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phs000008.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Main Exams
phs000009.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Basic
phs000010.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Cancer
phs000011.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Diabetes
phs000012.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Mini-Mental State Exam
phs000013.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Menopause Data
phs000014.v2.p1 : Framingham Heart Study Sequence of Events
phs000015.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Survival File and Follow-up for CVD Events
phs000022.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Ankle Arm BP
phs000023.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Birth History
phs000024.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Inflammatory Markers - CD40 Plasma
phs000025.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe C-reactive Protein
phs000026.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Carotid
phs000027.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Fibrinogen
phs000028.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Hearing
phs000029.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Hearing Otologic History
phs000030.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Hearing Questionnaire
phs000031.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Hemoglobin Insulin
phs000032.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Homocysteine
phs000033.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Inflammatory Markers - ICAM
phs000034.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe ICD Codes Death Cert
phs000035.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Inflammatory Markers - LPPLA2 Mass
phs000036.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Inflammatory Markers - OPG
phs000037.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Perceived Disability
phs000038.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Physical Activity
phs000039.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Psychosocial
phs000040.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Pulmonary Function Test
phs000041.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Respiratory
phs000042.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Rheumatic Heart Disease
phs000043.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe SF-36
phs000044.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Thyroid and Hormone Data
phs000045.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe TNF-Alpha
phs000046.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Urine Chemistries
phs000047.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Vitamin D
phs000053.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Abdominal Fat Study
phs000054.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Adiponectin And Resistin
phs000055.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Atrial Fibrillation Cases
phs000056.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Brain MRI
phs000057.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Cardiac Ct Scans
phs000058.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Creatinine And Cystatin
phs000059.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe CT Calcium Scores
phs000060.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Dementia
phs000061.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Digital ECG
phs000062.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Echocardiography
phs000063.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe E Isoform
phs000064.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Fasting Plasma Insulin Proinsulin
phs000065.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Genetic Bone Geometry
phs000066.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe HBA1C
phs000067.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Health Status Update
phs000068.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Hearing Test
phs000069.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Initial Brain MRI
phs000070.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Precursors of Stroke Incidence and Prognosis Study (PSIP) - Initial Stroke
phs000071.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Inflammatory Markers - Interleukin 6
phs000072.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Inflammatory Markers - Isoprostane
phs000073.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Lipoprotein A
phs000074.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Inflammatory markers - LPPLA2 Activity
phs000075.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Inflammatory Markers - MCP1
phs000076.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Metacarpal
phs000077.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Inflammatory Markers - Myeloperoxidase
phs000078.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Osteoporosis Study
phs000079.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe PAI1 Lab Results
phs000080.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Inflammatory Markers - P-selectin
phs000081.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Precursors of Stroke Incidence and Prognosis Study (PSIP) - Recurrent Stroke
phs000082.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Survival File and Follow-up for Stroke Events
phs000083.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Survival File and Follow-up for Stroke/TIA Events
phs000084.v2.p1 : Framingham SHARe Inflammatory Markers - TNF Receptor II
phs000104.v1.p1 : Framingham SHARe 2 Hour Insulin
phs000105.v1.p1 : Framingham SHARe Glucose Tolerance Test
phs000106.v1.p1 : Framingham SHARe Aldosterone
phs000107.v1.p1 : Framingham SHARe Heart Study Vascular Project - Brachial
phs000108.v1.p1 : Framingham SHARe Cardiac MR Left Ventricular Hypertrophy Data
phs000109.v1.p1 : Framingham Share Prognostic Implications of Heart Rate Variability
phs000110.v1.p1 : Framingham SHARe Hemostatic Factors
phs000111.v1.p1 : Framingham SHARe Epidemiology of Dementia Study - Hippocampal Volume
phs000112.v1.p1 : Framingham SHARe IGF-1, IGF BP4, IGF BP5 and Parathyroid Hormone
phs000113.v1.p1 : Framingham SHARe Osteoarthritis Study
phs000114.v1.p1 : Framingham SHARe Laboratory Data
phs000115.v1.p1 : Framingham SHARe Lipid Traits
phs000116.v1.p1 : Framingham SHARe Abdominal Aortic Calcific Deposits from Lateral Lumbar Radiographs
phs000117.v1.p1 : Framingham SHARe Observed Performance Measures from MRI Neuropsych Battery
phs000118.v1.p1 : Framingham SHARe Terminal Restriction Fragment Length
phs000119.v1.p1 : Framingham SHARe Heart Study Vascular Project - Tonometry
phs000129.v1.p1 : Framingham SHARe Plasma Renin

Study Description

Startup of Framingham Heart Study. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death and serious illness in the United States. In 1948, the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) -- under the direction of the National Heart Institute (now known as the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NHLBI) -- embarked on a novel and ambitious project in health research. At the time, little was known about the general causes of heart disease and stroke, but the death rates for CVD had been increasing steadily since the beginning of the century and had become an American epidemic.

