About the Framingham Heart Study

Since our beginning in 1948, the Framingham Heart Study, under the direction of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), formerly known as the National Heart Institute, has been committed to identifying the common factors or characteristics that contribute to cardiovascular disease (CVD). We have followed CVD development over a long period of time in three generations of participants.

Our Study began in 1948 by recruiting an Original Cohort of 5,209 men and women between the ages of 30 and 62 from the town of Framingham, Massachusetts, who had not yet developed overt symptoms of cardiovascular disease or suffered a heart attack or stroke. Since that time the Study has added an Offspring Cohort in 1971, the Omni Cohort in 1994, a Third Generation Cohort in 2002, a New Offspring Spouse Cohort in 2003, and a Second Generation Omni Cohort in 2003.

Over the years, careful monitoring of the Framingham Study population has led to the identification of major CVD risk factors, as well as valuable information on the effects of these factors such as blood pressure, blood triglyceride and cholesterol levels, age, gender, and psychosocial issues. Risk factors for other physiological conditions such as dementia have been and continue to be investigated. In addition, the relationships between physical traits and genetic patterns are being studied.

We are proud that what began decades ago still is going strong today. We could not have succeeded without the dedication of the thousands of participants in our Study and our employees.