Medicine: R. F.

The U.S. is being sternly reminded this week—National Heart Week—that medicine is making little headway against public enemy No. i: heart disease. Though heart disease, as obituary columns remind readers every day, is now the biggest killer (nearly 600,000 deaths a year), it gets scant research attention. Even more shocking, says the American Heart Association, is the nation's neglect of the treatable disease known as rheumatic fever.

Rheumatic fever not only kills more U.S. children each year than almost all other diseases combined: it accounts for 40% of all heart trouble.

Launching . "the most comprehensive assault on heart disease ever waged by...

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