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 |
2010 | 2011 | 2012
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.
January 1949. 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 institutions.
July 1, 1949. The NHI Intramural Research Program is established and organized
on three general research levels consisting of three laboratory sections, five
laboratory–clinical 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.
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
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."
1959. The American Heart Association and the NHI present a
report to the Nation—A Decade of Progress Against
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.
1961. Dr. Ralph E. Knutti is appointed Director of the
NHI, succeeding Dr. Watt, who becomes head of international activities
for the PHS.
1963. February is designated as "American Heart Month" by a
unanimous joint resolution of Congress with approval from President Lyndon B. Johnson.
22–24, 1964. The Second National Conference on Cardiovascular
Diseases—cosponsored by the American Heart Association, the NHI, and the Heart
Disease Control Program of the PHS—is 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.
1964. The President's Commission on Heart Disease, Cancer, and
Stroke—appointed by President Johnson on March 7, 1964—submits its report to
"recommend steps that can be taken to reduce the burden and incidence of these
1965. Dr. William H. Stewart assumes the Directorship of
the NHI upon Dr. Knutti's retirement.
1965. Dr. William H. Stewart, NHI Director, is named
Surgeon General of the PHS.
1965. In FY 1966, Supplemental Appropriations Act (P.L. 89–199)
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.
1966. Dr. Robert P. Grant succeeds Dr. Stewart as
Director of the NHI. Dr. Grant serves until his death on August 15,
1966. Dr. Donald S. Fredrickson is appointed Director of
1968. Dr. Theodore Cooper succeeds Dr. Fredrickson
as Director of the NHI, the latter electing to return to research activities
with the Institute.
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.
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. "
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 administrative management).
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 functions.
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.
1972. The National Sickle Cell Anemia Control Act (P.L. 92–294)
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
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.
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 Affairs (DEA).
1972. The National Heart, Blood Vessel, Lung, and Blood Act of
1972 (P.L. 92–423) 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.
1973. The first Five-Year Plan for the National Heart, Blood
Vessel, Lung, and Blood Program is transmitted to the President and to
1973. The National Heart and Lung Advisory Council completes its
First Annual Report on the National Program.
1974. The Director of the NHLI forwards his First Annual Report
on the National Program to the President for transmittal to Congress.
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.
1976. Legislation amending the PHS Act (P.L. 94–278) 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.
1977. The Biomedical Research Extension Act of 1977 (P.L. 95–83)
reauthorizes the programs of the NHLBI, with continued emphasis on both the
national program and related prevention and dissemination activities.
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1978. The NHLBI and the American Heart Association jointly
celebrate their 30th anniversaries.
1979. 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
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 treatment.
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. "
1980. The Health Programs Extension Act of 1980 (P.L. 96–538)
reauthorizes the NHLBI, with continued emphasis on both the national program
and related prevention programs.
1981. The Working Group on Arteriosclerosis—convened in 1978 to
assess present understanding, highlight unresolved problems, and emphasize
opportunities for future research in arteriosclerosis—completes 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.
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.
1982. Dr. Claude Lenfant is appointed Director of the
NHLBI. He succeeds Dr. Levy.
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 mild hypertension.
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
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.
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
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.
1984. An NHLBI–NIH 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.
April 1985. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Research. "
1986. The citizens of Framingham, Massachusetts, are presented a
tribute by the Assistant Secretary, HHS, for their participation in the
Framing-ham Heart Study over the past 40 years.
1987. The NHLBI commemorates the centennial of the NIH and the
40th anniversary of the Institute's inception. Two publications prepared for
the Institute's anniversary—Forty Years of Achievement in
Heart, Lung, and Blood Research and A Salute to the
Past: A History of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute—document
significant Institute contributions to research and summarize recollections
about the Institute's 40-year history.
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.
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.
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 molecular biology.
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 Indian groups.
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
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 intra-mural laboratories.
1990. The first human gene therapy protocol in history is
undertaken at the NIH. A team of scientists—led by W. French Anderson, NHLBI,
and R. Michael Blaese, NCI—insert 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.
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
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.
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.
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
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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
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 respective countries.
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 hypertension.
1992. The Fourth National Minority Forum on Cardiovascular
Health, Pulmonary Disorders, and Blood Resources is attended by nearly 600
11–13, 1992. The First National Conference on Asthma Management
is attended by more than 900 individuals.
