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Jerry Morris

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Jeremiah Noah "Jerry" Morris 6 May 1910 – 28 October 2009 was a Scottish epidemiologist who established the importance of physical activity in preventing cardiovascular disease

Contents

  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Research
  • 3 Career
  • 4 Max Blythe Interview
  • 5 References
  • 6 Further reading

Early life

Morris was born on 6 May 1910 in Liverpool His Jewish family had emigrated to escape pogroms in Poland Arriving by boat in Liverpool, the family adopted the surname of the ship's captain His family moved to Glasgow, where Jerry was brought up in poverty His childhood experiences of Glasgow's slums informed his later work, and led to his membership of the Labour Party which he joined at age 16, and only left when in his nineties in his disgust at the Second Gulf War In his interview with Max Blythe, Morris notes that he once had rickets and signs of the disease were evident into adulthood, and stated that rickets were a sign of poor people

He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Glasgow and was awarded his medical degree in 1934 at University College London Medical School During his time at UCLH, Morris was taught by Thomas Lewis and later became his house physician for six months

In 1946, two years after his discharge from the RAMC, Morris went to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine to complete a diploma in public health

Research

World map of cardiovascular disease, 2004

Morris was perhaps the first person to analyze data on cardiovascular disease and activity By performing a large scale survey, he first noticed in 1949 that the sedentary drivers of London's double-decker buses had higher rates of cardiovascular disease than the conductors who climbed the stairs He extended the study and noticed that postmen who delivered the mail by bike or on foot had fewer heart attacks than sedentary men who served behind counters or as telephonists and clerks

He performed further studies that showed slow movements such as gardening helped very little and exercise had to be more vigorous to help After several years of more study, he published the seminal paper on the topic in 1958

Career

Jerry Morris was an early proponent of acting on what are now recognized as the social determinants of health His association with social scientists Richard Titmuss and Brian Abel-Smith, both at the London School of Economics LSE, influenced health policy development under the UK's Labour governments of the 1960s A member of numerous health advisory bodies, from the first Royal College of Physicians committee on smoking and air pollution in the 1950s to the Black committee on inequalities in health in 1979, his most recent and final published work was on the minimum income required for healthy living He played a key role in forming the Faculty of Community Medicine now Public Health of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom

Photo on the wall at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Jerry Morris joined the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine LSHTM in 1967, bringing with him the MRC's Social Medicine Research Unit, established in 1948 at the Central Middlesex Hospital During the 1950s the Unit published seminal papers on infant mortality and the role of physical exercise in heart disease; from the late 60s to early 70s the unit focused mostly on cardiovascular disease His textbook Uses of Epidemiology 1957 influenced public health education and the development of prevention strategies for the control of non-communicable diseases throughout much of the world In 1970, at LSHTM, he launched the MSc in Social Medicine, delivered jointly by faculty from LSHTM and LSE

At the Olympic Games in 1996 he was honoured with an Olympic Gold medal in recognition of excellence in the science of sport and exercise and pioneering studies into how exercise reduces the rate of heart disease On retirement he was recognized as Emeritus Professor of Public Health at LSHTM He died on 28 October 2009, at the age of 99 years

A giant in the field, he influenced the career paths of public health practitioners in several countries, a number of whom he personally mentored A witness seminar held on 21 July 2000 at LSHTM celebrated his 90th birthday A record of this event, with presentations by Sir Michael Marmot and Sir Roger Bannister and other luminaries, has been published in association with the proceedings of a conference on Epidemiology, Social Medicine and Public Health A survey of Jerry Morris' contribution to public health has also been published

Max Blythe Interview

On 9th May 1986, Morris was interviewed by Max Blythe as part of his video-recorded interviews with leading clinicians and medical scientists During this interview Morris discussed his life, career and friendships

References

  1. ^ Ashton JR 2000 "Professor J N "Jerry" Morris" J Epidemiol Comm Health 54: 881a doi:101136/jech5412881a 
  2. ^ Reisz, Matthew 19 November 2009 "Obituary" Times Higher Education London Retrieved 1 June 2011 
  3. ^ "Professor Jeremy Morris CBE FRCP in interview with Max Blythe | EQUELLA" doi:1024384/000170 
  4. ^ Hevesi, Dennis "Jeremy Morris, Proved Exercise Is Heart-Healthy, Dies at 99½", The New York Times, 7 November 2009 Retrieved 8 November 2009
  5. ^ "Professor Jeremy Morris CBE FRCP in interview with Max Blythe | EQUELLA" doi:1024384/000170 
  6. ^ "Professor Jeremy Morris CBE FRCP in interview with Max Blythe | EQUELLA" doi:1024384/000170 
  7. ^ Kuper, Simon 11 September 2009 "The man who invented exercise" Financial Times Retrieved 12 September 2009 
  8. ^ Morris JN, Heady JA, Raffle PA, Roberts CG, Parks JW 1953 "Coronary heart-disease and physical activity of work" Lancet 265 6795: 1053–7 doi:101016/S0140-67365390665-5 PMID 13110049 
  9. ^ Morris JN, Crawford MD 1958 "Coronary Heart Disease and Physical Activity of Work" BMJ 2 5111: 1485–1496 doi:101136/bmj251111485 PMC 2027542  PMID 13608027 
  10. ^ Morris, J; Donkin, AJM; Wonderling, D; Wilkinson, P; Dowler, EA 2000 "A minimum income for healthy living" J Epidemiol Community Health 54: 885–84 doi:101136/jech5412885 
  11. ^ Morris, JN; Deeming, C; Wilkinson, P; Dangour, AD 2010 "Action towards healthy living—for all" International Journal of Epidemiology 39: 266–273 doi:101093/ije/dyp403 
  12. ^ Mills A LSHTM Alumni News, 29 October 2009 http://wwwlshtmacuk/alumni/news/professor_jerry_morrishtml
  13. ^ Paffenbarger, RS; Blair, SN; Lee, I-M 2001 "A history of physical activity, cardiovascular health, and longevity: the scientific contributions of Jeremy N Morris, DSc, DPH, FRCP" Int J Epidemiol 30: 1184–92 doi:101093/ije/3051184 
  14. ^ Morris JN Uses of Epidemiology Edinburgh: Livingstone, 1957
  15. ^ Davey Smith, G 2001 "The use of 'Uses of Epidemiology'" Int J Epidemiol 30: 1146–59 doi:101093/ije/3051146 
  16. ^ Berridge V, Taylor S Epidemiology, Social Medicine and Public Health Centre for History in Public Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, 2005 ISBN 1 905165 03 X http://historylshtmacuk/SocialMedicinePrintpdf
  17. ^ V Berridge, 'Jerry Morris', International Journal of Epidemiology, 30, 2001 pp1141-1145
  18. ^ "Professor Jeremy Morris CBE FRCP in interview with Max Blythe | EQUELLA" doi:1024384/000170 

Further reading

  • Smith, George Davey 2004 "A Conversation with Jerry Morris" Epidemiology 15 6: 770–773 doi:101097/01ede0000142155207649d PMID 15475729 
  • Davey Smith, George 2010 "Jeremiah Jerry Morris, 1910–2009" Epidemiology 21: 911 doi:101097/EDE0b013e3181f32b7b 

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