Robert Arthur Bruce

Robert A. Bruce was born on Nov 20, 1916, in Somerville, Massachusetts USA. He has been called the "Father of Exercise Cardiology," and is the developer of the Bruce Protocol Treadmill Test, a standardized treadmill test for diagnosing and evaluating heart and lung disease. The Bruce Test is used by physicians all over the world to test cardiovascular function in patients at risk. The test enables physicians to evaluate heart function while engaging in physical activity, using a standardized and appropriate test for their fitness levels.

Bruce received a BSc degree from Boston College and in 1943 graduated from the University of Rochester School of Medicine, then joined the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Rochester in 1946. Bruce's first studies, published in 1949, analyzed minute-by-minute changes during the treadmill test in respiratory and circulatory function of normal adults and of those with chest diseases, including beryllium workers with chronic lung ailments, in experiments involving a single-stage test, in which patients walked for 10 minutes on the treadmill at a fixed work load.

In 1950, Bruce joined the University of Washington School of Medicine as the first head of cardiology, and subsequently developed the multistage test, consisting of several stages of progressively greater work loads. The multistage test, published in 1963, became known as the Bruce Protocol.

Robert Bruce died on Feb 12, 2004, in Seattle, Washington.

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