In 1948 after the death of their World War II winner president (Roosevelt) from heart failure the US Government initiated the biggest heart research study of the century called Framingham Heart Study. In the last 72 years, this extensive study continuously published results of more than 3000 research papers on the causes of heart disease and its causative treatment. The findings of this study over the last 70 years changed the concept of heart disease treatment. It is the most important study which proved that Cholesterol and Triglycerides are the fats that lead to fatty deposits and they must be controlled if we want to win over the pandemic of heart disease which killed more than 50% of people in the 1950s. It was their efforts that proved that smoking/tobacco, high BP, Diabetes, obesity increases the possibility of heart attacks. They only showed that exercise, stress management, increased intake of fruits, vegetables protect heart patients from getting a heart attack. They only coined the term Risk factors – which are universally accepted. Framingham Heart Study is the biggest ever research study in the history of medical science.
Apart from Framingham Heart Study – MRFIT (Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial) studies, Lipid Research Clinic studies in the USA; White Hall Study in the UK; North Karelia study in Finland; WHO (World Health Organization) conducted MONICA trial; Inter heart study from Canada, Lifestyle Heart Trail in San Francisco are some of the distinct studies which pointed out the real reasons for heart disease, heart attack and guided about how to prevent and reverse heart disease. If we want to just mention all the more than 1000 studies conducted on the very important heart disease it will take several pages.
By implementing the findings of these studies the developed countries of Europe, the USA, and Japan had been able to cut down their heart attack deaths starting from the 1970s. By the year 2000, they had been able to almost reduce the heart attack deaths from 50% to 25%. But it has been seen that heart disease is still increasing in the middle income, low income developing countries especially in India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Africa, South America, and the Middle East.
Research Studies that proved Reversal of Heart Disease
A series of lipid-lowering trials have been conducted over the years which have shown that heart attacks can be avoided by prolonged use of Statins. Some of them are REGRESS, Scandinavian Simvastatin Survival Trial, CARE, WOSCOPS, REVERSAL Study, LIPID, TNT, PROSPER, Helsinki Heart Study, Heart Protection study. These studies have shown that lowering lipids can arrest progress and even reverse heart disease. But the most formidable study by Dr. Dean Ornish, a heart researcher based in San Francisco in the USA – the Lifestyle Heart Trial has conclusively proved Reversal of heart blockages by Lifestyle change. This Randomized Controlled trial published in The Lancet in 1990 showed that complete reduction of risk factors can lead to an angiographically proven reversal of blocked arteries when compared with a control group at the end of one year. This study became so famous that Dr. Ornish’s book became the New York Times bestseller. This reversal process continued for five more years for more reversal in the same group and this was published in the JAMA (Journal of American Heart Association). Dr. Ornish supplied his group zero oil plant-based food along with Yoga, stress management for these years, and the results proved that heart patients can avid heart attacks by following guided lifestyle change. They did not need any surgery or Angioplasty.