Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh (born November 11, 1963) is an American physician doing research in nephrology, nutrition, and epidemiology. He is best known for his hypothesis about the longevity of individuals with chronic disease states, also known as reverse epidemiology. According to this hypothesis, obesity or hypercholesterolemia may counterintuitively be protective and associated with greater survival in certain groups of people, such as elderly individuals, dialysis patients, or those with chronic disease states and wasting syndrome (cachexia), whereas normal to low body mass index or normal values of serum cholesterol may be detrimental and associated with worse mortality.
Kalantar-Zadeh received his undergraduate degree in medicine from the University of Bonn (Germany) and his M.D. degree from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (Germany). In addition, he obtained a master's degree in public health (Master of Public Health, MPH) and a PhD in epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a practicing triple board certified physician specialist in internal medicine, pediatrics, and nephrology. Kalantar-Zadeh completed his residency at the State University of New York and his nephrology fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco.
Kalantar-Zadeh was a professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and was based at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor–UCLA Medical Center (2000-2012), where he served as the founding director of the Harold Simmons Center for Chronic Disease Research and Epidemiology. In 2012 Kalantar-Zadeh moved to the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine as a tenured professor of medicine, pediatrics and public health and chief of Nephrology, and since then the Harold Simmons Center for Kidney Disease Research and Epidemiology headquarter has been located at the UC Irvine Medical Center. Kalantar-Zadeh has remained an adjunct professor of epidemiology at Fielding UCLA School of Public Health.
Kalantar-Zadeh has authored or coauthored over 400 research articles and reviews, which have been cited over 10,000 times, giving him an h-index of >50. In addition, Kalantar-Zadeh is an associate editor or member of the editorial boards of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, Journal of Renal Nutrition, Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle, International Urology and Nephrology, Renal & Urology News, and Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation. Kalantar-Zadeh is president elect of the International Society of Renal Nutrition and Metabolism.
Kalantar-Zadeh first proposed reverse epidemiology in articles in the journal Kidney International in 2003 and in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology in 2004. It is a contradiction to prevailing concepts of prevention of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.