Post-World War II
The World Health Organization was founded in 1948 as a United Nations agency to improve global health. In most of the world, life expectancy has improved since then, and was about 67 years as of 2010, and well above 80 years in some countries. Eradication of infectious diseases is an international effort, and several new vaccines have been developed during the post-war years, against infections such as measles, mumps, several strains of influenza and human papilloma virus. The long-known vaccine against Smallpox finally eradicated the disease in the 1970s, and Rinderpest was wiped out in 2011. Eradication of polio is underway. Tissue culture is important for development of vaccines.
As infectious diseases have become less lethal, and the most common causes of death in developed countries are now tumors and cardiovascular diseases, these conditions have received increased attention in medical research. Tobacco smoking as a cause of lung cancer was first researched in the 1920s, but was not widely supported by publications until the 1950s. Cancer treatment has been developed with radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Oral rehydration therapy has been extensively used since the 1970s to treat cholera and other diarrhea-inducing infections.
Hormonal contraception was introduced in the 1950s, and was associated with the sexual revolution, with normalization of abortion and homosexuality. Family planning has been applied around the world, and has promoted a demographic transition in most of the world. With threatening sexually transmitted infections, not least HIV, use of barrier contraception has become imperative. The struggle against HIV has provided no cure, but improved antiretroviral treatments, and in the late 2000s (decade), male circumcision was proved to diminish infection risk.
X-ray imaging was the first kind of medical imaging, and later ultrasonic imaging, CT scanning, MR scanning and other imaging methods became available.
Genetics have advanced with the discovery of the DNA molecule, genetic mapping and gene therapy.
Stem cell research took off in the 2000s (decade), with stem cell therapy as a promising method.
Evidence-based medicine is a modern concept, not introduced to literature until the 1990s.
Prosthetics have improved. In 1958, Arne Larsson in Sweden became the first patient to depend on an artificial cardiac pacemaker. He died in 2001, having outlived its inventor, the surgeon, and 26 pacemakers. Lightweight materials as well as neural prosthetics emerged in the end of the 20th century.
Read more about this topic: History Of Medicine
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Famous quotes containing the word war:
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—Richard Lovelace (16181658)