Arthur S Leon, MD

Professor Emeritus, Exercise Physiology
Director Emeritus, LPHES
Contact Information


111 Cooke Hall
1900 University Ave SE
Minneapolis, 55455


Graduate education faculty

Henry L. Taylor Professor of Exercise Science

Chief cardiologist, Heart Disease Prevention Clinic

Director emeritus, Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene and Exercise Science

Postdoctoral training
  • Rotating internship, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI 1957-58.
  • Internal Medicine, The Lahey Clinic, Boston, MA, 1958-60.
  • Cardiology, University of Miami School of Medicine and Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, Fl, 1960-61.
  • Research fellow in Cardiovascular Physiology , Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), Washington, DC, 1964-67.
Professional experience
  • Medical officer, US Army Reserve 1957-1991; Highest Rank Attained, Colonel, MC (Retired).
  • Active duty, US Medical Corps as Cardiology Consultant for US Armed Forces in France and Chief of Medicine, Outpatient Services and Internship Training at 34th General Hospital, Orleans, France, 1961-64, as Research Fellow WRAIR 1964-67 (see above), and as cardiologist, Fizsimmons US Army Medical Center, Denver CO, during 1990-91 (Desert Shield/Storm).
  • Instructor to Associate Professor, New Jersey College of Medicine (Newark) and Director of Clinical Research Center, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, 1967-73.
  • Principal Investigator (PI) on five major, multi-year National Institutes of Health and two major American Heart Association (AHA) national grants, and 6 internal.
  • University of Minnesota Biological Research Grants while at the University of Minnesota, 1973 to present, involving assessment of physical activity and the effects of exercise training on risk factors for coronary heart disease and diabetes mellitus.
  • Co-investigator on many other major NIH funded studies on primary and secondary heart attack prevention, including MRFIT and LRC Coronary Primary Prevention Trial, and the Program on Surgical Control of Hyperlipidemia (POSCH).
  • Currently PI on the NIH-funded Genetics, Risk Factors and Exercise. The
  • HERITAGE Family Study, 1991-2000, (2.5 million dollars) and AHA-funded Physicianís Exercise Promotion Study (PEPS) in collaboration with Park-Nicollet Clinics (Health Partners) 1999-2002 ($450,000). PI, Co-PI or Investigator on dozens of additional grants from the pharmaceutical industry primarily involving hypertension and blood lipid management to reduce risk of heart disease.
  • Doctor of medicine, University of Wisconsin (Madison), 1957.
  • Master of science (Biochemistry), University of Wisconsin (Madison), 1954.
  • Bachelor of science (Chemistry), Summa Cum Laude, University of Florida (Gainesville) 1952.
Curriculum Vitae [PDF]
Selected Publications
  1. Author of about 200 articles in refereed professional journals, about 50 book chapters, 126 published abstracts, and primary co-author or editor on 2 books.

  2. Leon AS: Benefits of exercise training for patients following a myocardial infarction. J. Sports Med. 1999 (In Press).

  3. Leon AS, Rice T, Mandel, S et al: Blood lipid response to 20 weeks of supervised exercise in a large biracial population: The HERITAGE Family Study. Metabolism 1999 (In press).

  4. Leon, AS (Associate Scientific Editor and Contributor). The Surgeon General's Report. Physical Activity and Health. US Government Printing Office, 1996.

  5. Leon, AS, Richardson, M.: Exercise, Health, and Disease. In Clinical Exercise Testing and Prescription, Theory and Application. S.O. Roberts, R.A. Robergs, P. Hanson (eds), CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL 1997, pp. 281- 302.

  6. Leon, AS, Myers, MJ, Connett, J.: Leisure-time physical activity and the 16-year risks of mortality from CHD and all causes in the MRFIT. Intern J. Sports Med. 18 (Supple 3): S139-S254, 1997.

  7. Leon, AS (Ed): Proceedings of the NIH Consensus Development Conference on Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Health and author of paper, "Contribution of moderate intensity PA to reduced risk of CHD". Champaign, IL, Human Kinetics, February 1997.

  8. Leon, AS, Casal, D., Jacobs, D.R. Jr.: Effects of 2000 kilocalories per week of walking and stair climbing on physical fitness and risk factors for coronary heart disease. J. Cardiopulmonary Rehab. 16:183-192, 1996.

