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Usama Bilal, MD, PhD, MPH

Usama Bilal

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Co-Director of the Urban Health Collaborative
Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Urban Health Collaborative
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MD, University of Oviedo
PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
MPH, University of Alcala/National School of Public Health


Usama Bilal ( is an assistant professor in the department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics and Co-Director of the Urban Health Collaborative at Drexel's Dornsife School of Public Health.

His primary research interest is the macrosocial determinants of health, with an interest in describing health inequities in urban environments, specifically urban health in Latin American cities (the Urban Health Collaborative's SALURBAL project); the health consequences of urban and neighborhood dynamics; and the effect of mass-influences (e.g., macroeconomic change) on health and policy modifiers that mitigate/exacerbate these effects.

Bilal received the prestigious NIH Director’s Early Independence Award (DP5) in 2018 for his The Health Consequences of Urban Scaling project. 

He earned a PhD in Cardiovascular Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, an MPH from the Universidad de Alcala in Spain, and MD from the Universidad de Oviedo in Spain.

Research Interests

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Health and Place or Built Environment
  • Data Analysis Methods
  • Health Disparities
  • Spatial Analysis or GIS
  • Urban Health


1: Bilal U, Hessel P, Perez-Ferrer C, Michael YL, Alfaro T, Tenorio-Mucha J, Friche AAL, Pina MF, Vives A, Quick H, Alazraqui M, Rodriguez DA, Miranda JJ, Diez-Roux AV; SALURBAL group. Life expectancy and mortality in 363 cities of Latin America. Nat Med. 2021 Jan 25. doi: 10.1038/s41591-020-01214-4. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33495602.

2: Gullón P, Díez J, Cainzos-Achirica M, Franco M, Bilal U. Social inequities in cardiovascular risk factors in women and men by autonomous regions in Spain. Gac Sanit. 2020 Jul 13:S0213-9111(20)30117-5. doi: 10.1016/j.gaceta.2020.04.014. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32674863.

3: Bilal U, Alazraqui M, Caiaffa WT, Lopez-Olmedo N, Martinez-Folgar K, Miranda JJ, Rodriguez DA, Vives A, Diez-Roux AV. Inequalities in life expectancy in six large Latin American cities from the SALURBAL study: an ecological analysis. Lancet Planet Health. 2019 Dec;3(12):e503-e510. doi: 10.1016/S2542-5196(19)30235-9. Epub 2019 Dec 10. Erratum in: Lancet Planet Health. 2020 Jan;4(1):e11. PMID: 31836433; PMCID: PMC6926471.

4: Bilal U, Cainzos-Achirica M, Cleries M, Santaeugènia S, Corbella X, Comin- Colet J, Vela E. Socioeconomic status, life expectancy and mortality in a universal healthcare setting: An individual-level analysis of >6 million Catalan residents. Prev Med. 2019 Jun;123:91-94. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2019.03.005. Epub 2019 Mar 7. PMID: 30853378.

5: Bilal U, Hill-Briggs F, Sánchez-Perruca L, Del Cura-González I, Franco M. Association of neighbourhood socioeconomic status and diabetes burden using electronic health records in Madrid (Spain): the HeartHealthyHoods study. BMJ Open. 2018 Oct 4;8(9):e021143. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-021143. PMID: 30287604; PMCID: PMC6173235.

6: Bilal U, Auchincloss AH, Diez-Roux AV. Neighborhood Environments and Diabetes Risk and Control. Curr Diab Rep. 2018 Jul 11;18(9):62. doi: 10.1007/s11892-018-1032-2. PMID: 29995252.

7: Bilal U, Diez-Roux AV. Troubling Trends in Health Disparities. N Engl J Med. 2018 Apr 19;378(16):1557-1558. doi: 10.1056/NEJMc1800328. PMID: 29669223.

8: Bilal U, Knapp EA, Cooper RS. Swing voting in the 2016 presidential election in counties where midlife mortality has been rising in white non-Hispanic Americans. Soc Sci Med. 2018 Jan;197:33-38. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.11.050. Epub 2017 Dec 2. PMID: 29220706.

9: Bilal U, Cooper R, Abreu F, Nau C, Franco M, Glass TA. Economic growth and mortality: do social protection policies matter? Int J Epidemiol. 2017 Aug 1;46(4):1147-1156. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyx016. PMID: 28338775.

10: Trias-Llimós S, Riffe T, Bilal U. Monitoring life expectancy levels during the COVID-19 pandemic: Example of the unequal impact of the first wave on Spanish regions. PLoS One. 2020 Nov 5;15(11):e0241952. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0241952. PMID: 33152009; PMCID: PMC7643983.


Additional Publications via PubMed