New Information for FHS Participants

edited July 20 2013

As a result of the federal government's automatic spending cuts, also known as the sequester, Boston University has received notice that the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) will lose $4 million, or 40 percent, of its funding from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) effective August 1.

This loss of funding will result in a reduction in workforce affecting 19 staff from a variety of clinical and administrative areas, as well as reductions in clinic exams and lab operations.

Research will continue, but will be affected by the planned elimination of the examinations, which also are used in ancillary studies. The FHS will continue to remain in contact with its participants regarding future exam cycles.

We are working with the NHLBI leadership and with other potential funding sources to help sponsor the research, fill the funding gap and thus save these jobs and cover the costs of the previously planned clinical examinations and laboratory studies.

Q. Is the FHS closing?
A. No. The current Offspring and Omni Group 1 exams are continuing through March 31, 2014. Ancillary studies are continuing as planned. Medical history updates are being collected on the regular schedule. Please respond to calls for FHS participation as usual.

Q. Why do we hear or read comments about the Study closing?
A. The main contract between the Boston University Medical School and National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has been cut 40% related to the sequester. This cut will significantly affect our operations.

In addition, the expected renewal of the current contract scheduled to start in 2015 may be funded for only 2-3 years. Boston University School of Medicine is working with the NHLB leadership and with other potential funding sources to help sponsor the research, fill the funding gap, and thus save these jobs and cover the costs of the previously planned clinic examinations and laboratory studies.

Q. What can I do?
A. First of all, please continue to participate when contacted. We need a good response from our participants to help demonstrate the value of the Study.

Also, you may receive additional information about plans for the continuation of the study. We appreciate your dedication and your interest in the continuation of the Framingham Heart Study.