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Medical News & Perspectives
April 22/29, 1998

A "Family Heirloom" Turns 50

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JAMA. 1998;279(16):1241-1245. doi:10.1001/jama.279.16.1241-JMN0422-2-1

IN 1948, postwar America was prospering. Our nation's reputation as a military and economic powerhouse had grown to new proportions. Unfortunately, so had millions of Americans' risks for cardiovascular disease. Cigarette smoking was the norm, and a global powerhouse diet didn't exactly skimp on the porterhouse.

So in the New England town of Framingham, Mass, researchers from the newly established National Heart Institute (today known as the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, or NHLBI) gathered 5209 healthy townspeople between the ages of 30 and 60 years to help them solve a medical mystery: How does cardiovascular disease develop?

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