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Study Description

Note: Data Use Restrictions:

  • The data must only be used for genetic research projects solely in the area of social-network research.
  • The data may not be linked with any other Framingham datasets.
  • Framingham Heart Study data may be used in other research areas by requesting access to Framingham SHARe phs000007.

This study compiles detailed information on family and social ties linked to participants in the offspring cohort of the Framingham Heart Study. The investigators took computerized information from self-report data used by the FHS for over 30 years to facilitate health exam scheduling. These tracking sheets asked participants to identify people close to them, which were assumed by the investigators to indicate a social tie. Individuals are listed as "egos" (if the ties are from their perspective) and/or "alters" (if they are linked as a friend or family members to one of the other participants). All egos were FHS offspring participants while alters could be FHS participants in any cohort or non-participants. This information was combined with internal FHS pedigree data on family ties to list family member alters (as well as the nature of their relationship). The resultant dataset therefore includes each ego-alter tie, the nature of their relationship and the start and end dates for their ties for each of seven waves for the offspring study.

Due to privacy concerns, all exam dates for individuals are listed relative to the initial FHS exam date. The study investigators chose a random, confidential date, to which all initial exam dates are linked (by number of months from random date to initial exam date). With this information, researchers can have access to the temporal relationships among participants' exam dates while remaining unaware of the actual exam dates for individual participants.

During each clinic exam cycle, the participants undergo a detailed examination including physical examination, medical history, laboratory testing, and electrocardiogram. Over the years, other tests (that may not be performed at every exam cycle) have included pulmonary function, lifestyle, physical function, cognitive function questionnaires, and various noninvasive cardiovascular tests including echocardiograms. This study involves phenotypic data from these exams including (when available) basic body measurements (height, weight, blood pressure), laboratory values (blood sugar levels, LDL levels), information on smoking and alcohol use, and tests of depression and cognitive functioning.

Important links to apply for individual-level data

  1. Data Use Certification Requirements (DUC)
  2. Instructions to Request Authorized Access
  3. Apply here for controlled access to individual level data
  4. Participant Protection Policy FAQ

In 1948, researchers recruited men and women from the town of Framingham, Massachusetts, beginning the first round of extensive physical examinations and lifestyle interviews that would later be analyzed for common patterns related to CVD development.

Initially, the Framingham Heart Study enrolled 5,209 men and women from the Framingham area who were between the ages of 28 and 62 years. Beginning in 1971, the Framingham Heart Study enrolled 5,124 men and women, who were either offspring of the original cohort or spouses of those offspring. In 2002, 4,095 third generation participants (men and women) were enrolled.

  • Study Weblink: The Framingham Heart Study
  • Study Type: Longitudinal
  • Number of study subjects that have individual level data available through Authorized Access: 14275

Authorized Access
Publicly Available Data (Public ftp)

Connect to the public download site. The site contains release notes and manifests. If available, the site also contains data dictionaries, variable summaries, documents, and truncated analyses.

Study Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria

There was neither specific inclusion nor exclusion criteria for this study beyond criteria for inclusion in the offspring FHS cohort.

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

The Original cohort began Exam 1 in 1948 (9/1948 - 4/1953) and has continued with biennial examinations to the present. Exam 29 was performed from 4/2006 - 12/2007.

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 8 was performed from 3/2005 - 1/25/2008.

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

Examination of all three cohorts is ongoing.

Selected publications
Diseases/Traits Related to Study (MESH terms)
Authorized Data Access Requests
Study Attribution