Manuel Franco trained both in Madrid, Spain and Berlin, Germany to obtain his MD. As Fulbright Scholar he joined the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to obtain his PhD and Post Doctoral fellowship working in the Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA study) in the Department of Epidemiology.
Manuel Franco´s work focuses on the epidemiology and prevention of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and its major risk factors. He studies how different social characteristics relate to CVD and CVD risk factors as dietary patterns, hypertension, diabetes and obesity. He is particularly interested on food environment and the risk of CVD. He studies population characteristics and CVD risk highlighting the relevance of population strategies to prevent CVD.
His methodological interests include the measurement of social and neighborhood characteristics related to population health outcomes.
His research interests are:
• Social epidemiology
• Urban health
• Cardiovascular epidemiology and prevention
• Epidemiological methods
He is faculty at the University of Alcalá and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is the Principal Investigator of the European Research Council Starting Grant Heart Healthy Hoods (hhhproject.eu) studying urban characteristics in relation to eating patterns, physical activity levels, smoking and alcohol consumption. He is also the PI of the Participatory Project on food in the cities: Photovoice Villaverde
Cardiovascular (CV) diseases are the first cause of death in the EU. Given the treatment costs and the high prevalence of risk factors (smoking, physical inactivity, diabetes and hypertension), they account for the largest social and economic burden amongst all diseases. ERC Starting Grant grantee Manuel Franco is measuring the food, physical activity, alcohol and tobacco environments of hundreds of neighbourhoods in Madrid to correlate these results with a cardiovascular cohort study of 2600 residents (40-75ys) and cardiovascular primary care health records.
The Heart Healthy Hoods (HHH) project will addresses factors such as the location and accessibility of fast food restaurants or green spaces in relation to cardiovascular risk. By combining a rigorous epidemiological design with a social science perspective, the HHH research team hopes to offer a complete portrait of the CV health of a sample of 1.4 million inhabitants, 40-75ys. This study is also comparing these urban reality with other US and European cities.