High blood pressure is a major factor in 65 percent of all heart attacks and 75 percent of all strokes. It contributes to over 788,000 heart deaths and over 189,000 stroke deaths every year, many of which, with proper treatment and control of blood pressure, are preventable.
The saving of lives from these causes is one of the great feats in the history of preventive medicine in this country, and compares with the national decline in deaths in 1946, the year in which penicillin came into general use.
In implementing this project, Dr. Cooper recruited more than 200 major national and state agencies and 2100 local agencies, as well as lay and professional volunteer groups in a massive campaign to establish education, screening and treatment programs against hypertension.
The generous cooperation of the Advertising Council, the media, and pharmaceutical houses has been a major factor in the increased public and professional awareness of the importance of high blood pressure treatment and control.
For his aggressive leadership in mounting the attack which has so successfully contributed to the present dramatic decline in the overall national death rate, by cutting deaths from heart disease and stroke, this Albert Lasker Special Public Service Award is given.