received his MD degree from the University of Valencia, Spain, in 1978. Between 1979 and 1985 he completed a residency in Family and Community Medicine in Spain and an MPH degree in Havana, Cuba. After a brief period working for the Spanish Government in developing primary health care centers in a rural area in central Spain, he came to the United States, to the Johns Hopkins University where he completed a Master in Health Science (MHS, 1989) and a PhD degree in Epidemiology (1991). In 1991 he joined the faculty of the department of Epidemiology in the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health and served as an Associate Professor between 1998 and 2001. Between 1993 and 2001, he served as a member of the editorial board of the American Journal of Epidemiology. He joined the department of Population Health Sciences at UW in January 2002.

Dr. Nieto’s main areas of research interest include cardiovascular disease epidemiology, markers of subclinical atherosclerosis, emerging risk factors for cardiovascular disease (homocysteine, inflammation markers, chronic infections), health consequences of sleep disorders and psychosocial stress. He is also interested in methodological issues in survey research and epidemiology and in the teaching of epidemiologic methods. Along with Moyses Szklo, he is co-author of a textbook on intermediate epidemiology methods (Epidemiology: Beyond the Basics, 2nd Edition. Boston, Mass, Jones & Bartlet Publishers, 2007). He is the director of the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin (SHOW) (

In 2003, Javier Nieto joined the Madison Symphony Orchestra Choir, where he sings with the bass section.

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  • American College of Epidemiology
  • American Academy of Sleep Medicine
  • American Society of Epidemiology
  • American Heart Association, Council on Epidemiology and Prevention
  • American Public Health Association
  • Society for Epidemiologic Research
  • Sociedad Española de Epidemiología (Spanish Epidemiologic Society)
  • Sociedad Española de Salud Pública y Administración Sanitaria (Spanish Society of Public Health and Health Services Administration)
  • Wisconsin Public Health Association

Recent Honors/Awards:

  • Elected member of the American Society of Epidemiology
  • Elected fellow of the American Heart Association (FAHA)
  • Past member of the Board of Directors of the American College of Epidemiology 
  • Dean's Teaching Award, 2008

Select Peer-Reviewed Publications (out of more than 200): 

Shankar A, Peppard PE, Young T, Klein BED, Klein R, Nieto FJ.  Sleep-disordered breathing and retinal microvascular diameter. Athersclerosis 2013;226:124-8.

Nieto FJ, Peppard PE, Young T, Klein BEK, Finn L, Farré R. Sleep-disordered breathing and cancer mortality: results from the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2012; 186:190-4.

Massad S, Nieto FJ, Palta M, Smith M, Clark R, Thabet A. Health-related quality of life of Palestinian preschoolers in the Gaza Strip: a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health 2011;11:253.

Brown RT, Allison PA, Nieto FJ. Impact of jail sanctions during drug court participation upon substance abuse treatment completion. Addiction 2011;106:135-42.

Nieto FJ, Peppard PE, Engelman CD, McElroy JA, Galvao LW, Friedman EM, Bersch AJ, Malecki KC. The Survey of the Health of Wisconsin (SHOW), a novel infrastructure for population health research: rationale and methods. BMC Public Health 2010;10:785.

Morgan BJ, Reichmuth KJ, Peppard PE, Finn L, Barczi SR, Young T, Nieto FJ. Effects of Sleep Disordered Breathing on Cerebrovascular Regulation: A Population-Based Study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2010;182:1445-52.

Massad S, Nieto FJ, Palta M, Smith M, Clark R, Thabet A. Mental health of children in Palestinian kindergartens: resilience and vulnerability. Child Adolesc Ment Health 2009;14:89-96.

Nieto FJ. Advancing the science of understanding and improving the health of the population. WMJ 2009;108:221-3.

Young T, Finn L, Peppard PE, Szklo-Coxe M, Austin D, Nieto FJ, Stubbs R, Hla KM. Sleep disordered breathing and mortality: eighteen-year follow-up of the Wisconsin sleep cohort. Sleep 2008;31:1079-85.

Gottlieb DJ, Redline S, Nieto FJ, Baldwin CM, Newman AB, Resnick HE, Punjabi NM. Association of usual sleep time with hypertension: The Sleep Heart Health Study. Sleep 2006;29:1009-14.

Ranjit N, Diez-Roux AV, Chambless LE, Jacobs D, Nieto FJ, Szklo M. Socioeconomic differences in progression of carotid intima-media thickness in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2006;26:411-6.

Nieto FJ, Herrington DM, Redline S, Benjamin E, Robbins JA. Sleep apnea and markers of endothelial function in a large community sample of elderly adults. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2004;164:354-60.

