Valvular heart disease 75 years ago and today

The following text is taken from the book "Modern medical reference" from 1940:

"People should not believe that the main symptoms show an obvious link with the heart. The first complaints are often various digestion problems, headaches, dizziness etc. The cardiac defect is only revealed by precise specialist examination.

Shortness of breath is frequently one of the first complaints: it starts early on and later becomes one of the most troubling symptoms… Breathing becomes increasingly difficult and in the end death is the only release for the patient from his miserable condition. In the great majority of cases it is not possible to cure valvular heart disease because the anatomical changes to the valves cannot be eliminated."

What progress there has been in diagnostic and surgical capabilities over the last 70 years!