August 1, 2011 |
Pop quiz: Which of the following causes the brain to shrink? 1) diabetes 2) smoking 3) high blood pressure 4) being overweight in middle age? Answer: All four. That's the latest word from the famous Framingham Heart Study , an investigation of residents of a Massachusetts town that's been going on since 1948. This particular report, published in the journal Neurology, tracked 1,352 people with an average age of 54 for years. All were offspring of the original set of Framingham residents who agreed to join the study.
November 13, 2010 |
Having a relative who developed atrial fibrillation -- an uncontrolled fluttering of the heart that makes it difficult to pump blood -- before the age of 65 triples your risk of developing the condition, researchers said Saturday. If the relative develops the condition after the age of 65, your risk is increased by 40%, independent of other risk factors, they reported at a Chicago meeting of the American Heart Assn. and online in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. Researchers knew that the risk of developing the disorder had a hereditary component, but they did not previously know how large the risk was. An estimated 2.2 million Americans suffer from atrial fibrillation, which is caused by erratic electrical signals triggering contractions of the heart.
July 8, 2010 |
Is sadness a sickness? It appears to spread like one, a new study has found. Researchers at Harvard University and MIT wanted to see if a mathematical model developed to track and predict the spread of infectious diseases such as SARS and foot-and-mouth disease could also apply to the spread of happiness -- and found that it worked. They used data collected from 1,880 subjects in the Framingham Heart Study, a long-term research effort that has followed subjects since 1948 (and added some new ones along the way)
June 24, 2009 |
A common heart abnormality often seen of electrocardiograms that has long been thought to be inconsequential is actually associated with a substantially increased risk of erratic heartbeats or a need for a pacemaker -- and with a modestly increased risk of death, researchers reported today.
May 18, 2009 |
It turned a whole town into a research lab. It was the first to show the world that high cholesterol and obesity put people at risk for heart disease -- the first, in fact, to coin the very term "risk factor. " And it still hasn't run out of juice. The longest-running heart health study in the world, the 60-year-old Framingham Heart Study, continues to mine its vast data set for causes or signs of heart trouble. Before Framingham, which began recruiting subjects in the Massachusetts town in 1948, heart disease was something that just happened.
May 18, 2009 |
Framingham, Mass., calls itself "the town that changed America's heart." For 60 years, the town's residents have returned again and again to be poked and prodded at the Framingham Heart Study offices -- though the exact address has changed a few times. Some have been coming every two years since 1948; now their children and grandchildren too offer their time and bodies.