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Startup of Framingham Heart Study. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death and serious illness in the United States. In 1948, the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) -- under the direction of the National Heart Institute (now known as the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NHLBI) -- embarked on a novel and ambitious project in health research. At the time, little was known about the general causes of heart disease and stroke, but the death rates for CVD had been increasing steadily since the beginning of the century and had become an American epidemic.
The objective of the FHS was to identify the common factors or characteristics that contribute to CVD by following its development over a long period of time in a large group of participants who had not yet developed overt symptoms of CVD or suffered a heart attack or stroke.
Design of Framingham Heart Study. In 1948, the researchers recruited 5,209 men and women between the ages of 30 and 62 from the town of Framingham, Massachusetts, and began the first round of extensive physical ... (Show More)