University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository


Family Practice


Dr. Thomas Colletti


The Framingham Heart Study has a greater than 70-year history as a generational cohort study. At its inception in 1948, it differed from other longitudinal studies in that most prior studies had previously gleaned data from community registries and not from screened volunteers. The Framingham Study was one of the first studies to recruit a patient population and follow them, along with their biological relatives, throughout their lives. This ongoing study has followed three multi-generational cohorts and has contributed significantly to advancements in the treatment of cardiovascular disease specifically for hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. This article aims to illustrate the impact of this research approach and the findings on the practice of evidence-based medicine.

The study is still contributing to changes in the treatment of chronic and inherited disease states such as hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. Before its inception, most medicine focused on acute care rather than preventative medicine. Hypertension was found to be a major cause of significant morbidity and mortality of cardiovascular disease. Major risk factors for hypertension and hypercholesterolemia formed the basis for 10-year and 30-year risk prediction algorithms.

The Framingham Study has advanced the practice of evidence-based medicine. This study has had a significant impact over time with the development of algorithms to better treat and understand chronic inherited diseases like hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. The research continues today with the opportunity to continue to study genomic data with the promise of future technologies and analyses for improved understanding and outcomes. It will be important to continue to collect both baseline and longitudinal data from current and future research participants. This stored genomic data will enable current and future researchers to continue to increase their understanding of the etiology and risk factors and to improve the morbidity and morbidity of cardiovascular disease.


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