For the demonstration of the life-saving effectiveness of drugs in the treatment of moderate hypertension.
In 1964, Dr. Freis, with his colleagues in the Veterans Administration, set up the V.A. Cooperative Study Group on Antihypertensive Agents, for moderate hypertension. The results of this 5-year, 17-hospital study, established two major points:
That drug treatment for moderate hypertension reduced the death rate by more than 50%.
That drug treatment is 67% effective in preventing major complications which arises from cases moderately high blood pressure. These complications include, among others, strokes, congestive heart failure, and kidney failure.
Dr. Freis's study offers a momentous opportunity to clinical medicine. It is an exemplary demonstration of the potential of preventive medicine for saving and prolonging the lives of tens of thousands of Americans. The results of this work justify his belief that with continued and intensive efforts, we can control all of the major cardiovascular diseases—the number-one killer of our people.
For Dr. Freis's dedicated and persistent leadership toward this goal, this 1971 Albert Lasker Clinical Medical Research Award is given.