Our Lifesaving History

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Our Early History

Before the American Heart Association existed, 患有心脏病的人被认为注定要卧床休息,或者注定即将死亡.

但少数先驱医生和社会工作者认为,事情并不一定是这样的. They conducted studies to learn more about heart disease, America’s No. 1 killer. Then, on June 10, 1924, 他们在芝加哥会面,成立了美国心脏协会——相信科学研究可以引领更好的治疗方法, prevention and ultimately a cure. The early American Heart Association enlisted help from hundreds, then thousands, of physicians and scientists.

“We were living in a time of almost unbelievable ignorance about heart disease,” said Paul Dudley White, one of six cardiologists who founded the organization.

In 1948, the association reorganized, 从一个专业的科学协会转变为一个由科学和非专业志愿者组成并由专业人员支持的全国性志愿卫生组织.

Since then, 美国心脏协会在国内和国际上的规模和影响力迅速增长,成为一个拥有3300多万志愿者和支持者的组织,致力于改善心脏健康,减少心血管疾病和中风造成的死亡.



Looking for Answers: Nearly a decade before the formal creation of the American Heart Association, 医生和社会工作者聚集在一起寻找更多关于心脏病之谜的答案.


American Heart Association is Founded: 六名心脏病专家组成了美国心脏协会,作为一个专业的医生协会. One of the founders, Dr. Paul Dudley White, 他将早期描述为对心脏病“几乎令人难以置信的无知”.


Scientific Sessions Begins: 美国心脏协会举办了第一次科学会议,科学家和医疗保健专业人员了解最新的发展. The meeting, held every year since except for during World War II, 已成为美国最大的年度心血管会议和心血管健康社区的主要国际目的地.


Heart Week Kicks Off: First public campaign kicks off in February to celebrate National Heart Week.


The AHA Reorganizes: The AHA reorganizes, 从一个科学社会转变为一个由志愿者组成、有专业工作人员支持的自愿卫生组织. Support for the AHA’s mission becomes much more visible, with fundraising activities taking hold in communities and businesses.

First Research Grant Awarded: The association awards its first research grant, to Nobel Prize winner Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi. 这笔资金帮助资助了有关肌肉(如心脏)收缩所需能量的研究. In all, the AHA has funded 14 Nobel Prize winners, including nine whose AHA-funded work led to the Nobel Prize. 

Life-changing Breakthroughs


Steady Hearts: 体外除颤器首次成功地将人类颤抖的心脏恢复到稳定的节奏. Dr. Paul Zoll leads the study, with funding from the AHA.


First Pacemaker Implanted: The first battery-operated, wearable pacemaker is implanted in a patient. The research leading to this discovery, pioneered by Dr. William Weirich and funded by the AHA, led to the development of the fully implanted pacemakers used today.


Implantable Pacemakers Make Way: The first successful surgeries for completely implantable pacemakers are reported by Dr. William Chardack, who received funding from the AHA. Production of implantable pacemakers quickly gets underway.

The Beginning of Artificial Heart Valve Replacements: The first successful artificial heart valve replacement is performed by Dr. Albert Starr, 谁得到了美国心脏协会的支持,与水力工程师洛厄尔·爱德华兹一起开发机械心脏瓣膜. The Starr-Edwards valve is still used today, along with other artificial heart valves, improving countless lives.


AHA-Funded Research and CPR: AHA-funded research from Drs. William Kouwenhoven, James Jude and Guy Knickerbocker show how CPR can save lives after cardiac arrest. Their research is reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association. We now know that effective bystander CPR can double or triple chances of survival.

Pioneering Microsurgery: Dr. Julius Jacobson performs surgery with the aid of a microscope. He becomes a pioneer in microsurgery with AHA funding. Microsurgery leads to advances in coronary artery surgery, neurosurgery and numerous other procedures.

Recent Achievements


Research Shows Breaths Not Required for CPR: With funding from the AHA, Dr. Gordon Ewy shows uninterrupted, 高质量的胸部按压——不需要口对口呼吸——对于保持重要器官的血液循环非常重要. As a result, 美国心脏协会发布了新的建议,称旁观者可以跳过人工呼吸,使用仅用手的CPR来帮助突然晕倒的成年人.

AHA Issues Statement on Hands-Only CPR: The AHA releases a statement about Hands-Only CPR, 他说,目睹成年人突然昏倒的旁观者应该拨打911,快速用力按压患者的胸部,提供高质量的胸部按压. This is a departure from traditional CPR that requires rescue breaths.

Nobel Prize Awarded to Early AHA-Funded Researcher: Dr. 马丁·查尔菲(Martin Chalfie)因开发出绿色荧光蛋白作为一种可以观察活细胞内部的基因标签而获得2008年诺贝尔化学奖, including heart cells, to better understand how the cells are made and how they work. The AHA funded Chalfie earlier in his career.


AHA Advocacy Efforts Help Lead to Tobacco Oversight: 美国心脏协会在《信誉真人赌博下注》的通过中起到了带头作用. The law lets the FDA regulate tobacco, bans candy-flavored cigarettes and adds large warning labels to tobacco products. Billboard advertising near schools is banned, 烟草公司再也不能改变他们的产品,使其更容易上瘾或做出误导性的健康声明.


2020 Impact Goal Announced: 美国心脏协会宣布了一个主要目标,即到2020年将所有美国人的心血管健康水平提高20%,同时将心血管疾病和中风造成的死亡人数减少20%. Prevention is a major focus of the 2020 Impact Goal.


AHA Leads Heart Disease and Stroke Research Funding: After 65 years of funding research, AHA’s investment in heart disease and stroke research totals more than $3.5 billion. 美国心脏协会是联邦政府以外心脏病和中风研究的主要资助机构.


One Brave Idea: The AHA establishes One Brave Idea, 一项史无前例的研究计划向一个专注于治疗心脏病的团队授予7500万美元. It’s funded through an alliance of the AHA, Verily and AstraZeneca.

AHA Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine: Through the institute, 美国心脏协会为研究人员提供资金,帮助他们挖掘大量数据,以解决一系列心脏病问题. 该研究所开始收集、连接和利用患者的数据,以帮助改善心脏健康.


Resuscitation Quality Improvement Partners: The AHA and Laerdal Medical establish RQI Partners as a legal, 合资企业——朝着实现我们的宏伟愿景迈出了一大步,我们希望世界上没有人死于心脏骤停. 营利性子公司伙伴关系专注于复苏质量改进®项目, HeartCode®产品组合和解决方案正在与复苏学会基金会共同开发.


AHA Grantee wins Nobel Prize: Gregg L. Semenza, M.D., Ph.D., 约翰霍普金斯大学的研究人员因发现细胞如何感知和适应氧气供应而被共同授予2019年诺贝尔生理学或医学奖, the mechanism for one of life’s most essential adaptive processes. He shares the prize with William G. Kaelin Jr., M.D., of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston and Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe, M.D., of the University of Oxford, England, and Francis Crick Institute in London. 他们的合作工作为理解氧气水平如何影响细胞代谢和生理功能奠定了基础, 为有希望的防治心血管疾病和许多其他急性和慢性疾病的新战略铺平了道路, including anemia and cancer. Dr. Semenza has received five AHA research grants. The Association’s support of his now Nobel Prize winning work on HIF-1 began in 1993.

More than 90 years of saving lives


american heart association meeting with Paul Dudley White