3. Important Events
1948 | 1949 | 1950 |
1952 | 1953 | 1957
| 1959 | 1961 | 1963 | 1964 | 1965 |
1966 | 1968| 1969 |
1971 | 1972
1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 |
1977 | 1978 | 1979
| 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 |
1985 | 1986 | 1987
1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 |
1993 | 1995 | 1996
| 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 |
2002 | 2003 | 2004
2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 |
June 16, 1948.
President Harry S. Truman signs the National Heart Act, creating the NHI in the
Public Health Service (PHS), with the National Advisory Heart Council as its
July 7, 1948. Dr. Paul Dudley White
is selected to be "Executive Director of the National Advisory Heart Council
and Chief Medical Advisor to the National Heart Institute" under section 4b of
the National Heart Act.
August 1, 1948. The NHI is
established as an institute of the NIH by Surgeon General Leonard A. Scheele.
As legislated in the National Heart Act, the NHI assumes responsibility for
heart research, training, and administration. Intramural research projects in
CVD and gerontology conducted elsewhere in the NIH are transferred to the NHI.
The Director of the NHI assumes all leadership for the total PHS heart program.
Dr. Cassius J. Van Slyke is appointed as the first Director of the NHI.
August 29, 1948. Surgeon General
Scheele announces the membership of the first National Advisory Heart Council.
Varying terms of membership for the 16-member Council commence September 1.
September 8, 1948. The National
Advisory Heart Council holds its first meeting.
Cooperative Research Units are established at four institutions: the
University of California, the University of Minnesota, Tulane University, and
Massachusetts General Hospital. Pending completion of the NHI's own research
organization and facilities, the Units are jointly financed by the NIH and the
July 1, 1949. The NHI Intramural
Research Program is established and organized on three general research levels
consisting of three laboratory sections, five laboratoryclinical
sections, and four clinical sections. The Heart Disease Epidemiology Study at
Framingham, Massachusetts, is transferred from the Bureau of State Services,
PHS, to the NHI.
1950. The NHI and the American Heart Association jointly sponsor the
first National Conference on Cardiovascular Diseases to summarize current
knowledge and to make recommendations concerning further progress against heart
and blood vessel diseases.
December 1, 1952.
Dr. James Watt is appointed Director of the NHI, succeeding Dr. Van Slyke, who
is appointed Associate Director of the NIH.
July 6, 1953. The
Clinical Center admits its first patient for heart disease research.
July 1, 1957. The
first members of the NHI Board of Scientific Counselors begin their terms. The
Board was established in 1956 "to provide advice on matters of general policy,
particularly from a long-range viewpoint, as they relate to the intramural
research program. "
February 19, 1959.
The American Heart Association and the NHI present a report to the
NationA Decade of Progress Against Cardiovascular Disease.
April 21, 1961.
The President's Conference on Heart Disease and Cancer, whose participants on
March 15 were requested by President John F. Kennedy to assist "in charting the
Government's further role in a national attack on these diseases," convenes at
the White House and submits its report.
September 11, 1961. Dr. Ralph E.
Knutti is appointed Director of the NHI, succeeding Dr. Watt, who becomes head
of international activities for the PHS.
December 30, 1963.
February is designated as "American Heart Month" by a unanimous joint
resolution of Congress with approval from President Lyndon B. Johnson.
1964. The Second National Conference on Cardiovascular
Diseasescosponsored by the American Heart Association, the NHI, and the
Heart Disease Control Program of the PHSis held to evaluate progress
since the 1950 Conference and to assess needs and goals for continued and
accelerated growth against heart and blood vessel diseases.
December 9, 1964. The President's
Commission on Heart Disease, Cancer, and Strokeappointed by President
Johnson on March 7, 1964submits its report to "recommend steps that can
be taken to reduce the burden and incidence of these diseases. "
August 1, 1965.
Dr. William H. Stewart assumes the Directorship of the NHI upon Dr. Knutti's
September 24, 1965. Dr. William H.
Stewart, NHI Director, is named Surgeon General of the PHS.
October 6, 1965. In FY 1966,
Supplemental Appropriations Act (P.L. 89199) allocates funds to implement
the recommendations of the President's Commission on Heart Disease, Cancer, and
Stroke that are within existing legislative authorities. The NHI is given $5.05
million for new clinical training programs, additional graduate training
grants, cardiovascular clinical research centers on cerebrovascular disease and
thrombotic and hemorrhagic disorders, and planning grants for future
specialized cardiovascular centers.
March 8, 1966. Dr.
Robert P. Grant succeeds Dr. Stewart as Director of the NHI. Dr. Grant serves
until his death on August 15, 1966.
November 6, 1966. Dr. Donald S.
Fredrickson is appointed Director of the NHI.
March 15, 1968.
Dr. Theodore Cooper succeeds Dr. Fredrickson as Director of the NHI, the latter
electing to return to research activities with the Institute.
October 16, 1968. Dr. Marshall W.
Nirenberg is awarded a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering
the key to deciphering the genetic code. Dr. Nirenberg, chief of the NHI
Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics, is the first Nobel Laureate at the NIH and
the first Federal employee to receive a Nobel Prize.
October 26, 1968. The NHI receives
the National Hemophilia Foundation's Research and Scientific Achievement Award
for its "medical leadership . . . , tremendous stimulation and support of
research activities directly related to the study and treatment of hemophilia.
November 14, 1968. The 20th
anniversary of the NHI is commemorated at the White House under the auspices of
President Johnson and other distinguished guests.
