Thanks to more than $70 million in new award funding, the Framingham Heart Study (FHS), run by Boston University and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), is undertaking two separate investigations.

Last year, the FHS was awarded up to $38 million from the NHLBI to conduct a seven-year exploration of the changes in blood pressure, arterial stiffness, blood platelets, and liver-fat accumulation in the study’s older subjects—many of whom are the children or grandchildren of the study’s first participants. With every member of the massive baby boom generation achieving senior citizen status by 2030, the research will be crucial in understanding the effects of that graying of the population.

The FHS also was awarded $33.1 million in funding from the NHLBI for 2019 through 2025 to tackle the question: What causes the high burden of heart disease, lung disease, and stroke in the rural South?

Ongoing for over 70 years, the FHS is the country’s longest-running heart disease study. Harry Truman was president when it began in 1948. Starting with 5,209 residents of Framingham, Massachusetts, as its subjects, the FHS has produced more than 2,850 papers and is credited with coining the term “risk factors” as well as saving or improving the lives of countless people.

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