Heart Research

Archive Report

Debate Over Causes of Heart Disease

Alarm Over Large Number of Heart Fatalities

Despite considerable progress in heart research, including the development of life-saving drugs and new surgical techniques, there has been little change in the overall rate of fatalities for the past decade. Particularly alarming has been the increase in heart-related deaths among younger men and women.a1 The executive board of the World Health Organization reported in 1969: “Coronary heart disease has reached enormous proportions, striking more and more at younger subjects. It will result in the coming years in the greatest epidemic mankind has faced unless we are able to reverse the trend by concentrated research into its cause and prevention.”

Cardiovascular diseases—diseases that affect the heart and blood vessels—already kill more than one million ...

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