First, my wife, Sharon, claims that she has missed me on the many evenings and occasional Sundays spent in preparing this book. I am extremely grateful for her willingness to overlook these indiscretions. My time in this work has been partially funded, and in particular I must recognize Loma Linda University (Dr. Lyn Behrens) and the North American Division and General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (Drs. DeWitt Williams and Alan Handysides) for their support. The National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Public Health Service have provided many large grants to support the collection and analysis of data in California Adventists over a period of 40 years. Special thanks to DeWitt Williams who carefully reviewed most of the manuscript, pointing out many minor omissions and inconsistencies. My thanks also to colleagues who authored or coauthorized three of the chapters, specifically Drs. Graham Stacey, Jerry Lee, Helen Hopp-Marshak, Kiti Freier, and Ella Haddad.
My assistants Hanni Bennett and, more recently, Jean Bindels have cheerfully endured countless revisions of this manuscript on the word processor. David Shavlik has provided expert data management and data analysis with relatively few complaints. Before him, Dr. Larry Beeson was the data manager of these studies for many years. The other epidemiologists who have contributed important data and interpretation have often been my predecessors and colleagues here at Loma Linda University. In California these especially include the following past faculty of Loma Linda University: Drs. Frank Lemon, Richard Walden, Roland Phillips, Jan Kuzma, David Snowdon, and Paul Mills. Other valued colleagues and contributors to this literature from the United Kingdom are Dr. Tim Key, Mr. Paul Appleby (Oxford University), and Dr. Margaret Thorogood (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine).