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Open Access Highly Accessed Commentary

The Framingham Heart Study, on its way to becoming the gold standard for Cardiovascular Genetic Epidemiology?

Cashell E Jaquish

Author Affiliations

Division of Prevention and Population Sciences, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7936 Suite 10018, Bethesda, MD 20892-7936, USA

BMC Medical Genetics 2007, 8:63  doi:10.1186/1471-2350-8-63

Published: 4 October 2007


The Framingham Heart Study, founded in 1948 to examine the epidemiology of cardiovascular disease in a small town outside of Boston, has become the worldwide standard for cardiovascular epidemiology. It is among the longest running, most comprehensively characterized multi-generational studies in the world. Such seminal findings as the effects of smoking and high cholesterol on heart disease came from the Framingham Heart Study. At the time of publication these were novel cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, now they are the basis of treatment and prevention in the US. Is the Framingham study now on it's way to becoming the gold standard for genetic epidemiology of CVD? Will the novel genetic findings of today become the health care standards of tomorrow? The accompanying articles summarizing the results of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) give the reader a first glimpse into the possibilities.