August 12, 1969. A
major NHI reorganization plan creates five program branches along disease
category lines in extramural programs (arteriosclerotic disease, cardiac
disease, pulmonary disease, hypertension and kidney diseases, and thrombotic
and hemorrhagic diseases); a Therapeutic Evaluations Branch and an Epidemiology
Branch under the Associate Director for Clinical Applications; and three
offices in the Office of the Director (heart information, program planning, and
November 10, 1969. The NHI is
redesignated by the Secretary, Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW), as the
National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI), reflecting a broadening scope of its
February 18, 1971.
President Richard M. Nixon's Health Message to Congress identifies sickle cell
anemia as a high-priority disease and calls for increased Federal expenditures.
The Assistant Secretary for Health and Scientific Affairs, HEW, is assigned
lead-Agency responsibility for coordination of the National Sickle Cell Disease
Program at the NIH and NHLI.
June 1971. The Task Force on
Arteriosclerosis, convened by Dr. Cooper, presents its report. Volume I
addresses general aspects of the problem and presents the major conclusions and
recommendations in nontechnical language. Volume II contains technical
information on the state of knowledge and conclusions and recommendations in
each of the following areas: atherogenesis, presymptomatic
atherosclerosis, overt atherosclerosis, and rehabilitation.
May 16, 1972. The
National Sickle Cell Anemia Control Act (P.L. 92294) provides for a
national diagnosis, control, treatment, and research program. The Act does not
mention the NHLI but has special pertinence because the Institute has been
designated to coordinate the National Sickle Cell Disease Program.
June 12, 1972. Elliot Richardson,
Secretary, HEW, approves a nationwide program for high blood pressure
information and education and appoints two committees to implement the
program: the Hypertension Information and Education Advisory Committee,
chaired by the Director, NIH, and the Interagency Working Group, chaired by the
Director, NHLI. A High Blood Pressure Information Center is established within
the NHLI Office of Information to collect and disseminate public and
professional information about the disease.
July 1972. The NHLI launches its
National High Blood Pressure Education Program (NHBPEP), a program of patient
and professional education that has as its goal to reduce death and disability
related to high blood pressure.
July 14, 1972. Secretary Richardson
approves reorganization of the NHLI, with the Institute elevated to Bureau
status within the NIH and comprising seven division-level components:
Office of the Director, Division of Heart and Vascular Diseases (DHVD), DLD,
DBDR, DIR, Division of Technological Applications, and Division of Extramural
September 19, 1972. The National
Heart, Blood Vessel, Lung, and Blood Act of 1972 (P.L. 92423) expands the
authority of the Institute to advance the national attack on the diseases
within its mandate. The act calls for intensified and coordinated Institute
activities to be planned by the Director and reviewed by the National Heart and
Lung Advisory Council.
July 24, 1973. The
first Five-Year Plan for the National Heart, Blood Vessel, Lung, and Blood
Program is transmitted to the President and to Congress.
December 17, 1973. The National Heart
and Lung Advisory Council completes its First Annual Report on the National
February 13, 1974.
The Director of the NHLI forwards his First Annual Report on the National
Program to the President for transmittal to Congress.
April 5, 1974. The Assistant
Secretary for Health, HEW, authorizes release of the Report to the President by
the President's Advisory Panel on Heart Disease. The report of the 20-member
panel, chaired by Dr. John S. Millis, includes a survey of the problem of heart
and blood vessel disorders and panel recommendations to reduce illness and
death from them.
August 2, 1974. The Secretary, HEW,
approves regulations governing the establishment, support, and operation of
National Research and Demonstration Centers for heart, blood vessel, lung, and
blood diseases, which implement section 415(b) of the PHS Act, as amended by
the National Heart, Blood Vessel, Lung, and Blood Act of 1972: (1) to
carry out basic and clinical research on heart, blood vessel, lung, and blood
diseases; (2) to provide demonstrations of advanced methods of prevention,
diagnosis, and treatment; and (3) to supply a training source for scientists
and physicians concerned with the diseases.
1975. Dr. Robert I. Levy is appointed Director of the NHLI, succeeding
Dr. Theodore Cooper, who was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health,
HEW, on April 19, 1974.
June 25, 1976.
Legislation amending the PHS Act (P.L. 94278) changes the name of the
NHLI to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and provides for
an expansion in blood-related activities within the Institute and throughout
the National Heart, Blood Vessel, Lung, and Blood Program.
August 1, 1977.
The Biomedical Research Extension Act of 1977 (P.L. 9583) reauthorizes
the programs of the NHLBI, with continued emphasis on both the national program
and related prevention and dissemination activities.
February 1978. The
NHLBI and the American Heart Association jointly celebrate their 30th
Back to Top
The Task Force on Hypertension, established in September 1975 to assess the
state of hypertension research, completes its in-depth survey and
recommendations for improved prevention, treatment, and control in 14 major
areas. The recommendations are intended to guide the NHLBI in its future
November 1979. The results of the
Hypertension Detection and Follow-Up Program (HDFP), a major clinical trial
started in 1971, provide evidence that tens of thousands of lives are being
saved through treatment of mild hypertension and that perhaps thousands more
could be saved annually if all people with mild hypertension were under
November 21, 1980.
The Albert Lasker Special Public Health Award is presented to the NHLBI for its
HDFP, "which stands alone among clinical studies in its profound potential
benefit to millions of people. "
December 17, 1980. The Health
Programs Extension Act of 1980 (P.L. 96538) reauthorizes the NHLBI, with
continued emphasis on both the national program and related prevention
September 8, 1981.
The Working Group on Arteriosclerosisconvened in 1978 to assess present
understanding, highlight unresolved problems, and emphasize opportunities for
future research in arteriosclerosiscompletes its report. Volume I
presents conclusions and recommendations in nontechnical language. Volume II
provides an in-depth substantive basis for the conclusions and recommendations
contained in Volume I.