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.
1993. The NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (P.L. 103–43)
establishes the NCSDR within the NHLBI.
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.
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
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 diseases.
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.
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.
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 changes—such as weight loss, a healthy eating plan, and physical
activity—are crucial for reducing blood lipids in those treated for Stage I
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.
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.
1997. 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.
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 cardiac death.
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.
1997. The NHLBI commemorates the 50th anniversary of the
Institute's inception. A publication prepared for the Institute's anniversary—Vital Signs: Discoveries in Diseases of the Heart, Lungs, and
Blood—documents the remarkable research advances of the past 50 years.
1997. The WHI, initiated in 1991, is transferred to the NHLBI.
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
1997. Findings from the Trial To Reduce Alloimmunization to
Platelets (TRAP) demonstrate that leucocyte reduction by filtration or
ultraviolet B irradiation of platelets—both methods are equally
effective—decreases development of lymphocytotoxic antibodies and alloimmune
1998. The Task Force on Behavioral Research in Cardiovascular,
Lung, and Blood Health and Disease—established in November 1995 to develop a
plan for future NHLBI biobehavioral research in cardiovascular, lung, and blood
diseases and sleep disorders—presents its recommendations. The report outlines
a set of scientific priorities and develops a comprehensive plan for support
over the next several years.
19–21, 1998. The NHLBI and cosponsors—California CVD Prevention
Coalition; California Department of Health Services; CVD Outreach, Resources,
and Epidemiology Program; and the University of California, San Francisco—hold
Cardiovascular Health: Coming Together for the 21st Century, A National
Conference, in San Francisco.
1998. A special symposium is held at the annual meeting of the
American Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology to celebrate 50 years of
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 Report.
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 mechanical ventilator.
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.
27–29, 1999. The NHLBI sponsors the National Conference on
Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: Meeting the Healthy People 2010 Objectives
for Cardiovascular Health.
1999. The NAEPP convenes a Work-shop on Strengthening Asthma
Coalitions: Thinking Globally, Acting Locally to gather information from
coalition representatives on ways the NAEPP could support their efforts.
1999. The NHLBI sponsors a Work-shop on Research Training and
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.
2000. The NHLBI launches the Web-based Healthy People 2010
Gateway to provide information and resources on cardiovascular health, asthma,
sleep, and minority populations.
2000. The NHLBI sponsors a special expert meeting, Scientific
Frontiers in Cardiothoracic Surgery, to discuss the future of cardiothoracic
2000. NHLBI-supported investigators identify a gene for primary
2000. Results from the Childhood Asthma Management Program
(CAMP) demonstrate that inhaled corticosteroids are safe and effective for
long-term treatment of children with mild-to-moderate asthma.
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2001. 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 DASH diet.
2001. The NHLBI launches a sleep education program for children,
using star sleeper Garfield the Cat.
2001. The NHLBI—along 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
Association—signs a memorandum of understanding to focus and coordinate their
efforts to meet the Healthy People 2010 objectives on cardiovascular health.
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
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
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
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 diseases.
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
2001. For the first time, scientists correct SCD in mice using
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.
2002. The NHLBI and cosponsors—the HHS Office of Disease
Prevention and Health Pro-motion, the CDC, the American Heart Association, the
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the Health Resources and
Services Administration—hold 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 Manage-ment of Asthma.
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 National Sickle Cell Disease Program.
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 blacks.
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.
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.
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.
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.
April 2003. 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 vaso-occlusive
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
May 22, 2003. The NETT finds that
lung volume reduction surgery benefits emphysema patients with certain clinical
characteristics. The findings will be useful in the determination of Medicare
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 heart disease.
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.
2004. Results of the
Prevention of Events With Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibition Therapy
(PEACE) trial demonstrate that many heart disease patients who are already
receiving state-of-the-art therapy do not gain extra cardiovascular protection
from ACE inhibitors.
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.
2005. The NHLBI issues new guidelines for managing asthma during
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.
2005. Dr. Elizabeth G. Nabel is appointed Director of the
NHLBI. She succeeds Dr. Claude Lenfant.
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.
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 8–13 years.
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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.
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.
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 legs—where the clots typically originate—or by a standard clinical
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.
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.
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.
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 disease).
2007. The NHLBI launches the Learn More Breathe Better campaign
to increase COPD awareness among primary care physicians and the public.
