Harvard Heart Letter

Heart Beat: On the links to recovery

Heart Beat

On the links to recovery

Fifty years ago, in February 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower spent ten days golfing and quail hunting around a Georgia plantation owned by his friend, Treasury Secretary George Humphrey. That sporting vacation, Eisenhower's first since suffering a heart attack the September before, represented a milestone for Ike (Time magazine called it a "psychological breakthrough") and for heart attack survivors then and now.

Before the 1950s, strict bed rest followed by months of limited activity was thought to be the best medicine after a heart attack. Returning to work was the exception rather than the rule.

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