October 2, 1981. The Beta-Blocker
Heart Attack Trial (BHAT) demonstrates benefits to those in the trial who
received the drug propranolol compared with the control group.
July 6, 1982. Dr.
Claude Lenfant is appointed Director of the NHLBI. He succeeds Dr. Levy.
September 1982. The results of the
Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial are released. They support measures to
reduce cigarette smoking and to lower blood cholesterol to prevent coronary
heart disease (CHD) mortality but raise questions about optimal treatment of
October 26, 1983.
The Coronary Artery Surgery Study (CASS) results are released. They demonstrate
that mildly symptomatic patients with coronary artery disease can safely defer
coronary artery bypass surgery until symptoms worsen.
January 12, 1984.
The results of the Lipid Research Clinics Coronary Primary Prevention Trial
(LRC-CPPT) are released. They establish conclusively that reducing total blood
cholesterol reduces the risk of CHD in men at increased risk because of
elevated cholesterol levels. Each 1 percent decrease in cholesterol can be
expected to reduce heart attack risk by 2 percent.
AprilSeptember 1984. The
Tenth Report of the Director, NHLBI, commemorates the 10th anniversary
of the passage of the National Heart, Blood Vessel, Lung, and Blood Act. The
five-volume publication reviews 10 years of research progress and presents a
5-year research plan for the national program.
April 1984. The Division of
Epidemiology and Clinical Applications (DECA) is created. It provides the
Institute with a single focus on clinical trials; prevention, demonstration,
and education programs; behavioral medicine; nutrition; epidemiology; and
biometry. It also provides new opportunities to examine the interrelationships
of cardiovascular, respiratory, and blood diseases.
November 1984. An NHLBINIH
Clinical Center inter-Agency agreement for studies on the transmission of HIV
from humans to chimpanzees leads to the first definitive evidence that the
transmission is by blood transfusion.
Results of Phase I of the Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) trial
comparing streptokinase (SK) with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator
(t-PA) are published. The new thrombolytic agent recombinant t‑PA is
approximately twice as effective as SK in opening thrombosed coronary arteries.
October 1985. The NHLBI Smoking
Education Program is initiated to increase health care provider awareness about
clinical opportunities for smoking cessation programs, techniques for use
within health care settings, and resources for use within communities to expand
and reinforce such efforts.
October 14, 1985. NHLBI-supported
researchers Michael S. Brown and Joseph L. Goldstein are awarded the Nobel
Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries concerning the regulation
of cholesterol metabolism.
November 1985. The NHLBI inaugurates
the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) to increase awareness among
health professionals and the public that elevated blood cholesterol is a cause
of CHD and that reducing elevated blood cholesterol levels will contribute to
the reduction of CHD.
June 1986. Results
of the Prophylactic Penicillin Trial demonstrate the efficacy of prophylactic
penicillin therapy in reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with
pneumococcal infections in children with SCD.
September 18, 1986. The NHLBI
sponsors events on the NIH campus in conjunction with the meeting of the X
World Congress of Cardiology in Washington, DC. Activities include a special
exhibit at the National Library of Medicine titled "American Contributions to
Cardiovascular Medicine and Surgery" and two symposia"New Dimensions in
Cardiovascular Disease Research" and "Cardiovascular Nursing and Nursing
December 17, 1986. The citizens of
Framingham, Massachusetts, are presented a tribute by the Assistant Secretary,
HHS, for their participation in the Framingham Heart Study over the past 40
The NHLBI commemorates the centennial of the NIH and the 40th anniversary of
the Institute's inception. Two publications prepared for the Institute's
anniversaryForty Years of Achievement in Heart, Lung, and Blood
Research and A Salute to the Past: A History of the National Heart, Lung, and
Blood Institutedocument significant Institute contributions to
research and summarize recollections about the Institute's 40-year history.
October 1987. The National Blood
Resource Education Program is established to ensure an adequate supply of safe
blood and blood components to meet the Nation's needs and to ensure that blood
and blood components are transfused only when therapeutically appropriate.
April 1988. The
NHLBI initiates its Minority Research Supplements program to provide
supplemental funds to ongoing research grants for support of minority
investigators added to research teams.
September 1988. AIDS research is
added to the National Heart, Blood Vessel, Lung, and Blood Diseases and Blood
Resources Program. It is the first area of research to be added since the
Program was established in 1973.
September 1988. The NHLBI funds the
first of its new Programs of Excellence in Molecular Biology, designed to
foster the study of the organization, modification, and expression of the
genome in areas of importance to the Institute and to encourage investigators
to become skilled in the experimental strategies and techniques of modern
September 1988. The Strong Heart
Study is initiated. It focuses on CVD morbidity and mortality rates and
distribution of CVD risk factors in three geographically diverse American
October 1988. The National Marrow
Donor Program is transferred from the Department of the Navy to the NHLBI. The
Program, which serves as a focal point for bone marrow research, includes a
national registry of volunteers who have offered to donate marrow for
transplant to patients not having suitably matched relatives.
March 1989. The
NHLBI initiates a National Asthma Education Program to raise awareness of
asthma as a serious chronic disease and to promote more effective management of
asthma through patient and professional education.
May 1989. The NHLBI Minority Access
to Research Careers (MARC) Summer Research Training Program is initiated to
provide an opportunity for MARC Honors Scholars to work with researchers in the
NHLBI intramural laboratories.
1990. The first human gene therapy protocol in history is undertaken
at the NIH. A team of scientistsled by W. French Anderson, NHLBI, and R.
Michael Blaese, NCIinsert a normal gene into a patient's cells to
compensate for a defective gene that left the patient's cells unable to produce
an enzyme essential to the functioning of the body's immune system.
