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April 05 , 2011

Arterial Hypertension

Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Therapy


It has been a little more than half a century since serious, organized research on hyper­ tension began. Public and even physician interest in the subject remained minimal until the early forties, and even then there were not more than a dozen "fulltime" investigators worldwide. The first organization devoted to communicating regularly the results of hy­ pertension research was created in Cleveland in 1945; it became the Council for High Blood Pressure Research of the American Heart Association in 1949. The early history of hypertension is not a story of progressive achievement. Richard Bright is given great credit, followed by Mahomed, Allbutt, Riva-Rocci, Bergman and Janeway, but it was not until Volhard, Fahr and Allen that some semblance of order emerged. They were followed by a younger, much more vigorous group of investigators who in fact initiated modern research in hypertension. Two more generations have fol­ lowed. In the course of some fifty years, we have seen emerge a magnificent body of evidence that has prescribed good treatment and contributed a considerable understanding of the many complex mechanisms involved in the hypertensions. Treatment is now actively pro­ moted by public health agencies, including the World Health Organization. This is an­ other case of treatment preceding full understanding of the nature of the disease.
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