University of Minnesota

“If It Isn’t Fun.” – The World Congress of Cardiology, Brussels, 1958

The fall of 1958 was a historical time for our Minnesota laboratory and for the growing field of preventive cardiology. Just before the intense activities of the Seven Countries Study began with its first survey in Yugoslavia, the entire international cardiological clan gathered at the Third World Congress of Cardiology in Brussels, then in the midst of its World’s Fair. We from Minnesota had prominent roles on the scientific program. There were also critical organizational meetings led by Paul Dudley White and Ancel Keys in forming the Research Committee of the International Society of Cardiology (ISC), which was to play a leading role in prevention research for the next decade. There we Young Turks of cardiovascular disease (CVD) epidemiology and prevention first got acquainted and began lifelong collegial relationships: Rautaharju, Punsar, Pyorala, Rose, Kornitzer, Blomquist, Menotti, and me, among others. We basked in the radiance of our leaders who were bringing the new field into the mainstream of cardiology.

Amidst all this excitement in Brussells, Nelly, arrived from Paris. We dove into the social whirl of the Congress and the World’s Fair. They were full and heady days.

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