January 1991. The
NHLBI Obesity Education Initiative (OEI) begins. Its objective is to make a
concerted effort to educate the public and health professionals about obesity
as an independent risk factor for CVD and its relationship to other risk
factors, such as high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol.
February 1991. The expert panel of
the National Asthma Education Program releases its report, Guidelines for
Diagnosis and Management of Asthma, to educate physicians and other health
care providers in asthma management.
April 810, 1991. The First
National Conference on Cholesterol and Blood Pressure Control is attended by
more than 1,800 health professionals.
May 1991. The Task Force on
Hypertension, established in November 1989 to assess the state of hypertension
research and to develop a plan for future NHLBI funding, presents its
conclusions. The report outlines a set of scientific priorities and develops a
comprehensive plan for support over the next several years.
June 11, 1991. The NHLBI initiates a
National Heart Attack Alert Program (NHAAP) to reduce premature morbidity and
mortality from acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and sudden death. The Program
emphasizes rapid disease identification and treatment.
July 1991. Results of the Systolic
Hypertension in the Elderly Program (SHEP) demonstrate that low-dose
pharmacologic therapy of isolated systolic hypertension in those older than 60
years of age significantly reduces stroke and myocardial infarction.
August 1991. Results of the Studies
of Left Ventricular Dysfunction (SOLVD) are released. They demonstrate that use
of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor enalapril causes a
significant reduction in mortality and hospitalization for congestive heart
failure in patients with symptomatic heart failure.
August 1991. The NHLBI sponsors
"Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Health: Special Emphasis on Women and
Youth," the first national workshop to assess the current knowledge in the
field and to develop scientific priorities and plans for support.
Recommendations from the Working Groups are published in the supplemental issue
of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
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March 1992. The
International Consensus Report on Diagnosis and Management of Asthma
is released. It is to be used by asthma specialists and medical opinion leaders
to provide a framework for discussion of asthma management pertinent to their
March 1992. Results of the Trials of
Hypertension Prevention Phase I are published. They demonstrate that both
weight loss and reduction of dietary salt reduce blood pressure in adults with
high-normal diastolic blood pressure and may reduce the incidence of primary
June 2627, 1992. The Fourth
National Minority Forum on Cardiovascular Health, Pulmonary Disorders, and
Blood Resources is attended by nearly 600 individuals.
October 1113, 1992. The First
National Conference on Asthma Management is attended by more than 900
October 30, 1992. A celebration of the 20th
anniversary of the NHBPEP is held in conjunction with the NHBPEP Coordinating
Committee meeting. The Fifth Report of the Joint National Committee on the
Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC V) and
the NHBPEP Working Group Report on the Primary Prevention of
Hypertension are released.
June 10, 1993. The
NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (P.L. 10343) establishes the NCSDR within
June 15, 1993. The Second Report
of the Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood
Cholesterol in Adults (ATP II) is released to the public at a press
conference held in conjunction with the NCEP Coordinating Committee meeting.
January 30, 1995.
Results of the Multicenter Study of Hydroxyurea (MSH) are released through a
clinical alert. They demonstrate that hydroxyurea reduced the number of painful
episodes by 50 percent in severely affected adults with SCD. This is the first
effective treatment for adult patients with this disorder.
September 1995. The NHLBI funds a new
Program of Specialized Centers of Research in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Biology,
which is designed to advance our knowledge of stem cell biology and enhance our
ability to achieve successful stem cell therapy to cure genetic and acquired
September 21, 1995. Results of the
Bypass Angioplasty Revascularization Investigation are released through a
clinical alert. They demonstrate that patients on drug treatment for diabetes
who had blockages in two or more coronary arteries and were treated with
coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery had, at 5 years, a death rate
markedly lower than that of similar patients treated with angioplasty. The
clinical alert recommends CABG over standard angioplasty for patients on drug
therapy for diabetes who have multiple coronary blockages and are first-time
candidates for either procedure.
November 56, 1995. The first
Conference on Socioeconomic Status (SES) and Cardiovascular Health and Disease
is held to determine future opportunities and needs for research on SES factors
and their relationships with cardiovascular health and disease.
December 45, 1995. A
celebration of the 10th anniversary of the NCEP is held in conjunction with the
NCEP Coordinating Committee meeting. Results of the 1995 Cholesterol Awareness
Surveys of physicians and the public are released.
May 1996. The
NHLBI announces results from the Framingham Heart Study that conclude earlier
and more aggressive treatment of hypertension is vital to preventing congestive
heart failure. The Treatment of Mild Hypertension Study (TOMHS) demonstrates
that lifestyle changessuch as weight loss, a healthy eating plan, and
physical activityare crucial for reducing blood lipids in those treated
for Stage I hypertension.
September 1996. Findings from the
Asthma Clinical Research Network (ACRN) show that for people with asthma,
taking an inhaled beta-agonist at regularly scheduled times is safe but
provides no greater benefit than taking the medication only when asthma
symptoms occur. The recommendation to physicians who treat patients with mild
asthma is to prescribe inhaled beta-agonists only on an as-needed basis.
November 13, 1996. The NHLBI releases
findings from two studies, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Trial
and Trial of Nonpharmacologic Intervention in the Elderly (TONE). The DASH
Trial demonstrates that a diet low in fat and high in vegetables, fruits,
fiber, and low-fat dairy products significantly and quickly lowers blood
pressure. The TONE shows that weight loss and reduction of dietary sodium
safely reduce the need for antihypertensive medication in older patients while
keeping their blood pressure under control.
