Timeline of cardiovascular disease
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This is a timeline of cardiovascular disease (CVD), focusing on scientific development and major worldwide organizations and events concerning CVD.
|Prior to 1400s||Descriptions of heart failure exist from Ancient Egypt, Greece, and India. The Romans are known to have used the foxglove as medicine.|
|1400s–1700s||Early examples of cardiovascular disease start to be discovered. Among the most important findings in the field are those of English physician William Harvey and German physician/chemist Friedrich Hoffmann.|
|1700s–1800s||Angina is described and studied extensively in the 18th and 19th centuries, the most outstanding work being that of Canadian cardiologist William Osler.|
|1900s||A period of increased interest, study, and understanding of heart disease. Catheters start to be used to explore coronary arteries.|
|1940s–1950s||The International Society of Cardiology is formed, and the World Congress of Cardiology starts being held under the patronage of the society. The link between heart disease and diet is discovered.|
|1960s–present||Bypass surgery, angioplasty, and stents are developed. As a result of these treatment advances, a diagnosis of heart disease today is no longer necessarily a death sentence. Nevertheless, cardiovascular diseases remain by far the main cause of death worldwide.|
|Year/period||Type of event||Event||Location|
|1628||Development||English physician William Harvey describes in detail the systemic circulation and properties of blood being pumped to the brain and body by the heart.||Frankfurt, Germany|
|1658||Development||Swiss physician Jakob Wepfer describes for the first time carotid thrombosis (extracranially and intracranially), in a patient with a fully occluded and calcified right internal carotid artery.||Switzerland|
|1681–1742||Discovery||German physician Friedrich Hoffmann notes that coronary artery disease starts with the "reduced passage of the blood within the coronary arteries."||MLU, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany|
|1733||Development||English clergyman and scientist Stephen Hales measures blood pressure.||Teddington, England|
|1768||Development||English physician William Heberden describes angina pectoris for the first time.||Royal College of Physicians, London|
|1785||Development||English physician William Withering publishes an account of the medical use of digitalis, which are used for the treatment of heart conditions.||Birmingham General Hospital, England|
|1803||Achievement||British surgeon David Fleming performs the first successful ligation of a carotid artery.|
|1819||Development||French physician René Laennec invents the stethoscope, an acoustic device for listening to the internal sounds of an animal or human body.||Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital, Paris|
|1831||Discovery||English physician Richard Bright describes high blood pressure and heart disease in association with kidney disease (Bright's disease).||Guy's Hospital, London|
|1872–1919||Development||Canadian physician William Osler works extensively on angina, and is one of the first to indicate that this is a syndrome rather than a disease in itself.|
|1895||Discovery||German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen discovers X-rays, which are used to diagnose heart disease.||University of Würzburg, Germany|
|1901||Development||Dutch physiologist Willem Einthoven invents the string galvanometer, which becomes the first practical electrocardiograph.||Leiden, Netherlands|
|1920||Development||Organomercurial diuretics are first used for the treatment of heart failure.|
|1924||Organization||The Association for the Prevention and Relief of Heart Disease is established.||New York City|
|1926||Organisation||The Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute is founded.||Melbourne, Australia|
|1930–1939||Development||German physicist Werner Forssmann is the first to develop a technique for cardiac catheterization, later winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for this achievement.||Eberswalde, Germany|
|1932||Development||American cardiac surgeon Michael E. DeBakey develops the roller pump, which later becomes an essential component of the heart–lung machine.||Tulane University, New Orleans|
|1938||Achievement||American surgeon Robert Gross applies systematically the first modern cardiovascular surgery when he successfully closes a patent ductus arteriosus.||Boston Children's Hospital, Massachusetts|
|1941||Development||French physician André Cournand and American physician Dickinson Richards, use the cardiac catheter as a diagnostic tool for the first time, applying catheterization techniques to measure right-heart pressures and cardiac output. Both physicians are awarded the Nobel Prize in 1956.||Bellevue Hospital, New York City|
