Open Future HealthThe Framingham Heart Study

This is the most often quoted long-term study on the risks of heart disease and strokes.

Good or Bad News? Very difficult to tell. The study has produced risk-factors that seem to be very helpful. But many of the results were unexpected and were/are confusing to researchers.

The Framingham Heart Study

Diet Heart HypothesisThe Framingham Heart Study began in 1948, which is early in the long saga or heart disease and strokes and what to do about it.

The study provides a huge list of changing recommendations. Many of the ideas they began with have proven to be unwise of wrong. Here is a tiny selection.

Total Cholesterol

Logo Framingham

1961: Total Cholesterol is a good marker of future cardiovascular disease.

Saturated fat does increase total cholesterol, but that's not necessarily a problem.

1988: Higher HDL-Cholesterol reduces the risk of death.

High HDL-Cholesterol is protective of both the heart and the brain.

AND:

Low Total Cholesterol is linked to more cancer, poor circulation, poor verbal fluency and faulty abstract reasoning.

Total Cholesterol below 240mg/dl is related to greater mortality in women over 75.

In women between 56 and 75, the best long-term health was achieved when total cholesterol was between 240 and 280mg/dl.

Blood Pressure

1970: High Blood Pressure increases the risk of strokes.

1996: High Blood Pressure increases the rate of cardiovascular disease.

2002: The lifetime risk of developing high blood pressure is 9:10.

Stroke Risk

1970: High Blood Pressure increases the risk of strokes.

1970: Atrial fibrillation increases stroke risk 5-fold.

1997: People who ate more saturated fats have fewer strokes. (Really surprising.)

2010: Sleep apnea tied to increased risk of stroke.

2010: Evidence that occurrence of stroke by age 65 years in a parent increased risk of stroke in offspring by 3-fold.

Obesity

Metabolic Syndrome2005: The lifetime risk of being obese exceeds 70%. (Are the Guidelines Suspect?)

2007: Social networks and social connections influence obesity rates.

There is no relationship between dietary saturated fat and heart disease.

Heart Disease Risk

1961: Local FileTotal Cholesterol is a good marker of future cardiovascular disease.

1976: Menopause found to increase the risk of heart disease.

High HDL-Cholesterol is protective of both the heart and the brain.

1996: High Blood Pressure increases the rate of cardiovascular disease.

1998: Atrial fibrillation is associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality.

There is no relationship between dietary saturated fat and heart disease. (Surprise?)

There is no relationship between diet and Cardiovascular disease. (Result buried for years.)

Smoking

1960: Cigarette smoking found to increase the risk of heart disease.

2008: Social networks are a key influence in stopping smoking.

Smoking and obesity are not related.

Alzheimer's Disease

2009: High leptin levels may protect against Local FileAlzheimer's disease.

2010: Fat around the abdomen associated with smaller, older brains in middle-aged adults.


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