Definitive results from the Pathobiological Determinants of Atherosclerosis in
Youth (PDAY) program are published. They show that atherosclerosis develops
before age 20 and that the following risk factors affect the progression of
atherosclerosis equally in women and men, regardless of race: low
high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, high low-density lipoprotein (LDL)
cholesterol, and cigarette smoking.
February 24, 1997. The National
Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) releases the Expert Panel
Report 2, Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma to the public
at a press conference held in conjunction with a meeting of the American
Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology in San Francisco.
May 8, 1997. Results of the
Antiarrhythmic Versus Implantable Defibrillator (AVID) clinical trial are
presented. They show that an implantable cardiac defibrillator reduces
mortality compared to pharmacologic therapy in patients at high risk for sudden
September 1997. The Stroke Prevention
Trial in Sickle Cell Anemia (STOP) is terminated early because prophylactic
transfusion resulted in a 90 percent relative decrease in the stroke rate among
children 2 to 16 years old.
September 1997. The Institute's
National Sickle Cell Disease Program celebrates its 25th anniversary.
October 1997. The NHLBI commemorates
the 50th anniversary of the Institute's inception. A publication prepared for
the Institute's anniversaryVital Signs: Discoveries in Diseases of the
Heart, Lungs, and Blooddocuments the remarkable research advances
of the past 50 years.
October 1, 1997. The WHI, initiated
in 1991, is transferred to the NHLBI.
November 6, 1997. The Sixth
Report of the Joint National Committee on the Prevention, Detection,
Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC VI) is released at a
press conference held in conjunction with the 25th anniversary meeting and
celebration of the NHBPEP Coordinating Committee.
December 1997. Findings from the
Trial To Reduce Alloimmunization to Platelets (TRAP) demonstrate that leucocyte
reduction by filtration or ultraviolet B irradiation of plateletsboth
methods are equally effectivedecreases development of lymphocytotoxic
antibodies and alloimmune platelet refractoriness.
February 1998. The
Task Force on Behavioral Research in Cardiovascular, Lung, and Blood Health and
Diseaseestablished in November 1995 to develop a plan for future NHLBI
biobehavioral research in cardiovascular, lung, and blood diseases and sleep
disorderspresents its recommendations. The report outlines a set of
scientific priorities and develops a comprehensive plan for support over the
next several years.
February 1921, 1998. The NHLBI
and cosponsorsCalifornia CVD Prevention Coalition; California Department
of Health Services; CVD Outreach, Resources, and Epidemiology Program; and the
University of California, San Franciscohold Cardiovascular Health:
Coming Together for the 21st Century, A National Conference, in San Francisco.
March 16, 1998. A special symposium
is held at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and
Immunology to celebrate 50 years of NHLBI-supported science.
June 17, 1998. The NHLBI, in
cooperation with the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
Diseases (NIDDK), releases Clinical Guidelines on the Identification,
Treatment, and Evaluation of Overweight and Obesity in Adults: Evidence
December 11, 1998. World Asthma Day
is established on this date. The NAEPP launches the Asthma Management Model
System, an innovative Web-based information management tool.
March 1999. The
ARDS Network Study of Ventilator Management in ARDS is stopped early so that
critical care specialists can be alerted to the results. The study demonstrated
that approximately 25 percent fewer deaths occurred among intensive care
patients with ARDS receiving small, rather than large, breaths of air from a
March 22, 1999. The NAEPP holds its
10th anniversary meeting and celebration to recognize a decade of progress and
a continued commitment to the future.
August 1999. Results of the Early
Revascularization for Cardiogenic Shock are released. They show improved
survival at 6 months in patients treated with balloon angioplasty or coronary
bypass surgery compared with patients who receive intensive medical care to
stabilize their condition.
September 2729, 1999. The NHLBI
sponsors the National Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention:
Meeting the Healthy People 2010 Objectives for Cardiovascular Health.
November 2, 1999. The NAEPP convenes
a Workshop on Strengthening Asthma Coalitions: Thinking Globally, Acting
Locally to gather information from coalition representatives on ways the NAEPP
could support their efforts.
November 23, 1999. The NHLBI
sponsors a Workshop on Research Training and Career Development.
March 8, 2000. A
part of the Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment To Prevent Heart
Attack Trial (ALLHAT) is terminated early because one of the tested drugs, an
alpha-adrenergic blocker, was found to be less effective than the more
traditional diuretic in reducing some forms of CVD.
March 29, 2000. The NHLBI launches
the Web-based Healthy People 2010 Gateway to provide information and resources
on cardiovascular health, asthma, sleep, and minority populations.
April 25, 2000. The NHLBI sponsors a
special expert meeting, Scientific Frontiers in Cardiothoracic Surgery, to
discuss the future of cardiothoracic research.
September 2000. NHLBI-supported
investigators identify a gene for primary pulmonary hypertension.
October 2000. Results from the
Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP) demonstrate that inhaled
corticosteroids are safe and effective for long-term treatment of children with
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Results of the DASH-Sodium Trial are released. They show that dietary sodium
reduction substantially lowers blood pressure in persons with high blood
pressure; the greatest effect occurs when sodium reduction is combined with the
February 2001. The NHLBI launches a
sleep education program for children, using star sleeper Garfield the Cat.
February 1, 2001. The
NHLBIalong with the HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health
Promotion, the Office of the Surgeon General, the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC), the NINDS, and the American Heart Associationsigns
a memorandum of understanding to focus and coordinate their efforts to meet the
Healthy People 2010 objectives on cardiovascular health.
March 2627, 2001. A strategy
development workshop, "Women's Heart Health: Developing a National Health
Education Action Plan," is held to develop an agenda for the NHLBI's new heart
health education effort directed at women.
April 2001. The NHLBI releases the
international guidelines for diagnosis, management, and prevention of COPD.
