The Ongoing Global Impact of Framingham

PHILADELPHIA, July 9 (UPI) — The U.S. Framingham Heart Study, begun in 1948 to study cardiovascular disease, also changed epidemiology and biostatistics, U.S. researchers say.

In a special issue of Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, researchers from around the world contributed 10 articles, showing how the study begun in 1948 has influenced medical thinking.

Some of the study findings — considered novel when they came out — included how tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, obesity, raised blood cholesterol, raised blood pressure and diabetes increased cardiovascular disease risk.

A number of current public health programs have grown out of Framingham. For instance, Dr. Pekka Puska describes how Framingham insights led to the Finnish-North Karelia project — a demonstration linking behavioral alteration in lifestyle risk factors to improved cardiovascular outcomes.

Dr. Srinath Reddy describes a Framingham-inspired public health initiative to combat cardiovascular disease in India and Southeast Asia.

Another Framingham-based program, described by Dr. Cother Hajat and Dr. Oliver Harrison, surveyed over 95 percent of the population of Abu Dhabi to develop a nationwide heart disease prevention program for both native citizens and immigrant communities.

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