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American Heart Association 2008 Wrap-Up Report: Top Research Advances Include Studies That Influence Medical Care, Apply Science To 'Real World' Communities
Date:1/21/2009

DALLAS, Jan. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Clinical studies that may influence medical care and research that demonstrates how science can be effectively applied in the real world top the list of cardiovascular disease and stroke advances from 2008, said Timothy Gardner, M.D., president of the American Heart Association.

The American Heart Association has been compiling an annual list of the top 10 major advances in heart disease and stroke research since 1996.

"It's always difficult to choose from among such a broad array of new discoveries," Gardner said. "This year we included not only novel work in fundamental or basic science, but also important clinical studies that we believe will influence medical care in the future. In addition, we have chosen a number of studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of science applied in the real world, from hospitals to schools to whole communities. These implementation studies are of increasing importance as we try to determine how best to translate basic and clinical science for the benefit of the public."

Achievements in 2008 include:

1. Breathing cleaner air.

Smoke-free legislation and hospitalizations for acute coronary syndrome

Data regarding the dangers of first-hand smoke exposure is generally accepted, but the concept that secondhand smoke exposure can cause serious harm still meets resistance. This has made passing effective clean air legislation more difficult, though there has been substantial progress, with many states in the United States and several European countries passing smoke-free legislation. Previous studies of the effects of such legislation in individual towns and cities, while positive, have been criticized by some for lack of controls and incomplete data collection. However, a study in 2008, addressing many of these concerns, makes a very strong case for this type of public health
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SOURCE American Heart Association
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