Research related to medical treatment of cardiovascular disease.
Medical treatment of heart disease has improved significantly in the past 30 years. The spectacular change in the natural history of rheumatic heart disease is apparent from a 1948 article that reported that 42% of children with rheumatic heart disease died of rheumatic infection or bacterial endocarditis. Antibiotics and cardiac surgery have improved the outcome from rheumatic heart disease. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation has had a major impact on the treatment of myocardial infarction and on the management of sudden death. The fundamental principle underlying the discovery of cardiopulmonary resuscitation is reviewed, and recent developments emphasizing the importance of intrathoracic pressure in the hemodynamics of cardiopulmonary resuscitation are highlighted. The important new drugs of the last 30 years include the oral diuretics, the antihypertensives and the antiarrhythmic agents. The development of the beta-blocking agents is cited as an example of the translation of basic physiological research to medical care. Finally, the role of epidemiologic techniques in the design of clinical trials to evaluate medical therapy and hence improve medical management is discussed.
- Copyright © 1979 by American Heart Association