|1948||Study||The Framingham Heart Study is initiated under the direction of the National Heart Institute to better understand atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease; 1,980 male and 2,421 female volunteers are recruited. The study identifies several risk factors for atherosclerosis: among them, high levels of cholesterol. Over 1000 medical papers have since been published related to the Framingham Heart Study.||Framingham, Massachusetts|
|1949–1958||Development||Scottish epidemiologist Jerry Morris performs studies on cardiovascular health, later establishing the importance of physical activity in preventing cardiovascular disease.||United Kingdom|
|1950||Organization||The first World Congress of Cardiology (WCC) is held.||Paris, France|
|1950||Discovery||A team led by American scientist John Gofman demonstrates the role of lipoproteins in the causation of heart disease.||University of California, Berkeley|
|1950–1958||Development||Scientists Karl H. Beyer, James M. Sprague, John E. Baer, and Frederick C. Novello of Merck and Co develop thiazides for the treatment of hypertension and heart failure.|
|1950–1959||Development||Scottish pharmacologist James Black develops propranolol, a beta blocker used for the treatment of heart disease. In 1988, Black is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for this work.||Imperial Chemical Industries, London|
|1950–1959||Discovery||American scientist Ancel Keys discovers that heart disease is rare in some Mediterranean populations where the diet is low in saturated fat.||Southern Europe|
|1952||Development||Swedish cardiologist Inge Edler and German physicist Carl Hellmuth Hertz launch the field of echocardiography, by adapting for human use a sonar device (that was used for detecting submarines in World War II) and using it to record echoes from the walls of a human heart.|
|1952||Development||American cardiologist Paul Zoll develops the first external cardiac pacemaker.||Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts|
|1953||Achievement||American surgeon John Gibbon performs the first open-heart operation using cardiopulmonary bypass.||Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia|
|1958||Development||Thiazide diuretics are introduced for treating hypertension.|
|1959||Organization||The World Health Organization (WHO) establishes the Cardiovascular Disease program.|
|1960||Study||The Framingham Heart Study finds that cigarette smoking increases the risk of heart disease.||United States|
|1960||Achievement||The first successful coronary artery bypass operation (anastomosis) is performed by German surgeon Robert H. Goetz.||Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City|
|1961||Discovery||Cholesterol level, blood pressure, and electrocardiogram (ECG) abnormalities are found to increase the risk of heart disease.||United States|
|1961||Organization||The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is established as a charitable organization in order to fund research into cardiovascular disease.||London, England|
|1963||Organization||The Instituto do Coração da Universidade de São Paulo is founded as a center specializing in cardiology, cardiovascular medicine and cardiovascular surgery.||São Paulo, Brazil|
|1964||Achievement||Russian cardiac surgeon Vasiliy Kolesov performs the first successful coronary bypass using a standard suture technique.||First Leningrad Medical Institute, Soviet Union|
|1964||Development||American interventional radiologist Charles Dotter describes angioplasty for the first time.|
|1967||Achievement||South African cardiac surgeon Christiaan Barnard performs the first successful human-to-human heart transplant.||Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa|
|1967||Achievement||Argentine cardiac surgeon René Favaloro performs the first documented saphenous aortocoronary bypass.||Cleveland Clinic, Ohio|
|1967||Discovery||Physical inactivity and obesity are found to increase the risk of heart disease.||United States|
|1969||Organization||The International Cardiology Foundation (ICF) is established.||Geneva, Switzerland|
|1969||Achievement||Argentine cardiac surgeon Domingo Liotta and American cardiac surgeon Denton Cooley perform the first clinical implantation of a total artificial heart (TAH).||The Texas Heart Institute, Houston|
|1970||Organization||The sixth World Congress of Cardiology is held, during which is created the International Cardiology Federation (ICF).||London, England|
|1970||Discovery||Atrial fibrillation is found to produce a fivefold increase in the risk of stroke.||United States|
|1975||Organization||The Philippine Heart Center is founded.||Quezón City, Philippines|
|1976||Discovery||Menopause is found to increase the risk of heart disease.||United States|
|1977||Development||German radiologist Andreas Gruentzig first develops coronary angioplasty for the treatment of coronary artery disease.||Zurich, Switzerland|
|1978||Discovery||Psychosocial factors are found to affect heart disease.||United States|
|1978||Organization||The International Society of Cardiology and the International Cardiology Federation merge to become the International Society and Federation of Cardiology.|
