The Framingham Heart Study (FHS), the nation’s longest running cohort study with longitudinal analysis of cardiovascular disease, has received a contract renewal for an additional six years and $38 million dollars from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).
The contract period will support examining the elderly groups of the cohort study, the Offspring and Omni 1 cohorts, in hopes of better understanding the biology of aging and determinants of health and disease in older people, as well as examination of the younger generation of the FHS after a couple of years. This examination serves as a platform for newer cutting-edge ancillary studies with the study’s core protocols.Examples of ancillary studies in the older cohort include studying liver fat, platelet function, arterial stiffness, the heart and great vessels and patterns of thousands of circulating blood proteins in the elderly participants.
The funding also allows for continued maintenance of study operations, its data and bio-sample collection as well as follow-up and surveillance of all FHS participants and continued analyses of their data. In its seven decades, the FHS has been responsible for numerous research breakthroughs, including smoking’s contribution to heart disease risk (1960); identifying fundamental risk factors for heart disease (1961); the benefit of physical activity and the risk posed by obesity, with regard to heart disease (1967); heightened stroke risk from high blood pressure (1970); and the importance of so-called good cholesterol in reducing death risk (1988). Now 70 years later, researchers are studying the children (Offspring, Omni 1 cohort) and grandchildren (Generation 3, Omni 2 cohorts) of those original participants, which has led to groundbreaking discoveries in other domains including neurodegenerative diseases, obesity, lung abnormalities and pulmonary fibrosis.
The Framingham Heart Study is led by Boston University Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology,and Principal Investigator and Director of FHS, Vasan S. Ramachandran, MD, FACC.
Boston University has administered the FHS since 1971.
To learn more about the Framingham Heart Study please visit framinghamheartsstudy.org
For investigators interested in developing their own (or collaborating with FHS investigators for) research projects, please visit framinghamheartstudy.org/fhs-for-researchers
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