Tag Archives: heart disease

The Emberá of Panama

L. J. Sandlow George Dunea Chicago, Illinois, United States   The Emberá are an indigenous people who live near the Panama-Columbia border. There are about 33,000 living in Darién, Panama, and 50,000 in Colombia. Until 1960 most lived in extended family settlements along the rivers. Since the 60s many have moved together into small villages, […]

Rheumatic fever: evolution of causal concepts and management

Amogh BJ Trivandrum, Kerala, India Nanditha Venkatesan Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India   For centuries rheumatic fever (RF) and its sequelae scourged the lives of millions of people. Despite a substantial decline in deaths from the disease, rheumatic heart disease remains a problem, especially in areas of poverty. Over the past few centuries, a growing understanding of […]

Blood is NOT the essence of life?

Mair Zamir London, Ontario, Canada   Figure 1: Vasculature of the human heart in an anterior view (right) and posterior view (left). This massive vascular network brings blood to within reach of every cell within the heart tissue. It is the most densely packed vascular network within the body because of the very high metabolic […]

“Rich man, poor man”: a history of lead poisoning

Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, United States   Comfort in the Gout. Thomas Rowlandson. 1802. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The history of lead poisoning is the history of human industry. For unmarked time, lead has been around causing abdominal pain, constipation, nausea, and irritability, as well as conditions like heart disease, kidney disease, reduced fertility, […]

The iron crab

Sean Varner Baltimore, Maryland, USA   Fleming’s epitaph, “Omnia perfunctus vitae praemia, marces,” translated as “Having enjoyed all life’s prizes, you now decay,” comes from On the Nature of Things Book Three by Lucretius which explores the fear of death. Fleming suggested the following epitaph for Bond: “I shall not waste my days in trying […]

Grokking: Cardiac rehabilitation by another name

Janice Kehler Chris Kehler Middleton, Wisconsin, United States   Grokking: to understand with empathy “It is a life-saving intervention,” said Dr. Randall Thomas, the director of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, adding that participation rates were abysmal. Only 20% of eligible patients over the age of sixty-five enroll in cardiac […]

Paul Wood: In Memoriam

George Dunea Chicago, Illinois, USA Paul Wood (1907–1962) Dr. Paul Wood, the greatest British cardiologist of his time, died in London on July 13, 1962—half a century ago.1 Born in 1907, he went to school in Australia, took his internship in New Zealand, and after a stint as cardiologist in London, served with distinction in […]

Sir Thomas Lewis: the promise of electrocardiography

In republishing an account of clinical electrocardiography, I do so from conviction that this method of examination is essential to the modern study of heart disease. When some twenty-seven years ago I began to study disorders of the heart with the aid of the “string galvanometer” the method was in its early infancy and unknown […]

No Good Options

David G. Thoele Park Ridge, Illinois, USA Poet’s statement: This poem is about my patient Aaron, who was born, immediately became very sick and blue, and later the same day, died in his parents’ arms. Aaron had severe congenital heart disease, which we ultimately concluded was not compatible with life. Aaron’s parents and I made […]