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November 28, 1986

Coronary Atherosclerosis in SoldiersA Clue to the Natural History of Atherosclerosis in the Young

JAMA. 1986;256(20):2863-2866. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380200101029

IN THIS week's issue, the editors of JAMA have republished an article from The Journal of 33 years ago that is clearly a landmark in our understanding of the development of coronary atherosclerosis. This article, "Coronary Disease Among United States Soldiers Killed in Action in Korea," by MAJ William F. Enos, LTC Robert H. Holmes, MC, USA, and CPT James Beyer, MC, USA, documents the presence of significant coronary lesions in soldiers who were battle casualties in Korea. Those soldiers for whom age was recorded ranged from 18 to 48 years old, with an average age of 22.1 years. The article appeared at a time when mortality from coronary heart disease was reaching a zenith in the United States and being recognized worldwide as a modern epidemic. This widely cited publication dramatically showed that atherosclerotic changes appear in the coronary arteries years and decades before the age at which coronary