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February 18, 1974

In Support of Life

JAMA. 1974;227(7):796. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230200054011

There is an increasing sense of resignation throughout the world of Western medicine that coronary artery disease is going to be with us for quite some time.

No one will deny the seminal importance of continuing investigation into etiology and pathogenesis, and we have derived a few reasonable clues. But we have not been very successful salesmen. Prophylactic recommendations that require significant self-discipline are antithetical to the life style of most Americans. For example a low animal fat diet, regular exercise, and cessation of cigarette smoking will never become very popular.

In the meantime, there is hope in the fact that the American Heart Association and the National Academy of Sciences—National Research Council have assumed a realistic posture. They have not given up on the public—they continue to propagandize about the advantages of a return to a more spartan way of life, but they have directed their major energies in