A recent major component of the Framingham Heart Study protocol has been the enrollment and examination of a third generation of participants which will provide greater resources of phenotypic and genotypic information. During Offspring Exam Cycles 6 and 7, the Offspring participants were asked to update information about their children. To assess interest in participation prior to the start of clinic exams, 5,500 letters and response cards were sent in November 2001 to prospective third generation participants who had at least one parent in the Offspring Study and would be at least 20 years old by the close of the first exam cycle. Later an additional 1,241 invitation letters were sent. A prioritization of the recruitment list was prepared. Considerations were given to family size, completeness of data, stored DNA and responsiveness of the Gen III members of the families. Generation 3, Exam 1 was begun in April of 2002 and completed in July of 2005. Generation 3, Exam 2 was begun in May of 2008 and is scheduled to be completed in December of 2010.
By consenting to and completing Exam 1 of Gen III, the participant was considered enrolled in the Framingham Heart Study Gen III. Special efforts were being made to complete sibships and families in the course of enrollment. A recruitment target of 4,095 Gen III participants was achieved by July of 2005. The details of clinic attendance for Gen III are described in the table to follow.