A Century of Milestones in Heart Disease Treatment | National

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease has been the leading cause of death in the United States since the 1900s. Study results from the 1930s and 1940s suggest that high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, lack of exercise, smoking and mental stress were the leading risk factors for heart disease.

Scientists now know more about how poor diet, lack of exercise and smoking can increase the risk of heart disease. The effects of these factors accumulate throughout life, so healthy living habits need to start early in life. Health campaigns to promote healthy eating, physical activity and smoking cessation also play an important role in heart disease prevention.

Additionally, over the past century, scientists have made important scientific advances in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease through diagnostic imaging, recording the heart’s electrical activity, using innovative surgical techniques, and prescribing drugs to lower cholesterol and control blood pressure. Hospitals now have dedicated departments with staff specially trained to treat and continuously monitor patients with heart disease.

ACLS Medical Training, a continuing education provider of advanced cardiac life support training, has compiled research from peer-reviewed journals, including the Netherlands Heart Journal, to identify 10 milestones in heart disease management over the past 120 years.

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