“Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.”
—Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
In 1953 Ancel Keys, director of the Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene at the University of Minnesota published a paper, which, looking back seems to have been an early kick-off for the cholesterol campaign.
The horizon for the US Public Health Service is too limited, he wrote; any major disease should be prevented, not only those of infectious or occupational origin.
It doesn’t matter that the necessary measures are not yet known. The mere hope that the incidence of a disease may be altered is sufficient reason to invest money and manpower.
What Dr. Keys had in mind was coronary heart disease. This disease is a threat, he continued. While all other diseases are decreasing in the United States, there has been a steady upward trend in the death rate from coronary heart disease. On this particular point the Americans are inferior to other countries; in the US, for instance, four to five times more die from a heart attack than in Italy.
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