Prevention of Heart Disease

  • Ross Lorimer


The prevention of heart disease in Britain received little attention in the first part of the century because of the scourge of infectious diseases. Treatment was essentially symptomatic since accurate diagnosis and the classification of disease entities were in their infancy. In the United States, by contrast, the leading American cardiologist Paul Dudley White wrote a paper in 1922 entitled “The diagnosis of heart disease, with especial reference to its importance in prevention”.[1] In the 1951 edition of his textbook, Heart disease, White wrote, “By the early 1920s, the present day fundamental classification of cardiac diagnosis based primarily on aetiology had been well established. The major importance of this step was indicated not only by better diagnosis and treatment but especially by the directing of attention to the causes of heart disease, the elucidation of which will undoubtedly lead to effective preventive medicine, so much more important in the final analysis than research, interesting though it is, in abnormal physiology, and in therapy, both medical and surgical.”[2] A review of White’s work, published in 1973, included the statement “preventive medicine is the aim of every clear thinking physician who has the welfare of the race in his mind.”[3]


Coronary Heart Disease Ischaemic Heart Disease Rheumatic Fever Coronary Thrombosis Rheumatic Heart Disease 
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© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2000

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  • Ross Lorimer

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