The Globalisation of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Diseases in the World−Society : a Case Study with a Special Focus on Heart Failure

While there has been a shift of attention in global health towards non-communicablediseases, we still know little about the social mechanisms that have allowed these diseases to emergeas topics of global concern. We employ a sociological approach to globalisation in order to reconstructhow cardiology, with our special focus being on heart failure research, has become global, andthereby placed cardiovascular diseases on the agenda of global health. Following sociological theoriesof world–society and world–polity, we identify a number of preconditions that had to be met sothat the globalisation of cardiology could set in. Amongst them were technological innovations,the emergence of an organisational infrastructure on the national level, the appearance of cardiologicaljournals,and an internationallystandardised nomenclature. More recently, new drugs and treatmentstrategies, new specialist journals, and new international standards allowed the subspeciality of heartfailure to globalise. Our findings are based on the history and sociology of cardiology, and on ouranalysis of a broad range of other documents, including scientific articles, guidelines, and policydocuments. Additionally, our analysis included two datasets, one containing information on nationalcardiac societies, and the other containing data on publication output in cardiology.


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