A Timeline of Milestones from
The Framingham Heart Study


Since inception in 1948 the Framingham Heart Study has produced many major discoveries that have helped scientists understand the development and progression of heart disease and its risk factors--and helped Americans protect the health of their hearts.

Some of the important milestones include:



1948

Start of the Framingham Heart Study
.
.

1956

Findings on progression of rheumatic heart disease reported
.
.

1959

Factors found that increase the likelihood of heart disease

Some heart attacks discovered to be "silent" (causing no pain)
.
.

1960

Cigarette smoking found to increase the risk of heart disease
.
.

1961

Cholesterol level, blood pressure, and electrocardiogram
abnormalities found to increase the risk of heart disease
.
.

1965

First Framingham Heart Study report on stroke
.
.

1967

Physical activity found to reduce the risk of heart disease and obesity to increase the risk of heart disease
.
.

1970

High blood pressure found to increase the risk of stroke
.
.

1971

Framingham Offspring Study initiated to assess familial and genetic factors as determinants of coronary heart disease. .
.

1974

Overview of diabetes, its complications and association to development of cardiovascular disease described
.
.

1976

Menopause found to increase the risk of heart disease
.
.

1977

Effects of triglycerides and LDL and HDL cholesterol described
.
.

1978

Psychosocial factors found to affect heart disease

Atrial fibrillation (condition in which the heart beats irregularly) found to increase the risk of stroke
.
.

1981

Filter cigarettes found to give no protection against coronary heart disease

Major report issued on relationship of diet and heart disease
.
.

1983

Reports on mitral valve prolapse (which causes a backward leak of blood between heart chambers)
.
.

1986

First report on dementia published
.
.

1987

High blood cholesterol levels found to correlate directly with risk of death in young men

Fibrinogen (allows blood to clot more easily) found to increase the risk of heart disease

Estrogen replacement therapy found to reduce risk of hip fractures in post-menopausal women
.
.

1988

High levels of HDL cholesterol found to reduce risk of death

Association of type "A" behavior with heart disease reported

Isolated systolic hypertension found to increase risk of heart disease

Cigarette smoking found to increase risk of stroke
.
.

1990

Homocysteine (an amino acid) found to be possible risk factor for heart disease
.
.

1993

Mild isolated systolic hypertension shown to increase risk of heart disease

Major report predicts survival after diagnosis of heart failure
.
.

1994

Enlarged left ventricle (one of two lower chambers of the heart) shown to increase the risk of stroke

Lipoprotein (a) found as possible risk factor for heart disease

Risk factors for atrial fibrillation described

Apolipoprotein E found to be possible risk factor for heart disease
.
.

1995

First Framingham report on diastolic heart failure published

OMNI Study of Minorities starts
.
.

1996

Progression from hypertension to heart failure described
.
.

1997

Cumulative effects of smoking and high cholesterol on the risk for atherosclerosis reported

Impact of an enlarged left ventricle and risk for heart failure in asymptomatic individuals investigated
.
.

1998

New risk prediction formulas to calculate a patient's risk for developing coronary disease over the next 10 years published

Work identifying a gene (angiotensin converting enzyme deletion/insertion polymorphism) associated with hypertension in Framingham men published
.
.

2002

Framingham Heart Study based report published in New England Journal of Medicine strongly linking excess body / obesity with an increased risk of heart failure. Study shows BMI (Body Weight / Mass) index to be an independent risk factor.

Third Generation Study enrolls 3,900 grandchildren of the Framingham Heart Study's original enrollees. Key goals are to identify new risk factors for heart, lung, and blood diseases, identify genes that contribute to good health and to the development of heart, lung, and blood disease, and to develop new imaging tests that can detect very early stages of coronary atherosclerosis in otherwise healthy adults. .
.

2003

Offspring based study published relating likelihood of heart attack three times greater in individuals with common genetic variation in an estrogen receptor.
.
.

2004

Research team demonstrates that having a parent with a cardiovascular disease history doubles personal risk of the disease.
.
.

2005

Offspring Study based report indicates an increase of up to 45 percent for risk of heart attack, stroke or arterial disease may occur in middle-aged people with a sibling who suffered a similar cardiovascular event.


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