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October 13, 1951


Author Affiliations

New York; Boston

Formerly Fellow in Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital (Dr. Gertler).; Dr. Gertler is now connected with Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and Francis Delafield Hospital.; Instructor in Anthropology, Harvard University, and Research Fellow at Forsythe Dental Infirmary (Dr. Garn).; Executive Director, National Advisory Heart Council; Chief Consultant, National Heart Institute; Clinical Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Consultant, Massachusetts General Hospital (Dr. White).; From the Coronary Research Project, Cardiac Department, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Drs. E. F. Bland, J. Lerman, S. A. Levine, H. B. Sprague, and Paul D. White, Directors.

JAMA. 1951;147(7):621-625. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670240005002

A great deal has been achieved with modern diagnostic methods in the diagnosis of the acute or subacute phase of coronary heart disease which terminates in myocardial infarction. However, the increasing death toll from coronary heart disease suggests that still another form of approach to this problem be studied, namely, the prevention of coronary heart disease. It is obvious that before preventive measures are instituted recognition of the individual most prone to coronary heart disease will be necessary. Efforts should be made to determine which indivduals have the greatest tendencies to myocardial infarction. How can we recognize these putatively normal people in the entire population? To suggest a solution to this problem is the purpose of this presentation.

The ability to prevent disease is generally proportional to the knowledge of the etiological factors and pathogenesis of a disease. It is for these reasons that the problem of preselection of men