April 2001. NHLBI-supported
investigators identify genes that regulate human cholesterol levels.
May 2001. The NHLBI releases the
NCEP's Third Report of the Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and
Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (ATP III).
June 2001. NHLBI-supported
investigators find that human heart muscle cells regenerate after a heart
July 2001. A self-contained
artificial heart is implanted in a patient for the first time.
August 2001. Early results from the
National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT) identify characteristics of patients
at high risk for death following lung volume reduction surgery.
August 2001. Scientists from the
NHLBI SCOR program at Yale University identify two genes responsible for
pseudohypoaldosteronism type II, a rare Mendelian form of high blood pressure.
These genes encode for protein kinases involved in a previously unknown pathway
and may provide new targets for therapy.
September 10, 2001. The NHLBI, along
with the American Heart Association and other partners, launches "Act in Time
to Heart Attack Signs," a national campaign to increase awareness of the signs
of heart attack and the need for a fast response.
October 2001. NHLBI-supported
scientists report that the drug, infliximab, increases risk of TB reactivation
and dissemination. The drug is used to treat refractory rheumatoid arthritis
and Crohn's disease and is proposed as a treatment for several chronic lung
November 2001. Results of the
Randomized Evaluation of Mechanical Assistance for the Treatment of Chronic
Heart Failure Trial demonstrate that using an implanted left ventricular assist
device can prolong survival and improve quality of life in severely ill
patients who are not candidates for heart transplantation.
December 2001. For the first time,
scientists correct SCD in mice using gene therapy.
April 10, 2002.
The World Hypertension League (WHL) and the NHLBI hold an international
symposium; subsequently they prepare an action plan at the WHL Council
Conference to control hypertension and obesity.
April 1113, 2002. The NHLBI and
cosponsorsthe HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, the
CDC, the American Heart Association, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid
Services, and the Health Resources and Services Administrationhold a
national conference, "Cardiovascular Health for All: Meeting the
Challenge of Healthy People 2010."
June 2002. The NAEPP issues an update
of selected topics in the Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of
June 2002. The fourth edition of
The Management of Sickle Cell Disease, which describes the current
approach to counseling SCD patients and managing many of the medical
complications of SCD, is issued to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the
NHLBI Sickle Cell Program.
July 9, 2002. The NHLBI stops early
the trial of the estrogen plus progestin component of the WHI due to increased
breast cancer risk and lack of overall benefits. The multicenter trial also
found increases in CHD, stroke, and pulmonary embolism in participants on
estrogen plus progestin compared to women taking placebo pills.
August 2002. NHLBI-supported
scientists identify a gene variant that is associated with arrhythmia in
December 4, 2002. Results of the
Atrial Fibrillation Follow-Up Investigation of Rhythm Management Trial (AFFIRM)
indicate that rate control rather than rhythm control may be the preferred
approach for patients with atrial fibrillation. The rate control strategy
involves the use of less expensive drugs and results in fewer hospitalizations.
December 17, 2002. Results of the
ALLHAT, the largest hypertension clinical trial ever conducted, show that less
expensive traditional diuretics are at least as good as newer medicines
(calcium channel blocker and ACE inhibitors) in treating high blood pressure
and preventing some forms of heart disease.
January 23, 2002. An NHLBI-supported
study demonstrates that magnetic resonance imaging can be used to detect heart
attacks faster and more accurately than traditional methods in patients who
arrive at the emergency room with chest pain.
February 24, 2002. The Prevention of
Recurrent Venous Thromboembolism Trial is stopped early because treatment with
low-dose warfarin to prevent recurrence of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary
embolism was so beneficial.
Results of the MSH Patients' Follow-Up Study show that the adult patients who
took hydroxyurea over a 9-year period experienced a 40 percent reduction in
deaths. Survival was related to fetal hemoglobin levels and frequency of
April 23, 2003. Results of the
PREMIER trial of behavioral lifestyle interventions for blood pressure control
show that individuals with prehypertension or stage I hypertension can lower
their blood pressure by making multiple lifestyle changes.
May 14, 2003. The Seventh Report
of the Joint National Committee on the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and
Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC VII) is released.
May 22, 2003. The NETT finds that
lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) benefits emphysema patients with certain
clinical characteristics. The findings will be useful in the determination of
Medicare coverage policy.
July 2003. The NHLBI and Gen-Probe
Corporation succeed in developing a test to screen donated blood for the West
August 2003. The NHLBI establishes a
partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to advance
research on cardiovascular, respiratory, and blood diseases.
November 2003. The Public Access
Defibrillation Trial demonstrates that use of an automated external
defibrillator and CPR by trained community volunteers can increase survival for
victims of sudden cardiac arrest.
March 2004. The
NIH stops the estrogen-alone component of the WHI early due to the increased
risk of stroke and deep vein thrombosis. Estrogen does not appear to affect
March 2004. Preliminary results of
the Sudden Cardiac Death in Heart Failure Trial demonstrate that an implantable
cardiac defibrillator can reduce death in heart failure patients.
July 2004. The NHLBI releases
an update to the 2001 NCEP ATP III guidelines on the treatment of high blood
cholesterol in adults.
August 2004. The NHBPEP Working
Group on High Blood Pressure in Children and Adolescents releases the
Fourth Report on the Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood
Pressure in Children and Adolescents.
August 2004. An NHLBI-funded
study shows that nucleic acid amplification testing for HIV-1 and hepatitis C
virus (HCV) further safeguards the Nation's blood supply.
