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Medical News & Perspectives
December 23/30, 1998

NHLBI at 50: Reflections on a Half-Century of Research on the Heart, Lungs, and Blood

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JAMA. 1998;280(24):2062-2064. doi:10.1001/jama.280.24.2062-JMN1223-3-1

JUST OVER 50 years ago, on June 16, 1948, President Harry S Truman signed into law the legislation that created the National Heart Institute. Renamed the National Heart and Lung Institute in 1969, it became the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in 1976.

This component of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md, started with an appropriation of around $500,000; today, its annual budget is close to $1.8 billion. Claude Lenfant, MD, director since 1982, reviews some of the highlights of five decades of research on heart diseases, pulmonary disorders, and issues related to blood.