The Framingham Heart Study: Research to Clinical Practice Timeline


Findings from the Framingham Heart Study since its 1948 beginning have led to identification of and treatment for dozens of risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Which ones?

The Framingham Heart Study (FHS) was launched in 1948 with a federal grant of just $500 000 with the purpose of identifying common factors or characteristics that contribute to cardiovascular disease (CVD). In the early 1900s, heart disease was the leading cause of death and treatment was rendered only after a serious event--and was not always successful.

It was an original FHS investigator who introduced the concept of "risk factors" for CVD and the idea that with treatment their impact on CV health could be mitigated. Risk factors identified based on FHS data include elevated LDL, smoking, hypertension, diabetes. Positive influences identified include the benefits of exercise and the protective properties of HDL cholesterol.

FHS is multigenerational and multiracial/multiethnic. In the slides that follow, we provide an at-a-glance look at the first 50 years of breakthroughs.