Recently saw this update about the famous Framingham Heart Study. Everything we know it medicine is a direct result of volunteers and doctors who 60 years ago embarked on understanding what the risk factors were for heart disease. Although today we take the risk factors for granted, smoking, high blood pressure, cholesterol, it wasn't entirely clear decades ago. Excerpts from the article.
"The death of President Franklin Roosevelt on April 12, 1945, was the wake-up call that eventually led to the study. On the day he died, Roosevelt's blood pressure was an unbelievable 300/190. Few doctors then even suspected there was a connection."
"The early findings were bombshells: smoking, cholesterol, high blood pressure, fat consumption and obesity. At first the nation was in denial. Who knew lifestyle and cardiovascular disease were connected? Practically everything we know now about heart health originated with the Framingham Heart Study. "
"Every advance in technology, every scientific breakthrough means that the longer the study goes on, the more valuable the data it generates - three generations of genetic gold to mine."
All of us, the public and doctors, owe a debt of gratitude to these individuals. Without their volunteerism as well as foresight, where would we be today?