2007. The NAEPP issues the Expert Panel Report 3: Guidelines for the
Diagnosis and Management of Asthma—Full
Report 2007, an update of the latest scientific evidence and
recommendations for clinical practice on asthma care.
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
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.
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.
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.
2008. Results from the ALLHAT demonstrate that in
people—especially blacks—who 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 medications.
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.
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.
2008. The NHLBI issues the first U.S. guidelines for the
diagnosis and management of von Willebrand Disease, the most common inherited
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
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 hormones—such as
increased risk of heart disease—are diminished but overall risks of stroke,
blood clots, and cancer remain high.
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
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.
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 the arteries.
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.
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 public.
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.
2008. Researchers announce that they have developed a
genetically altered animal model for CF that closely matches the
characteristics of the disease in humans.
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 aging).
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, and CARE.
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.
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
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
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 entire genome.
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 men.
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 population sciences.
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 the Expert
Panel Report 3—Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma and its companion document, Guidelines
Implementation Panel Report—Partners Putting Guidelines Into Action.
October 20, 2010. Follow-up findings from the WHI study
of hormone therapy in postmenopausal women show that, in addition to having a
higher incidence of breast cancer, the group treated with estrogen plus
progestin had nearly double the rate of mortality from breast cancer than the
placebo group 5 years after the study drug was discontinued.
April 7, 2011. Results from the STICH study show that
adding bypass surgery to medical therapy for selected patients with chronic
heart failure reduced the combination of deaths and heart-related hospital
stays compared with medical therapy alone.
May 12, 2011. Results from the Pediatric Hydroxyurea
Phase III Clinical Trial (Baby HUG) show that hydroxyurea appears to be safe
for treating SCD in children aged 8–19 months, and can reduce their pain
episodes and improve key blood measurements.
August 24, 2011. Results from the COPD Clinical Research
Network show that adding a common antibiotic to the usual daily treatment
regimen for COPD reduced the occurrence of acute exacerbations and improved the
quality of life of patients.
September 26, 2011. Results from a genome-wide
association study (GWAS) show that asthma patients who have two copies of a
specific gene variant responded only one-third as well to steroid inhalers used
to treat asthma as those with two copies of the normal gene.
October 2011. Research supported in part
by the NHLBI demonstrates that silencing the gene that produces the protein
BCL11A can reactivate fetal hemoglobin production in adult mice bred to have
SCD. The discovery presents a new target for future therapies for people with
October 17, 2011. The NHLBI launches the
National Program to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk, a public-private partnership to
improve control of CVD risk factors.
November 2011. Results from the AIM
HIGH: Niacin Plus Statin To Prevent Vascular Events study show that adding
high dose, extended-release niacin to statin treatment in people with heart and
vascular disease does not reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.
November 9, 2011. The NCSDR releases the
2011 NIH Sleep Disorders Research Plan that identifies research opportunities
to be pursued over the next 3 to 5 years in order to spur new approaches
to prevent and treat sleep disorders and sleep deficiency.
December 2011. Research supported in
part by the NHLBI shows that gene therapy can boost the production of a vital
blood clotting factor in a small group of people with hemophilia B. Results
from the study represent a promising step toward making gene therapy a viable
treatment option for people with hemophilia B.
2011. The NHLBI releases Integrated Guidelines for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction in
Children and Adolescents: The Report of the Expert Panel.
March 2012. An NHLBI comparative
effectiveness study shows that older patients with stable CHD who undergo
bypass surgery have better long-term survival rates than those who undergo a
nonsurgical procedure known as percutaneous coronary intervention to improve
blood flow to the heart muscle.
2012. Dr. Gary Gibbons is
appointed Director of the NHLBI. He succeeds Dr. Elizabeth Nabel.
June 18, 2012. The NHLBI launches the
National Blood Disorders Program, a public-private partnership to improve the
management of SCD.
July 2012. Results of the Rule Out Myocardial Infarction
Using Computed Assisted Tomography study show that, in an emergency department
setting and among patients with symptoms suggestive of acute coronary
syndromes, incorporating computed tomography scans to standard screening
procedures allows hospitals to send home sooner many patients with chest pain
(often directly from an emergency department) without compromising their
August 2012. Research based on work from
the Framingham Heart Study shows that individuals with elevated levels of
galectin 3, a marker of cardiac fibrosis, have an increased risk for heart
failure and mortality.
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