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August 10, 1963

Postwar Prosperity, Cardiovascular Disease, And Reconditioning Centers

JAMA. 1963;185(6):29. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060060007004

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The increase in cardiac deaths that has accompanied postwar prosperity in West Germany has prompted the establishment of "reconditioning centers" with the purpose of preventing cardiovascular disease.

There are now 20 such centers in West Germany, financed by industry and insurance. Located in the mountains, on lakes and at the seashore, the centers annually accommodate more than 20,000 executives and other employes who are not overtly ill, but complain of fatigue, tenseness or vague cardiovascular, respiratory or similar symptoms.

A Vermont cardiologist, Dr. Raab of the University of Vermont in Burlington, was among a group of Americans who visited the centers recently at the invitation of West German government.

Here is his description of their operation:

"Activities in the centers consist of medically, carefully supervised systematically graded physical training programs, such as hiking, mountain climbing, outdoor calisthenics, games, sports and breathing exercises, alternating with periods of complete relaxation.

"In some

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