October 2004. Results from a new
study of adults with mild asthma by researchers participating in the ACRN
demonstrate that genes affect patient response, over time, to daily doses of
inhaled albuterol, a drug used for relief of acute asthma symptoms. A few weeks
of its regular use improves overall asthma control in individuals with one form
of the gene, but stopping all use of albuterol eventually improves asthma
control in those with another form of the gene. The findings could lead to
better ways to individualize asthma therapy.
November 2004. Results of the
Prevention of Events With Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibition (PEACE)
demonstrate that many heart disease patients who are already receiving
state-of-the-art therapy do not gain extra cardiovascular protection from ACE
December 2004. The NHLBI stops early
the Stroke Prevention in Sickle Cell Anemia Trial II (STOP II) so that
physicians who treat children with sickle cell anemia can be alerted to its
findings. STOP II, which is a study to determine whether children with sickle
cell anemia and at high risk for stroke could at some point safely stop
receiving the periodic blood transfusions that prevent strokes, shows that
children revert to high risk for stroke when transfusions are stopped.
January 2005. The
NHLBI issues new guidelines for managing asthma during pregnancy.
January 2005. Results from Sudden
Cardiac Death in Heart Failure (SCD-HeFT) show that patients with class II or
class III heart failure and left ventricular ejection fraction of 35 percent or
less have improved survival with implantable cardiac defibrillators. There is
no benefit with amiodarone.
January 26, 2005. Dr. Elizabeth G.
Nabel is appointed Director of the NHLBI. She succeeds Dr. Claude Lenfant.
February 2005. NHLBI-supported
scientists identify two genetic mutations common in individuals of African
descent that are associated with a 40 percent reduction in LDL cholesterol.
June 1, 2005. HHS Secretary Mike
Leavitt announces the launch of We Can!, Ways to Enhance Children's
Activity & Nutrition, a national education program from the NIH to prevent
overweight and obesity among youth ages 813 years.
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February 15, 2006.
Results from the WHI Calcium and Vitamin D Trial show that calcium and vitamin
D supplements in healthy postmenopausal women provide a modest improvement in
bone mass preservation and prevent hip fractures in certain groups, including
older women, but do not prevent other types of fractures or colorectal cancer.
May 10, 2006. Results from the
Childhood Asthma Research and Education (CARE) Network show that daily
treatment with inhaled corticosteroids can reduce breathing problems in
preschool-aged children at high risk for asthma, but does not prevent them from
developing persistent asthma.
May 31, 2006. The Prospective
Investigation of Pulmonary Embolism Diagnosis (PIOPED) II finds that the
ability to diagnose pulmonary embolism is improved when a commonly used imaging
test of the chest to detect potentially deadly blood clots in the lung is
complemented by an extension of the scan to the legswhere the clots
typically originateor by a standard clinical assessment.
June 6, 2006. Results from the Should
We Emergently Revascularize Occluded Coronaries for Cardiogenic Shock (SHOCK)
trial show that treating heart attack patients who have a life-threatening
complication called cardiogenic shock with emergency angioplasty or bypass
surgery greatly improves their long-term survival.
July 18, 2006. NHLBI scientists find
that a hormone called brain natriuretic peptide or BNP, which can be detected
in a simple blood test, can identify patients with SCD who have developed a
life-threatening complication called pulmonary hypertension. The hormone is
also a predictor of death in adult sickle cell patients.
July 26, 2006. Results from two
randomized clinical trials demonstrate that inhaled nitric oxide administered
within the first few weeks of life helps prevent chronic lung disease in some
low birthweight premature infants. Moreover, when administered within 48 hours
after birth, it appears to protect some premature newborns from brain injury.
September 19, 2006. The NHLBI
launches a peripheral artery disease awareness and education campaign, "Stay in
Circulation: Take Steps To Learn About P.A.D." (peripheral artery
January 18, 2007.
The NHLBI launches the Learn More Breathe Better campaign to increase COPD
awareness among primary care physicians and the public.
August 29, 2007. The NAEPP issues the
Expert Panel Report 3: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of
AsthmaFull Report 2007, an update of the latest scientific evidence
and recommendations for clinical practice on asthma care.
October 1, 2007. The NHLBI launches
an open access dataset for researchers worldwide. Known as SNP Health
Association Resource (SHARe), the Web-based dataset will enable qualified
researchers to access data from large population-based studies, starting with
the landmark Framingham Heart Study. It is expected to accelerate discoveries
linking genes and health, thereby advancing understanding of the causes and
prevention of CVD and other disorders.
October 8, 2007. Mario Capecchi and
Oliver Smithies, who are researchers supported by the NHLBI, are awarded the
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their creation of a gene-targeting
technique that allows scientists to create transgenic mice that are genetically
modified to develop human diseases.
December 3, 2007. The NHLBI announces
a new strategic plan to guide its next decade of research, training, and
education to reduce the national burden of cardiovascular, lung, and blood
diseases and sleep disorders.
December 10, 2007. Results of the
Occluded Artery Trial (OAT) are incorporated into practice guidelines:
The American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association's 2007
Focused Update of the 2004 Guidelines for the Management of Patients With
ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction. The guidelines discourage percutaneous
coronary intervention of a totally occluded artery late in the course of
myocardial infarction in the absence of symptoms if patients are stable and do
not have evidence of severe ischemia.
January 28, 2008.
Results from the ALLHAT demonstrate that in peopleespecially
blackswho have high blood pressure as part of metabolic syndrome,
diuretics offer greater protection against CVD, including heart failure, and
are at least as effective for lowering blood pressure as newer, more expensive
February 2008. The NHLBI stops one
treatment arm of the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD)
clinical trial of adults who have type 2 diabetes at high risk for heart attack
and stroke after a review of available data showed that participants following
a medical strategy to lower blood glucose below current recommendations to
near-normal levels increased the risk of death compared with a standard
treatment strategy. All participants now follow a medical strategy to reach the
standard blood sugar levels while the lipid and blood pressure components of
the study continue.