Ding J, Eigenbrodt ML, Mosley TH, Hutchinson RG, Folsom AR, Harris TB; Nieto FJ. Alcohol intake and cerebral abnormalities on magnetic resonance imaging in a community-based population of middle-aged adults: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. Stroke 2004;35:16-21.

Chambless LE, Folsom AR, Sharrett AR, Sorlie PD, Couper D, Szklo M, Nieto FJ. Coronary Heart Disease Risk Prediction in The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. J Clin Epidemiol 2003;56:880-90.

Nieto FJ. The epidemiology of self-deprecation. Int J Epidemiol 2002; 31:1124-7.

Diez Roux AV, Merkin SS, Arnett D, Chambless LD, Massing M, Nieto FJ, et al. Neighborhood of residence and incidence of coronary heart disease. N Engl J Med 2001;345:99-106. 

Nieto FJ, Iribarren C, Gross MD, Comstock GW, Cutler RG. Uric acid and serum antioxidant capacity: A reaction to atherosclerosis? Atherosclerosis 2000;148:131-9.

Nieto FJ, Young T, Lind B, Shahar E, Samet JM, Redline S, D'Agostino RB, Newman AB, Lebowitz MD, Pickering TG. Association of Sleep-disordered breathing, sleep apnea, and hypertension in a large community-based study. JAMA 2000;283:1829-36.

Nieto FJ, Folsom AR, Sorlie P, Grayston JT, Wang SP, Chambless LE. Chlamydia pneumoniae infection and incident coronary heart disease: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. Am J Epidemiol 1999;150:149-56. 

Nieto FJ, Diez-Roux A, Szklo M, Comstock GW, Sharrett AR. Short and long term predictors of clinical and subclinical atherosclerosis by traditional risk factors. J Clin Epidemiol 1999;52:559-67.

Nieto FJ. Viruses and atherosclerosis: A critical review of the epidemiologic evidence. Am Heart J 1999;138:S453-60.

Nieto FJ. Cardiovascular disease and risk factor epidemiology: A look back at the epidemic of the 20th century. Am J Public Health 1999;89:292-4.

Nieto FJ. Infections and atherosclerosis: New clues from an old hypothesis? Am J Epidemiol 1998;148:937-48.

Nieto FJ, Sorlie P, Comstock GW, Wu K, Adam E, Melnick JL, Szklo M. Cytomegalovirus infection, lipoprotein(a), and hypercoagulability: An atherogenic link?. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 1997;17:1780-5.

Nieto FJ, Comstock GW, Chambless LE, Malinow MR. Coffee consumption and plasma homocyst(e)ine: results from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. Am J Clin Nutr 1997;66:1475-6.

Nieto FJ, Coresh J. Adjusted survival curves: A review and a new method. Am J Epidemiol 1996;143:1059-68.

Nieto FJ, Adam E, Sorlie P, Farzadegan H, Melnick JL, Comstock GW, Szklo M. Cohort study of cytomegalovirus infection as a risk factor for carotid intimal-medial thickening, a measure of subclinical atherosclerosis. Circulation 1996;94:922-7.

Nieto FJ, Alonso J, Chambless LE, Zhong M, Ceraso M, Romm FJ, Cooper L, Folsom AR, Szklo M. Population awareness and control of hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. Arch Int Med 1995;155:677-84. 

Recent Books and Book Chapters

Szklo M, Nieto, FJ. Epidemiology: Beyond the Basics, 3rd edition. Sudbury, Mass, Joes & Bartlett Publishers, 2013.

Nieto FJ. History of the Inflammation Hypothesis of Atherogenesis. In: Wick G and Grundtman C, eds. Inflammation and Atherosclerosis, Springer Verlag GmbH, Vienna, Austria, 2012.

Muñoz A, Nieto, FJ. Cohort Studies. In: Detels R, Beaglehole R, Lansang MA, Gulliford M, eds. Oxford Textbook of Public Health, 6th edition, Oxford, England, Oxford University Press, in press.

Nieto FJ, Farré R. Association of sleep apnea and cancer: from animal studies to human epidemiologic data. In: Berger N & Redline S, Impact of Sleep and Sleep Disturbances on Obesity and Cancer, Springer Verlag, in press.

Courses Taught:

  • Principles of Population Medicine and Epidemiology (PHS 717)

Research Weblinks:

Survey of Health of Wisconsin

Contact Information:

610 Walnut Street
Room 707c, WARF Building
Madison, WI 53726

Phone: 608-265-5242
Fax: 608-263-2820

Updated On: 
Fri, 08/02/2013