Martin Lajous

Adjunct Associate Professor of Global Health and Population

Department of Global Health and Population

I am a medical doctor and epidemiologist with research interests in nutrition, cardiovascular health and epidemiologic methods. I became a researcher at the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico (INSP) in 2004 and an associated researcher at the Center for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health at the French National Institute for Medical Research in 2011. I am the PI of the Mexican Teachers’ Cohort (MTC) and have been involved in since its inception in the overall design and instrument development. This 115,315 strong cohort of female teachers living in Mexico established to study risk factors for chronic disease. In collaboration with Dr. López-Ridaura, I oversee all MTC day-to-day activities including follow-up, clinical data and biospecimen collection and data management. Over the last 8 years, I have built strong connections with research teams such as the Nurses’ Health Study, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, and the E3N cohort, the French component of EPIC. The MTC is now part of NCI’s Cancer Cohort Consortium (click here for more infromation).

I have 11 years of experience conducting epidemiological studies in Mexico and analyzing complex longitudinal analyses in large prospective cohort studies. I have strong methodological training and have worked on the application of novel causal inference models to nutritional epidemiology.

Within the MTC we are currently assessing risk factors for subclinical cardiovascular disease and the relation of BPA and phthalates on glucose metabolism. We also finalized data collection for a validation study of our dietary and physical activity questionnaires.

As criminal activity and insecurity concerns increase in Mexico, we recently received funding to study the relation of violence, insecurity and psychological stress on diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

I have designed and taught introductory courses on epidemiology and causal inference at INSP. More recently, I have developed an interest on how the Mexican health system has responded to the increasing burden of chronic disease. I organize a triannual Colloquium on Health Policy in Mexico a protected space for policy makers to discuss immediately relevant and politically sensitive policy issues facing the Mexican health system. I also teach a Winter Session HSPH course (GHP 544) on the Mexican health reform.


National Autonomous University of Mexico, M.D., 2000

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, M.Sc., 2004

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, D.Sc., 2011

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications

  1. Lajous M, Ortiz-Panozo E, Monge A, Santoyo-Vistrain R, García-Anaya A, Yunes-Díaz E, Rice MS, Blanco M, Hernández-Ávila M, Willett WC, Romieu I, López-Ridaura R. Cohort Profile: The Mexican Teachers’ Cohort (MTC). Int J Epidemiol. 2015 Sep 3. pii: dyv123. [Epub ahead of print]
  2. Familiar I, Ortiz-Panozo E, Hall BJ, Vieitez I, Romieu I, López-Ridaura R, Lajous M. Structure of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 in Mexican women. Int J Meth Psych Res 2015 Mar;24(1):74-82.
  3. Lajous M, Bijon A, Fagherazzi G, Rossignol E, Boutron-Ruault MC, Clavel-Chapelon F. Processed and unprocessed red meat consumption and hypertension in women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Sep;100 (3):948-52.
  4. Lajous M, Bijon A, Fagherazzi G, Boutron-Ruault MC, Balkau B, Clavel-Chapelon F, Hernán M. Body mass index, diabetes, and mortality in French women: explaining away a “paradox”. Epidemiology 2014;25:10-4.
  5. Lajous M, Willett WC, Robins J, Young JG, Rimm E, Mozaffarian D, Hernán MA. Changes in fish consumption in midlife and the risk of coronary heart disease in men and women. Am J Epidemiol 2013;178:382-91.
  6. Lajous M, Tondeur L, Fagherazzi G, de Lauzon-Guillain B, Boutron-Ruaualt M-C, Clavel-Chapelon F. Processed and unprocessed red meat consumption and incident type 2 diabetes among French women. Diabetes Care 2012;35:128-30
  7. Lajous M, Danon L, O’Hagan JJ, López-Ridaura R, Astley CM, Miller JC, Dowell SF, Goldstein E, Lipsitch M. Mobile messaging as a surveillance tool during pandemic (H1N1) 2009, Mexico. Emerg Infect Dis 2010;269:88-93
  8. Lipsitch M, Lajous M, O’Hagan JJ, Cohen T, Miller JC, Goldstein E, Danon L, Wallinga J, Riley S, Dowell SF, Reed C, McCarron M. Use of cumulative incidence of novel influenza A/H1N1 in foreign travelers to estimate lower bounds on cumulative incidence in Mexico. PLoS One 2009; 4:e6895
  9. Lajous M, Lazcano-Ponce E, Hernandez-Avila M, Willett W, Romieu I. Folate, vitamin B(6), and vitamin B(12) intake and the risk of breast cancer among Mexican women.  Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2006;15:443-8
  10. Lajous M, Mueller N, Cruz-Valdez A, Aguilar LV, Franceschi S, Hernandez-Avila M, Lazcano-Ponce E. Determinants of prevalence, acquisition, and persistence of human papillomavirus in healthy Mexican military men. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2005;14:1710-6