A Change of Heart is a detailed account of the revolutionary Framingham Heart study — which, over the years, has provided conclusive evidence that cardiovascular disease is largely the result of measurable and modifiable risk factors. First begun in 1948, not long after Franklin Delano Roosevelt succumbed to a massive stroke, the study of over 5,000 citizens of Framingham, Massachusetts, changed the course of medical history. The lessons learned in Framingham allow each of us to control our risk of heart disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of death in the United States. Here is a clear-eyed and intriguing assessment of the achievements of this study and of its continuing importance to our health today.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Change of Heart|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Change of Heart|
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Change of Heart
A Killer of Paupers and Presidents
It was April 12, 1945, and the country was heartbroken. Franklin D. Roosevelt, the thirty-second president of the United States, died suddenly in what had come to be known as the Little White House, a cottage in the woods of Pine Mountain near Warm Springs, Georgia. The public was unprepared for his death, though for many months his doctors knew that he was gravely ill. In keeping with the culture of the times, his personal physicians hid the grim reality of the president’s failing health from the press, from the public, from his family—even from FDR himself. Casualty of an as yet unrecognized epidemic, the leader of the free world slipped away.
Roosevelt, his doctors, and the media had colluded to portray him as the picture of health. Long before he was elected president, in the summer of 1921 when he was thirty-nine years old, he fell victim to another epidemic. Polio rendered his legs nearly useless, his ability to walk nothing more than a simulation. He supported dead weight from the waist down with braces locked at the knee, and he would swing himself forward in a practiced rhythm between crutches. Throughout his life, the public saw him as strong, self-assured, and independent. No American was privy to the scene of Arthur Prettyman, FDR’s personal valet, strapping full-leg braces on the president as he lay supine in bed. The metal of each brace was painted black, and the president always wore black shoes and socks so as not to draw undue attention to the contraption. It was, like the title of Hugh Gregory Gallagher’s book, FDR’s Splendid Deception.1 His walk was seldom photographed, nor was the