The objective of the FHS was to identify the common factors or characteristics that contribute to CVD by following its development over a long period of time in a large group of participants who had not yet developed overt symptoms of CVD or suffered a heart attack or stroke.

Design of Framingham Heart Study. In 1948, the researchers recruited 5,209 men and women between the ages of 30 and 62 from the town of Framingham, Massachusetts, and began the first round of extensive physical examinations and lifestyle interviews that they would later analyze for common patterns related to CVD development. Since 1948, the subjects have returned to the study every two years for an examination consisting of a detailed medical history, physical examination, and laboratory tests, and in 1971, the study enrolled a second-generation cohort -- 5,124 of the original participants' adult children and their spouses -- to participate in similar examinations. The second examination of the Offspring cohort occurred eight years after the first examination, and subsequent examinations have occurred approximately every four years thereafter. In April 2002 the Study entered a new phase: the enrollment of a third generation of participants, the grandchildren of the original cohort. The first examination of the Third Generation Study was completed in July 2005 and involved 4,095 participants. Thus, the FHS has evolved into a prospective, community-based, three generation family study. The FHS is a joint project of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and Boston University.

Research Areas in the Framingham Heart Study. Over the years, careful monitoring of the FHS population has led to the identification of the major CVD risk factors -- high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, smoking, obesity, diabetes, and physical inactivity -- as well as a great deal of valuable information on the effects of related factors such as blood triglyceride and HDL cholesterol levels, age, gender, and psychosocial issues. Risk factors have been identified for the major components of CVD, including coronary heart disease, stroke, intermittent claudication, and heart failure. It is also clear from research in the FHS and other studies that substantial subclinical vascular disease occurs in the blood vessels, heart and brain that precedes clinical CVD. With recent advances in technology, the FHS has enhanced its research capabilities and capitalized on its inherent resources by the conduct of high resolution imaging to detect and quantify subclinical vascular disease in the major blood vessels, heart and brain. These studies have included ultrasound studies of the heart (echocardiography) and carotid arteries, computed tomography studies of the heart and aorta, and magnetic resonance imaging studies of the brain, heart, and aorta. Although the Framingham cohort is primarily white, the importance of the major CVD risk factors identified in this group have been shown in other studies to apply almost universally among racial and ethnic groups, even though the patterns of distribution may vary from group to group. In the past half century, the Study has produced approximately 1,200 articles in leading medical journals. The concept of CVD risk factors has become an integral part of the modern medical curriculum and has led to the development of effective treatment and preventive strategies in clinical practice.

In addition to research studies focused on risk factors, subclinical CVD and clinically apparent CVD, Framingham investigators have also collaborated with leading researchers from around the country and throughout the world on projects involving some of the major chronic illnesses in men and women, including dementia, osteoporosis and arthritis, nutritional deficiencies, eye diseases, hearing disorders, and chronic obstructive lung diseases.

Genetic Research in the Framingham Heart Study. While pursuing the Study's established research goals, the NHLBI and the Framingham investigators has expanded its research mission into the study of genetic factors underlying CVD and other disorders. Over the past two decades, DNA has been collected from blood samples and from immortalized cell lines obtained from Original Cohort participants, members of the Offspring Cohort and the Third Generation Cohort. Several large-scale genotyping projects have been conducted in the past decade. Genome-wide linkage analysis has been conducted using genotypes of approximately 400 microsatellite markers that have been completed in over 9,300 subjects in all three generations. Analyses using microsatellite markers completed in the original cohort and Offspring cohorts have resulted in over 100 publications, including many publications from the Genetics Analysis Workshop 13. Several other recent collaborative projects have completed thousands of SNP genotypes for candidate gene regions in subsets of FHS subjects with available DNA. These projects include the Cardiogenomics Program of the NHLBI's Programs for Genomics Applications, the genotyping of ~3000 SNPs in inflammation genes, and the completion of a genome-wide scan of 100,000 SNPs using the Affymetrix 100K Genechip.