  9. Santiago, M.C., Leon, A.S., Serfass, R.C.: Failure of 40 weeks of brisk walking to alter blood lipids in nomoipidemic women. Canadian J. Appl. Res. 20: 417-428, 1995.

  10. Design, and Measurement Protocol. Med. Sci Sports 27: 721-729, 1995.

  11. Richardson MT, Leon AS, Jacobs DR Jr, Ainsworth BE, Serfass RC: Comprehensive evaluation of Minnesota Leisure Time Physical Activity Questionnaire. J Clin Epidemiol 47: 271-281, 1994.

  12. Ainsworth BE, Leon AS, Richardson MT, Jacobs Jr DR, Paffenbarger Jr RS: Accuracy of the College Alumnus Physical Activity Questionnaire. Internl. J. Clin. Epidemiol. 46: 1403-1411, 1993.

  13. Jacobs DR Jr, Ainsworth BE, Hartman TJ, Leon AS: A simultaneous evaluation of 10 commonly used physical activity questionnaires. Med.Sci.Sports Exer. 25: 92-98, 1993.

  14. Leon AS: Diabetes. In: Exercise Testing and Exercise Prescription for Special Cases. 2nd Edition. JS Skinner (Ed), Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia, 1993.

  15. Leon AS & Hamm L: Exercise Prescription. In: Rehabilitation of the Coronary Patient. Third Edition. H Hellerstein & NK Wenger (Eds), Churchill Livingstone, NY, 1992.

  16. Leon, AS: Recent advances in the management of hypertension. J Cardiopulm. Rehab. 11: 182-191, 1991. 14.

  17. Smith TW & Leon AS: Coronary Heart Disease. A Behavioral Perspective. Res. Press, Champaign, Il, 1992.

  18. Leon AS & Connett J: Physical activity status and 10.5 year mortality rate in the MRFIT. Internat J Epidemol 20: 690-697, 1991.

  19. Leon AS: Role of physical activity in prevention and management of obesity. In: Sports Medicine, 2nd Edition, A J Ryan & L Allman (Eds), Academic Press, Orlando, 1989, pp. 593-617.

  20. Leon AS, Connett J, Jacobs DR Jr & Rauramaa R: Leisure-time physical activity levels and risk of coronary heart disease and death in the multiple risk factor intervention trial. JAMA 258: 2388-2395, 1987.

  21. Santiago MC, Alexander JF, Stull GA, Serfass RC, Hayday Am & Leon AS: Physiological response of sedentary women to a 20-week conditioning program of walking or jogging. Scand J Sports Med 9: 33-39, 1987.

  22. Leon AS, McNally C, Casal DC, Grimm R, Crow R, Bell C & Hunninghake DB: Enalapril alone and combined with hydrochlorothiazide in the treatment of hypertension: Effect on treadmill exercise performance. J Cardiac Rehab 6: 251-256, 1986.

  23. Sopko G, Leon AS, Jacobs DR Jr, Foster N, Moy J, Kuba K, Anderson JT, Casal DC, McNally C & Frantz I: Effects of exercise and weight loss on plasma lipids in young obese men. Metabolism 34: 227-236, 1985.

  24. Leon AS, Conrad J, Casal DC, Serfass, RC, Bonnard RA, Goetz FC & Blackburn H: Exercise for diabetics: Effects of conditioning at constant body weight. J Cardiac Rehab 4: 278-286, 1984.

  25. Leon AS & Blackburn H: Physical activity and hypertension. In: Preventive Cardiology, NH Kaplan & J Stamler (Eds), W B Saunders Co, Philadelphia, 1983, p. 86-97.

  26. Leon AS, DeBacker G & Taylor HL: Relationship of physical characteristics and life habits to treadmill exercise capacity. Am J Epidemiol 113: 536-660, 1981.

  27. Leon AS, Conrad J, Serfass R & Hunninghake DB: Effects of vigorous walking program on body composition and carbohydrate and lipid metabolism of obese young men. Am J Clin Nutr 32: 1776- 1787, 1979.

  28. Leon AS & Bloor CM: Effects of daily and intermittent exercise and its cessation of heart and vasculature. J Appl Physiol 24: 485-490, 1968.

  29. Leon AS & Bloor CM: Quantitative analysis of coronary artery inheritance. J Heredity 59: 48-52, 1965.