Lyn Steffen, PhD, MPH

Associate Professor, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health

Lyn Steffen

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-625-9307

Office Address:
300 West Bank Office Building

Mailing Address:
1300 S 2nd St
Room 300 West Bank Office Building
Minneapolis, MN 55454

Associate Professor, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health

Program Director, Public Health Nutrition

Member, Center on Aging (COA)

Member, Healthy Weight Research Center

PhD, Epidemiology, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston

MPH, Public Health Nutrition, University of Minnesota

BA, Home Economics and Sociology, University of Minnesota


My research interests focus on nutritional epidemiology and the epidemiology of cardiovascular disease. Specific research projects include studies of dietary intake and cardiovascular disease and its risk factors in adults. Recent projects include the study of dietary intake (diet patterns, added sugar, processed foods), biomarkers (metabolomics, fatty acids), adipose tissue depots, and cardiovascular disease.


Aging, nutrition epidemiology, cardiovascular disease epidemiology, diet assessment, diet patterns, nutrition in older adults, dietary intake and health, fatty acids & CVD.


Research Funding Grants

  • 2021–2029, NIH Nat'l Heart, Lung, and Blood Inst., "Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study - Minneapolis Field Center," Co-Investigator2015–2021, University of Washington, "Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)," Co-Investigator
  • 2021-2026, NIH, NIDDK (subcontract, University of MA; Fang), "iPAT: Intelligent Diet Quality Pattern Analysis for Harmonized MA-National Trials", Principal Investigator 
  • 2020-2024, NIH Nat'l Heart, Lung, and Blood Inst., "Processed Food Intake, Metabolomics, and Adiposity", Principal Investigator
  • 2019-2020 University of Massachusetts, VIP: Visual-Valid Dietary Behavior Pattern Recognition for Local-National Trials; Principal investigator
  • 2017-2018, NIH Nat'l Heart, Lung, and Blood Inst. "Caloric and Non-caloric Sweeteners and the Distribution of Adipose Tissue," Principal Investigator


See a full list of publications on PubMed

Select Recent Publications

  • Harnack LJ, Cogswell ME, Shikany JM, Gardner CD, Gillespie C, Loria CM, Zhou X, Keming Y, Steffen LM. "Sources of sodium in US adults from three geographic regions," Circulation, March 2017 
  • Yi SY, Steffen LM, Terry JG, Jacobs DR, Duprez D, Steffen BT, Zhou X, Shikany J, Harnack L, Carr JJ. Added sugar intake is related to pericardial adipose tissue volume. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2020;27(18):2016-2023. PMCID: PMC8283962
  • Keller A, O’Reilly EJ, Malik V, Buring JE, Andersen I, Steffen LM, Robien K, Männist S, Rimm E, Willet W, Heitmann B. Substitution of sugar-sweetened beverages for other beverages and the risk of developing coronary heart disease: Results from the Harvard Pooling Project of Diet and Coronary Disease. Prev Med 2020;131:105970.
  • Yi SY, Steffen LM, Rebholz C, Haring B, Shah A. The associations of the DASH diet and other food groups with cardiac structure and function. Nutr Metab CVD 2021;31(12):3345-3351. PMCID: PMC8605993
  • Steffen LM, Yi SY, Duprez D, Zhou X, Shikany JK, Jacobs DR. Walnut Consumption and Cardiac Phenotypes: The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2021;31(1):95-101. PMCID: PMC8574984
  • Gurugubelli VS, Fang H, Shikany JM, Balkus SV, Rumbut J, Ngo H, Wang H, Allison JJ, Steffen LM. A review of harmonization methods for studying dietary patterns in smart health. Smart Health, 2022; 23, 100263
  • Grenados A, Gebremariam A, Gidding SS, Terry JG, Carr JJ, Steffen LM, Jacobs DR, Lee JM. Association of abdominal muscle composition with prediabetes and diabetes: The CARDIA Study. Diabetes Obes Metab 2019;21(2):267-275. PMCID: PMC6329642