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Example: Cohort Study - Framingham

Lead Author(s): Jeff Martin, MD

Framingham Study - Impact of Diabetes

The Framingham Study reports on the impact of diabetes in myocardial infarction:

"The impact of diabetes on recurrent myocardial infarction (MI) and fatal coronary heart disease was examined in survivors of an initial MI using 34-year follow-up data in the Framingham Study. Among nondiabetic patients, the risk of fatal coronary heart disease was significantly lower in women compared with men (relative risk, 0.6). In the presence of diabetes, however, the risk of recurrent MI in women was twice the risk in men. In addition, the effect of diabetes doubled the risk of recurrent MI in women (relative risk, 2.1) but had an insignificant effect in men."

Oldest Cohort Study

The Framingham Study is the oldest and best known cohort study in the United States. It is the classic cohort study of coronary heart disease.

The study first elucidated the major risk factors for coronary heart disease:

  • blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • smoking
  • obesity

First Study

  • It was started in 1948 with 5,209 men and women between the ages of 30 and 62 from the town of Framingham, Massachusetts.

Second Study

  • A second generation study was started in 1971 with 5,124 children, and their spouses, of the original cohort members.

Third Study

  • A third generation is now being recruited with the goal of enrolling 3,500 grandchildren of the original cohort with an emphasis on studying genetic factors associated with heart disease.


Abbott, R. D., Donahue, R. P., Kannel, W. B., & Wilson, P. W. (1988). The impact of diabetes on survival following myocardial infarction in men vs women. The Framingham Study. Jama, 260 (23), 3456-3460.

Topic revision: r2 - 11 Jun 2009 - 14:59:11 - MaryB?

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