University of Minnesota

The Search, 1953

In 1953, Eric Sevareid, noted news commentator and University of Minnesota alumnus, narrated a CBS documentary called “The Search” about the first-ever prospective study of coronary heart disease risk initiated in 1947 by Ancel Keys and colleagues at the School of Public Health’s Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene. The nationally televised program explored the origin of the coronary epidemic and causes of personal risk among healthy Twin Cities’ business and professional men, with the view toward prevention. The study established norms for cardiac risk factors and health habits and developed methods for the international Seven Countries Study of heart attack and culture that followed. The Framingham Study, begun by the U.S. Public Health Service in 1948 in Massachusetts, had an adequate sample size to confirm early the now well-known risk factors of diet, blood pressure and cholesterol level, cigarette smoking, ECG findings and diabetes. Shown with permission from CBS News.

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