100K Genome-Wide Association Study and Results Browser. A subset of 1345 adult participants (original cohort and offspring) of the largest 310 pedigrees in the FHS, many biologically related, was genotyped with the 100K Affymetrix GeneChip. These genotypes were used to assess their contribution to a wide range of traits collected in FHS over 59 years of follow up, including: cardiovascular risk factors and biomarkers; subclinical and clinical cardiovascular disease; cancer and longevity traits; and traits in pulmonary, sleep, neurology, renal, and bone domains. We conducted genome-wide variance components linkage and population-based and family-based association tests. An overview manuscript as well as 17 manuscripts describing the unreplicated results of analyses of the various phenotypes were published in a supplement of BMC Medical Genetics in September 2007. A link to the full disclosure results of these analyses are available through dbGaP on the Associated Analyses section on the right side of this page.

Framingham Heart Study SHARe Genome-Wide Association Study. In 2007, the FHS entered a new phase with the conduct of genotyping for the FHS SHARe (SNP Health Association Resource) project, for which genotyping is conducted using approximately 550,000 SNPs (Affymetrix 500K mapping array plus Affymetrix 50K supplemental array) in over 9,300 subjects from the three generations of subjects (including over 900 families). The SHARe database is housed at NCBI's dbGaP and will contain all 550,000 SNPs as well as SNP and microsatellite genotyping conducted previously in the FHS. The phenotype database will contain a vast array of phenotype information available in all three generations. These will include the quantitative measures of the major risk factors such as systolic blood pressure, total and HDL cholesterol, fasting glucose, and cigarette use, as well as anthropomorphic measures such as body mass index, biomarkers such as fibrinogen and CRP, and electrocardiography measures such as the QT interval. Many of these measures have been collected repeatedly in the original and Offspring cohorts. Also included in the SHARe database will be an array of recently collected biomarkers, subclinical disease imaging measures, clinical CVD outcomes as well as an array of ancillary studies.

The unflagging commitment of the research participants in the NHLBI FHS has made more than a half century of research success possible. For decades, the FHS has made its data and DNA widely available to qualified investigators throughout the world through the Limited Access Datasets and the FHS DNA Committee, and the SHARe database will continue that tradition by allowing access to qualified investigators who agree to the requirements of data access. With the SHARe database, we continue with an ambitious research agenda and look forward to new discoveries in the decades to come.

Authorized Access
Publicly Available Data (Public ftp)
Study Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria

A description of the Design of the Original Cohort can be found at Dawber TR, Meadors GF, and Moore FEJ. Epidemiological approaches to heart disease: the Framingham Study. Am J Public Health 1951; 41:279-86.

A description of the Design of the Offspring Cohort can be found at Feinleib M, Kannel WB, Garrison RJ, et al. (1975) The Framingham Offspring Study. Design and preliminary data. Prev Med 4:518-25.

A description of the Design of the Third Generation Cohort can be found at Splansky GL et al. The Third Generation Cohort of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Framingham Heart Study: Design, Recruitment, and Initial Examination. Am J Epidemioly 2007 Mar 19 [Epub ahead of print].

Molecular Data
TypeSourcePlatformNumber of Oligos/SNPsSNP Batch IdComment
Whole Genome Genotyping Affymetrix Mapping50K_Hind240 57449 33750 Affymetrix 100K Set comprises Mapping50K_Hind240 and Mapping50K_Xba240 Arrays
Whole Genome Genotyping Affymetrix Mapping50K_Xba240 58960 33751 Affymetrix 100K Set comprises Mapping50K_Hind240 and Mapping50K_Xba240 Arrays
Whole Genome Genotyping Affymetrix Mapping250K_Nsp 262264 33767 Affymetrix 500K Set comprises Mapping250K_Nsp and Mapping250K_Sty Arrays
Whole Genome Genotyping Affymetrix Mapping250K_Sty 238304 33766 Affymetrix 500K Set comprises Mapping250K_Nsp and Mapping250K_Sty Arrays
Whole Genome Genotyping Affymetrix HuGeneFocused50K_Affy 49214 52071
Study History

Research milestones of the Framingham Heart Study can be found at http://www.framinghamheartstudy.org/about/milestones.html.

The Original cohort began Exam 1 in 1948 (9/1948 - 4/1953) and has continued with biennial examinations to the present.

The Offspring cohort began Exam 1 in 1971 (8/1971 - 9/1975) and has on average been examined every 3 to 4 years since enrollment. However, there was an eight year window between exam 1 and exam 2. Exam 7 was performed from 9/1998 - 10/2001.

The Generation 3 cohort Exam 1 was performed 4/2002 - 7/2005.

Examinations continue to be performed.

Selected Publications
Diseases/Traits Related to Study (MeSH terms)
Authorized Data Access Requests
Study Attribution
  • Institutions
    • The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.
    • Boston University, Boston, MA, USA.