The country’s oldest heart disease study, run by Boston University and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), will research how aging affects the heart and other organs, from the brain to the liver.
The Framingham Heart Study (FHS), which has been running for more than 70 years, has received $38 million from the NHLBI to conduct the new six-year study, which will explore changes in blood pressure, arterial stiffness, blood platelets, and liver fat accumulation in the study’s older subjects. Many of those people are the children or grandchildren of the first participants in the FHS, which began in 1948, when Harry Truman was president.
With every member of the massive baby boom generation bound for senior citizen status by 2030, the research will be vital in understanding the effects of that graying of the population, says the study’s principal investigator and director, Dr. Vasan Ramachandran, professor of epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health.
“With the rapidly increasing number of Americans over the age of 65 years, comprehensive studies of older individuals are invaluable,” says Dr. Ramachandran, who is also a professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. “The opportunity to perform comprehensive analysis of…abnormalities in older individuals, using state-of-the-art scientific technology, is unparalleled.”
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