|1979||Organization||The Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) is founded as an international non-profit organization in order to promote education and advocacy for cardiac arrhythmia professionals and patients.||Washington, D.C., U.S.|
|1982||Development||The Jarvik 7 total artificial heart, named for its designer, Dr. Robert Jarvik, is implanted in a patient.||University of Utah, United States|
|1986||Development||French physician Jacques Puel and German cardiologist Ulrich Sigwart are credited as being the first to use the coronary stent.||Toulouse, France|
|1987||Study||A study conducted by the Cooperative North Scandinavian Enalapril Survival Study (CONSENSUS), shows the unequivocal survival benefit of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors in severe heart failure.|
|1988||Development||Hemopump, a temporary left ventricular assist blood pump, is put to clinical use. It is designed to allow for the temporary support of a failing heart.||The Texas Heart Institute, Houston|
|1988||Achievement||The first successful long-term implantation of an artificial left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is performed by Dr. William F. Bernhard.||Boston Children's Hospital, Massachusetts|
|1993||Organization||The American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) is founded.|
|1994||Discovery||An enlarged left ventricle (one of two lower chambers of the heart) is shown to increase the risk of stroke.||United States|
|1995||Development||The European Society of Cardiology publishes guidelines for diagnosing heart failure.|
|1996||Development||The progression from hypertension to heart failure is described.||United States|
|1997||Development||The Thoratec ventricular assist device (VAD) is put to clinical use to support patients with acute and chronic heart failure.||The Texas Heart Institute, Houston|
|1998||Study||The Framingham Heart Study finds that atrial fibrillation is associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality.||United States|
|1998||Organization||The International Society and Federation of Cardiology board approves the change of name to World Heart Federation (WHF).|
|1999||Discovery||The lifetime risk of developing coronary heart disease at the age of 40, is found to be one in two for men and one in three for women.||United States|
|2000||Organization||The WHF launches World Heart Day as an annual event on the last Sunday in September.|
|2000||Organization||The Krishna Heart Institute is founded as a high-end medical facility, specializing in heart diseases.||Ahmedabad, India|
|2000||Organization||The Blood Pressure Association is founded as a charitable organization to provide information and support to people with hypertension.||London, England|
|2001||Discovery||"High normal" blood pressure (prehypertension) is found to be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, emphasizing the need to determine whether the risk can be reduced by lowering prehypertension.||United States|
|2001||Development||An AbioCor total artificial heart, developed by U.S. company AbioMed, is implanted in a 59-year-old man.||Jewish Hospital, Louisville, Kentucky|
|2004||Discovery||Serum aldosterone levels are found to predict the future risk of hypertension in non-hypertensive individuals.||Boston Medical Center, Massachusetts|
|2006||Organization||The Multan Institute of Cardiology is founded.||Multan, Pakistan|
|2007||Organization||The Atrial Fibrillation Association is established as an international charity that provides information and support for patients with atrial fibrillation.||Shipston-on-Stour, England|
|2008||Report||The total number of deaths due to cardiovascular disease reaches 17.3 million a year worldwide, according to the WHO.|
|2008||Organization||The sixteenth World Congress of Cardiology is held, and the WCC is subsequently moved from a 4-year to a 2-year cycle.||Buenos Aires, Argentina|
|2010||Discovery||Sleep apnea is found to be tied to an increased risk of stroke.||National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Maryland, U.S.|
|2011||Development||The first-in-class gene therapy drug, pCMV-vegf165, is registered in Russia for the treatment of peripheral artery disease, including the advanced stage of critical limb ischemia.||Russia|
|2011||Campaign||The United Nations declaration on non-communicable diseases (NCD's) changes the global approach to these diseases, of which cardiovascular disease is the greatest contributor.|
|2012||Report||Ischemic heart disease and stroke are found to be the leading causes of death worldwide, with 7.4 million deaths due to ischemic heart disease and 6.7 million deaths due to stroke.|
|2013||Campaign||The board of the WHF adopts the UN and WHO targets for cardiovascular disease, and launches the 25 x 25 campaign to reduce premature deaths from CVD by 25% by the year 2025.|
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