February 2008. An independent panel
convened by the NIH concludes that the use of hydroxyurea for treating SCD
should be increased among adolescents and adults who have the disease.
February 29, 2008. The NHLBI issues
the first U.S. guidelines for the diagnosis and management of von Willebrand
Disease, the most common inherited bleeding disorder.
March 2008. The NHLBI announces a
comprehensive restructuring of its SCD research program to take advantage of
new scientific opportunities and make SCD resources more widely available.
March 4, 2008. The WHI Follow-up
Study confirms that the health risks of long-term combination hormone therapy
outweigh the benefits for postmenopausal women. Researchers report that about 3
years after women stopped taking combination hormone therapy, many of the
health effects of hormonessuch as increased risk of heart
diseaseare diminished but overall risks of stroke, blood clots, and
cancer remain high.
March 5, 2008. Scientists report that
they have identified the variants of the gene VKORC1 that determine a patient's
initial response to treatment with the blood-thinning (anticoagulant) drug
warfarin. The finding is expected to enhance the ability of physicians to
tailor the dosage of warfarin for individual patients.
April 2008. NHLBI-supported
researchers identify gene variants associated with increased susceptibility to
asthma and reduced lung function in three study populations. Risk for
developing asthma is linked to variants in a gene called CHI3L1, which can be
measured by checking levels of an inherited blood protein that it regulates.
April 8, 2008. Results from the Stop
Atherosclerosis in Native Diabetic Study (SANDS) show that aggressively
lowering cholesterol and blood pressure levels below current targets in adults
with type 2 diabetes may help to prevent, and possibly reverse, hardening of
April 14, 2008. The NHLBI, along with
the NCI and National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), signs a
letter of intent with the Center for Genomic Medicine in Japan to create a
Global Alliance for Pharmacogenomics to identify genetic factors that
contribute to individual responses to medicines, including rare and dangerous
side effects. Research results will eventually allow physicians to ensure the
safety and optimize the effectiveness of drugs for each patient.
August 18, 2008. The NHLBI launches
an educational Web site, "Children and Clinical Studies," which features
documentary videos, text, and graphics designed to promote a better
understanding of research in children for health care professionals and the
September 15, 2008. The Surgeon
General's Call to Action To Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary
Embolism is released. The Call to Action, which urges a
coordinated, multifaceted plan to reduce the number of cases of deep vein
thrombosis and pulmonary embolism nationwide, resulted from a Surgeon General's
Workshop on Deep Vein Thrombosis co-sponsored by the NHLBI.
September 25, 2008. Researchers
announce that they have developed a genetically altered animal model for CF
that closely matches the characteristics of the disease in humans.
October 6, 2008. NIH scientists show
that tipifarnib, an experimental anticancer drug, can prevent, and even
reverse, potentially fatal cardiovascular damage in a mouse model of progeria
(rare genetic disorder that causes the most dramatic form of human premature
December 15, 2008. The NHLBI expands
its open-access dataset of genetic and clinical data to include information
collected from three NHLBI-funded asthma research networks: ACRN, CAMP,
December 19, 2008. Researchers
identify a gene that directly affects the production of a form of hemoglobin
that is instrumental in modifying the severity of SCD and thalassemia.
March 29, 2009.
Results from the Surgical Treatment for Ischemic Heart Failure (STICH) study
show that surgery to reshape the scarred left ventricle, the main pumping
chamber of the heart, often performed in conjunction with coronary bypass
surgery, fails to reduce deaths and hospitalizations in heart failure patients
and does not improve quality of life compared with bypass alone.
June 5, 2009. Results from the Bypass
Angioplasty Revascularization in Type 2 Diabetics (BARI 2D) study in patients
with diabetes and stable coronary artery disease indicate that while
revascularization can be delayed for many patients receiving optimal medical
therapy, patients with extensive coronary artery disease do better with prompt
bypass surgery than with medical therapy alone.
June 10, 2009. The NHLBI joins with
UnitedHealth Group's Chronic Disease Initiative to launch a worldwide network
of research and training centers to build institutional and community capacity
to prevent and control chronic diseases globally
July 28, 2009. The NHLBI stops the
Sildenafil for Sickle Cell Disease-Associated Pulmonary Hypertension study
after an interim review of the safety data shows that participants who are
taking sildenafil are significantly more likely to have serious medical
problems (e.g. , severe pain called sickle cell crises) compared with
participants on placebo.
August 16, 2009. Results from the
Exome Project demonstrate the feasibility and value of isolating and sequencing
all exons for identifying relatively rare genetic variants that may cause or
contribute to disease. By focusing on the exome, important information about an
individual can be obtained at a much lower cost than sequencing a person's
August 19, 2009. Results from Sleep
Heart Health Study show that moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea is
associated with an increased risk of death in middle-aged adults, especially
October 2009. The Division of
Cardiovascular Sciences is created by combining two previously existing
divisions, the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and the Division of
Prevention and Population Sciences, so that the administrative structure better
matches the dynamic interaction that exists among basic, clinical, and
December 9, 2009. Scientists, using a
modified blood adult stem-cell transplant regimen, reverse SCD in 9 of 10
adults who had been severely affected by the disease.
May 2010. The
NHLBI launches the National Asthma Control Initiative to improve asthma control
in patients by bringing asthma care in line with evidence-based recommendations
from theExpert Panel Report 3 Guidelines for the Diagnosis and
Management of Asthma and its companion document, Guidelines
Implementation Panel ReportPartners Putting Guidelines Into Action.
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