Framingham Heart Study
a longitudinal study begun in 1948 in which there is and has been continuous gathering of data on the health and habits of the adult inhabitants of Framingham, Massachusetts. Data from this study have shown relationships between cardiovascular disease and such variables as smoking, diet, lack of exercise, and other facets of a person's lifestyle.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.
Fram·ing·ham Heart Stud·y
the first major U.S. study of the epidemiology of cardiovascular disease, begun in Framingham, Massachusetts, in 1948 under the auspices of the National Heart Institute (now the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) and still in operation. Initially the Framingham researchers enrolled 5209 men and women between the ages of 30 and 60 to study the evolution of heart disease and identify risk factors for heart attack. In 1971, the Framingham Offspring Study enrolled 5,124 adult children of original study participants along with their spouses, and in 2001 the Third Generation Study recruited some 3,500 grandchildren of original enrollees.
Framingham, about 20 miles west of Boston, was chosen as the site of this long-term epidemiologic study because it was close to major medical centers and had participated in an earlier population-based investigation of tuberculosis. Participants undergo periodic physical examination, electrocardiography, and laboratory testing. The Framingham study has produced more than 1,000 scientific papers and has had a major impact on the modern understanding of cardiovascular disease and the prevention and treatment not only of heart attack but also of stroke. During the 1960s, cigarette smoking, elevated cholesterol, hypertension, obesity, and lack of exercise were all statistically confirmed to be risk factors for heart attack. In succeeding years, the study provided valuable information on triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, mitral valve prolapse, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, stroke, diabetes, cardiovascular risk factors in ethnic minorities, and the role of estrogen in preventing heart attack in postmenopausal women. The current emphasis is on identifying genetic and molecular risk factors for heart disease and other cardiovascular disorders.
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Framingham Heart Study, Framingham Study [named for Framingham, MA, the town where the investigation took place]
A study of the risk factors that contribute to the development of coronary artery disease and stroke, performed with a group of about 5000 residents of a small New England town under the auspices of the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute). The study began shortly after World War II and has followed a cohort of individuals, aged 30-62, for signs and symptoms of atherosclerotic vascular disease and those physical findings and lifestyle choices that contribute to the development of the disease. In 1971, 5124 children of the original cohort were enrolled in the study, and in 2002, a third generation of townspeople were enrolled in an attempt to further understand genetic factors that contribute to the development of heart attack and stroke. The Framingham study identified the major acknowledged risk factors for vascular disease: diabetes, high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, and smoking. The Framingham database has also been used to explore illnesses other than heart disease, including arthritis, dementia, lung disease, osteoporosis, and a wide variety of genetic illnesses.
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