Fundamental Cardiovascular Research: Returns on Societal Investment

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Recent decades have witnessed robust successes in conquering the acutely lethal manifestations of heart and vascular diseases. Many patients who previously would have died now survive. Lifesaving successes like these provide a tremendous and easily recognized benefit to individuals and society. Although cardiovascular mortality has declined, the devastating impact of chronic heart disease and comorbidities on quality of life and healthcare resources continues unabated. Future strides, extending those made in recent decades, will require continued research into mechanisms underlying disease prevention, pathogenesis, progression, and therapeutic intervention. However, severe financial constraints currently jeopardize these efforts. To chart a path for the future, this report analyzes the challenges and opportunities we face in continuing the battle against cardiovascular disease and highlights the return on societal investment afforded by fundamental cardiovascular research.

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