Research in Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: A History

Summary

Principal Investigator: Henry Blackburn
Abstract: DESCRIPTION: This amended proposal outlines a scholarly publication about the history and influence of research in the epidemiology and prevention of major cardiovascular diseases (CVD), heart attack and stroke. Emphasis is on the theories and studies of pioneers in the field and their formulation of the "risk factor paradigm," which together brought order into chaos about causation, new disciplines of epidemiology and practice, and decades of fruitful study and preventive programs. The prehistory of observations by "medical Marco Polos" of cultural differences in attack rates, and changing vital statistics on causes of death during and just after World War II, was followed by formal population studies of biologic and behavioral risk factors and tests of the potential for reducing risk. This research was soon paralleled by a decline in mortality rates and new opportunities for CVD prevention in an aging population and among populations not yet at risk. Historical analysis will deal with the unique contributions of CVD prevention research to the "epidemiologic transition" from communicable diseases, the departures from the norm by the clinical and bench investigators involved, the impact of the risk paradigm on practice and public health, and dialectic about the medical and public health views of causality and prevention. The story aims at narrative, analysis, illustration, and documentation, intended for a primary audience in medical, public health, and history-of-science fields, presented in language accessible to the public. Specific aims are to collect and synthesize historical material and write a book about the origins and course of CVD prevention research, the disciplines of CVD epidemiology and preventive cardiology, and their impact on the public health. Methods include review of archival and personal documents and interviews of an inclusive sample of the research community. The proposers have long experience in prevention research and policy making and have access to the relevant records and leaders, including historian collaborators. They have received a contract from Oxford University Press to create a book about these signal developments in the history of medical science, CVD prevention, and the public health.
Funding Period: 2004-09-30 - 2007-09-30
more information: NIH RePORT

Top Publications

  1. pmc Stories from the evolution of guidelines for causal inference in epidemiologic associations: 1953-1965
    Henry Blackburn
    Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, 1300 South Second Street, Minneapolis, MN 55454, USA
    Am J Epidemiol 176:1071-7. 2012
  2. ncbi 20th-Century “medical Marco Polos” in the origins of preventive cardiology and cardiovascular disease epidemiology
    Henry Blackburn
    School of Public Health and Medical School, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA
    Am J Cardiol 109:756-67. 2012

Scientific Experts

Detail Information

Publications2

  1. pmc Stories from the evolution of guidelines for causal inference in epidemiologic associations: 1953-1965
    Henry Blackburn
    Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, 1300 South Second Street, Minneapolis, MN 55454, USA
    Am J Epidemiol 176:1071-7. 2012
    ..They also present direct, if unsatisfying, evidence about those particular lapses...
  2. ncbi 20th-Century “medical Marco Polos” in the origins of preventive cardiology and cardiovascular disease epidemiology
    Henry Blackburn
    School of Public Health and Medical School, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA
    Am J Cardiol 109:756-67. 2012
    ..Here, the author tells brief stories about 5 early and particularly observant world travelers and their influence on knowledge and thinking about prevention...