History of Medicine Section, Wednesday 21st November 2012

21/11/2012 in Frederick House, South Frederick Street, Dublin 2

Edward Smyth: The Father of Cardiovascular  Epidemiology

Presented by Prof Alun Evans, QUB

Summary: William Heberden coined the term Angina Pectoris in 1768 but did not publish the case until 1772. Four years later John Fothergill communicated a case to a Society of Physicians in London on behalf of David MacBride of Dublin.

In this paper the predisposing causes of Angina Pectoris wree discussed in depth. The source of these remarkable insights was not divulged because the person did no choose “to have his name mentioned”. A review of MacBride’s book, published in Dublin in 1777, gave the source as Edward Smyth, who was President of the College of Physicians of Ireland in 1747.