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September 25, 1996

Research Funding, Myocardial Infarction Triggers Among Areas of Concern Addressed at AHA Forum

JAMA. 1996;276(12):932-934. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540120010004

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CARDIOVASCULAR disease research, says the president of the American Heart Association (AHA), poses a paradox.

Heart-related disease, says AHA President Jan L. Breslow, MD, seems to be slipping from the attention of the American public. Or, if Americans do pause to ponder cardiovascular disease, many are coming to regard it as an elderly person's malady and perhaps even a good way to die.

What's more, politicians and some scientists in policymaking positions now are underfunding cardiovascular research, Breslow contends. He says this may be because—in seeking support— scientists have oversold the success of surgery, drugs, and increased knowledge of cardiovascular disease processes that have improved patient care and outcomes.

Now, says Breslow, who is Leonhardt Professor, Rockefeller University, New York, NY, it's time to stop broadcasting those successes and emphasize that heart disease still is the No. 1 killer of people in this country and stroke is No. 3.