Upgrade to the Flash 9 viewer for enhanced content, including the ability to browse & search through your favorite titles.
Click here to learn more!
The findings of the Framingham Heart Study—begun in 1948—have been nothing short of revolutionary. Over the years, they have provided conclusive evidence that cardiovascular disease is largely the result of measurable and modifiable risk factors, and that individuals can gain control over their heart health by looking carefully at their diet and lifestyle and changing their intake of saturated fat, cholesterol, and tobacco smoke; losing weight or becoming physically active; and regulating their levels of stress and blood pressure. It is principally because of the Heart Study that this understanding of what was once deemed a “silent killer” today seems intuitive.
The Framingham Heart Study was launched not long after Franklin Delano Roosevelt succumbed to a massive stroke, the result of runaway blood pressure, at a time when cardiologists in the United States numbered fewer than 400 and heart disease was the nation’s number-one cause of death. The study asked 5,209 citizens of Framingham, Massachusetts–who overate, smoked, and suffered heart attacks and strokes to the same extent as the rest of the United States—to undergo biennial physicals, blood tests, and detailed interviews concerning their behavior. The results changed the course of medical history.
Written by the Study’s current director and a national health reporter, A Change of Heart is the first account of this heroic cooperation between the U.S. Public Health Service and the people of Framingham. It is a fascinating, clear-eyed assessment of the achievements and challenges of the Framingham Heart Study to date, and of its continuing importance.
“A detailed rendition of one of the most important studies in modern medicine, reinforcing the truth that each of us can control our life to foster health and stave off illness. It is a lesson that never grows old.” —Jerome Groopman, M.D., Recanati Professor, Harvard Medical School
“This book holds many lessons for the present. . . . A Change of Heart is an easy but exciting read. We owe a lot to Framingham.” —Nature
"This account of the Framingham study . . . does justice to the courage and commitment of both the medical scientists and the patients who contributed so much to advancing the field of cardiology." —The Boston Globe
“Based upon numerous interviews, records from the study, and the director's personal knowledge of events and personalities, the book provides a vivid portrait of the day-to-day life of the study. The book is at its best in delineating the study's contributions to preventive cardiology . . .” —Kenneth Ludmerer, Boston Sunday Globe
“The Framingham Heart Study contributed considerable evidence about the important risk factors for cardiovascular disease, effective lifestyle adjustments, and preventative steps. . . . Scattered through the book are important lessons for the prevention of heart disease. . . . An engaging account.”—Science