Research Milestones

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
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
1970 Atrial fibrillation increases stroke risk 5-fold
1976 Menopause found to increase the risk of heart disease
1978 Psychosocial factors found to affect heart disease
1988 High levels of HDL cholesterol found to reduce risk of death
1994 Enlarged left ventricle (one of two lower chambers of the heart) shown to increase the risk of stroke
1996 Progression from hypertension to heart failure described
1998 Framingham Heart Study researchers identify that atrial fibrillation is associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality.
1998 Development of simple coronary disease prediction algorithm involving risk factor categories to allow physicians to predict multivariate coronary heart disease risk in patients without overt CHD
1999 Lifetime risk at age 40 years of developing coronary heart disease is one in two for men and one in three for women
2001 High-normal blood pressure is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, emphasizing the need to determine whether lowering high-normal blood pressure can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
2002 Lifetime risk of developing high blood pressure in middle-aged adults is 9 in 10.
2002 Obesity is a risk factor for heart failure.
2004 Serum aldosterone levels predict future risk of hypertension in non-hypertensive individuals.
2005 Lifetime risk of becoming overweight exceeds 70 percent, that for obesity approximates 1 in 2.
2006 The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health announces a new genome-wide association study at the Framingham Heart Study in collaboration with Boston University School of Medicine to be known as the SHARe project (SNP Health Association Resource).
2007 Based on evaluation of a densely interconnected social network of 12,067 people assessed as part of the Framingham Heart Study, network phenomena appear to be relevant to the biologic and behavioral trait of obesity, and obesity appears to spread through social ties.
2008 Based on analysis of a social network of 12,067 people participating in the Framingham Heart Study (FHS), researchers discover that social networks exert key influences on decision to quit smoking.
2008 Discovery by Framingham Heart Study and publication of four risk factors that raise probability of developing precursor of heart failure; new 30-year risk estimates developed for serious cardiac events.
2009 Framingham Heart Study cited by the American Heart Association among the top 10 cardiovascular research achievements of 2009, "Genome-wide Association Study of Blood Pressure and Hypertension: Genome-wide association study identifies eight loci associated with blood pressure".
2009 A new genetic variant associated with increased susceptibility for atrial fibrillation, a prominent risk factor for stroke and heart failure, is reported in two studies based on data from the Framingham Heart Study.
2009 Framingham Heart Study researchers find parental dementia may lead to poor memory in middle-aged adults.
2009 Framingham Heart Study researchers find high leptin levels may protect against Alzheimer's disease and dementia
2010 Sleep apnea tied to increased risk of stroke
2010 Framingham Heart Study researchers identify additional genes that may play a role in Alzheimer's disease
2010 Framingham Heart Study finds fat around the abdomen associated with smaller, older brains in middle-aged adults
2010 Framingham Heart Study finds genes link puberty timing and body fat in women
2010 Having first-degree relative with atrial fibrillation associated with increased risk for this disorder
2009-
2010
Framingham Heart Study researchers contribute to discovering hundreds of new genes underlying major heart disease risk factors—body mass index, blood cholesterol, cigarette smoking, blood pressure and glucose/diabetes
2010 First definitive evidence that occurrence of stroke by age 65 years in a parent increased risk of stroke in offspring by 3-fold