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October 16, 1996

Epidemiologic Assessment of the Role of Blood Pressure in Stroke

JAMA. 1996;276(15):1279-1280. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540150081041

IN 1970 William B. Kannel and his coworkers, Philip Wolf, Joel Verter, and Patricia McNamara, published in THE JOURNAL their important report from Framingham, Mass, on risk factors for stroke in a population followed prospectively for 14 years.1 At that time, hypertension, diabetes, and cigarette smoking had already been recognized as being the main risk factors, but the Framingham Study was among the first large-scale epidemiologic studies that followed a healthy adult population year after year, observed the diseases as they arose, and correlated them to a variety of possible risk factors.

The study was initiated in 1949 by Thomas R. Dawber from the National Heart Institute. It involved about 50% of adult residents aged 30 to 62 years, a total of 5209 subjects in the small township of Framingham. Its primary goal was to elucidate risks for heart disease, but soon stroke was given equal importance. The results