ResearchOur PeopleStephen P. Fortmann

Stephen P. Fortmann, MD

Stephen Fortmann, MD, is an internist and epidemiologist who conducts research on heart disease prevention. He has conducted population- and individual-level studies of cardiovascular risk factors and disease rates, smoking cessation, the influence of tobacco marketing on adolescent smoking, and exercise and diet change. He has more than 35 years of experience leading community and clinical research, beginning with the Stanford Five-City Project, a community cardiovascular disease prevention study funded by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute from 1978 to 1998. He has published over 220 peer-reviewed journal articles.

Dr. Fortmann is leading a study to see whether increased access to public transit benefits health or reduces health care costs. He is also jointly leading a study of cardiovascular disease among Asians and Pacific Islanders in Hawaii and California, and is a co-investigator on a study of diabetes disparities among these groups in Hawaii. In addition, he serves as site principal investigator on GRADE, a comparative effectiveness study funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases that seeks the best second-line drugs for diabetes.

Dr. Fortmann works with colleagues at Stanford University studying the impact of retail marketing on use of tobacco products, especially little cigars and cigarillos, and electronic nicotine delivery devices. He also directs a collaboration between CHR and Stanford funded by the National Institutes of Health as part of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards program. In 2020 he will start a study of exercise promotion in primary care with colleagues at the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research and Evaluation.

Dr. Fortmann came to CHR from Stanford University Medical School, where he was director of the Stanford Prevention Research Center and the Stanford Preventive Cardiology Clinic. He is the C. F. Rehnborg Professor in Disease Prevention (Emeritus) at Stanford and in 2005 was elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Fortmann received his MD from the University of California, San Francisco, and postdoctoral training at Stanford University.

Selected Current Studies

  • Glycemia Reduction Approaches in Diabetes: A Comparative Effectiveness Study—GRADE (NIDDK)
  • Cardiovascular Disease Among Asians and Pacific Islanders—CASPER (NHLBI)
  • Health and Economic Effects of Light Rail Lines: A Natural Experiment (NIDDK)
  • Evaluating the Implementation of the Diabetes Prevention Program in an Integrated Health System
  • Randomized Trial of Exercise Promotion in Primary Care—EPPC (NIDDK)
  • Hawaii Asian and Pacific Islander Diabetes Study—HAPI-D (NIDDK)           
  • Impact of Retail Tobacco Advertising on Youth Smoking (NCI)
  • Stanford Center for Clinical and Translational Research and Education (Spectrum)

Selected Publications

  • Farquhar JW, Fortmann SP, Flora JA, Taylor CB, et al. Effects of community-wide education on cardiovascular disease risk factors. The Stanford Five-City Project JAMA 1990;264:359-365.
  • Fortmann SP, Varady AN. Effects of a community-wide health education program on cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality: The Stanford Five-City Project. Am J Epidemiol 2000; 152: 316–323.
  • Henriksen L, Schleicher NC, Feighery EC, Fortmann SP. A longitudinal study of exposure to retail cigarette advertising and smoking initiation. Pediatrics 2010 Aug; 126(2):232-8 PMID 20643725; PMC3046636.
  • Henriksen L, Schleicher NC, DauphineĆ© A, Fortmann SP. Targeted advertising, promotion, and price for menthol cigarettes in California high school neighborhoods. Nicotine Tobacco Res 2012; 14:116-21 (Epub ahead of print, 24 June 2011: doi 10.1093/ntr/ntr122). [PMID 21705460; PMC 3592564]
  • Killen JD, Fortmann SP, Schatzberg AF, Arredondo C, et al. Extended cognitive behavior therapy for cigarette smoking cessation. Addiction 2008; 103: 1381–1390.
  • Fortmann SP, Burda BU, Senger CA, Lin JS, Whitlock EP. Vitamin and mineral supplements in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer: An updated systematic evidence review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Ann Intern Med 2013; 159(12):824-834. [PMID 24217421; PMC3636284].
  • Wang EJ, Wong EC, Dixit AA, Fortmann SP, Linde RB, Palaniappan LP. Type 2 diabetes: Identifying high risk Asian American subgroups in a clinical population. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice 2011; 93:248-254 [epub June 10; doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2011.05.025] [PMID 21665315; PMC 3156287]
  • Gurwitz JH, Go AS, Fortmann SP: Statins for primary prevention in older adults:  Uncertainty and the need for more evidence. JAMA Viewpoint 2016; 316 (19): 1971-2.  PMID: 27838724; PMC5429025
  • Bailey SR, Heintzman J, Marino M, Jacob L, Puro J, DeVoe JE, Burdick T, Hazlehurst B, Cohen DJ, Fortmann SP. Smoking cessation assistance: Before and after Stage 1 Meaningful Use implementation. Am J Prev Med 2017; 53(2): 192–200 [published online 29-MAR-2017; doi 10.1016/j.amepre.2017.02.006] PMID: 28365090; PMC5522621
  • Bailey S, Stevens VJ, Fortmann SP, Kurtz SE, McBurnie MA, Priest E, Puro J, Solberg LI, Schweitzer R, Masica AL, Hazlehurst B. Long term outcomes from repeated smoking cessation assistance in routine primary care. Am J Health Promotion [published online March 2018; DOI: 10.1177/0890117118761886] PMID: 29534598

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