Although it had previously been shown that Helicobacter pylori caused gastritis and peptic ulcers, two pioneering studies published in 1991, led by Nomura and Parsonnet, provided strong evidence for an association between H. pylori infection and gastric cancer.
By giving pregnant, HIV positive women zidovudine to the mother before birth, and the newborn after birth, transmission of HIV from mother to newborn was reduced from 25% to 8%. This 1994 article was the first medical success in preventing HIV transmission.
Patients treated with t-PA within three hours of ischemic stroke onset were found to be 30% more likely to have minimal to no disability after three months. Before this 1995 study, strokes had been addressed by prevention, rather than treatment.
Published in 1997, the discovery that a triple combination caused profound and sustained suppression of HIV replication revolutionized treatment for patients with HIV and helped create the standard used today.
A 1997 study found a combination diet of fruits and vegetables with low fat dairy and very little meat (DASH) lowered blood pressure significantly within 2 weeks and kept it down. This diet, along with exercise, is now used commonly to treat high blood pressure.
Past voting rounds selected the beginning of ether anesthesia, the first description of platelets, the beginning of bone marrow transplantation, studies on an attenuated measles vaccine, the first oral ACE inhibitor, and the knowledge that aspirin prevents heart attacks. Next month we’ll vote for 2000-2010, and in September, 2011-2020, predicting possible future advances. What progress do you think we’ll see by 2020? Send us your suggestions.