Philadelphia, PA, July 6, 2010 Few medical investigations have had the impact of the Framingham Heart Study. This study, started in 1948, was designed as a cohort, observational study of cardiovascular disease, then recognized as a growing health threat but now has emerged as much more. The Framingham Heart study came to revolutionize thinking about cardiovascular disease, change the study of epidemiology, and even force the biostatistics community to develop multivariate analysis. In a special issue of Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, leaders from around the world offer their views on the global impact of the Framingham Heart Study.
The issue includes 10 articles describing not only the historical background of the Framingham Study, but also some of the current public health programs around the world that grew out of Framingham. An interview with Dr. William Kannel, one of the principal investigators, provides a personal perspective on this monumental work.
From the insights developed over the 60+ years of this still-ongoing study, significant investigations show the continuing influence of Framingham. Dr. Pekka Puska describes the Finnish-North Karelia project, the most potent demonstration that behavioral alteration in lifestyle risk factors leads to improved cardiovascular outcomes. Dr. K. Srinath Reddy describes a wide-reaching public health initiative to combat an explosive emergence of cardiovascular disease in India and Southeast Asia. In another program based on the legacy of Framingham, Drs. Cother Hajat and Oliver Harrison describe their comprehensive survey of over 95% of the Abu Dhabi population to develop a nation-wide prevention program for both the native citizens and the immigrant communities.
"The now well-established risk factor concept, fundamental to prevention of CVD, originated from the Framingham study," commented Shanthi Mendis, MD, of the World Health Organization. "It generated seminal finding
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Elsevier Health Sciences