Resting heart rate as a cardiovascular risk factor

Evidence and implications for clinical practice

Stevo Julius, Paolo Palatini

Pubblicazione 2015

Prezzo 30,00 €

From ancient times in China, Egypt and Middle East through classic

Greek and Roman eras until a few centuries ago, healers and physicians

used the pulse as the most important method of assessing a person’s

health. They appreciated the association of tachycardia with serious

diseases and understood that regardless of whether the underlying

cause was infection, pneumonia, anemia or heart failure, the faster the

heart rate the poorer was a patient’s chance of survival. Besides of feeling

the pulse the old time practitioners knew only few other objective

signs of disease. Taking the temperature, observing the color of the

skin, and analyzing the breathing were helpful but in the absence of

laboratory tests our colleagues of yore were unable to confirm their diagnoses.

Of necessity they became artists free to use experience, imagination

and a “feel of the patient” to paint a picture of the disease.

Actually it was not very important whether they were right or wrong

because these old doctors were left in total darkness about how to treat

a disease. There were all sorts of untested “logical” theories of why a

medication may be helpful. Because of the similarity of its color to that

of the blood the red wine was used for anemia and since the blood may

have been poisoned, copious bleeding by venipuncture or leeches was

recommended for just about every disease....

 

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