The Framingham Heart Study

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The number one killer in the United States today is heart disease or also known as cardiovascular disease (U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2015). As death rates begin to rise due to cardiovascular disease, in 1948 the Framingham Heart Study became a joint project of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and Boston University to pinpoint the most common factors that play a role in cardiovascular disease and strokes (Framingham Heart Study, 2015). Over several years, the Framingham study has identified several risks factors that are believed to increase the likelihood of a person being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. These risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, smoking, obesity, diabetes, and physical …show more content…

After following up about 10 years later there were 250 participants who developed heart failure and a total of 788 participants who died during the follow-up time period. The results from the study brought the conclusion that there is a direct association between the amount of elderly’s physical activity and the risk of heart failure (see Appendix B for a graph showing the full study results). The more that elderly participate in physical activity, the more risk of heart failure reduces in those individuals (Kraighter-Krainer, et al., 2013). This study directly indicates that a lack of physical activity in elderly and people of all ages increases the likelihood of cardiovascular …show more content…

All of the positives that come from increased physical activity also directly impact heart health. For instance an individual that is overweight and has a high BMI is making their heart work ten times harder when walking or doing daily activities because the heart and body has so much extra weight to carry around. However, if individuals stay active which is likely to keep their weight down, their risk of developing heart disease is significantly decreased. In part of the Framingham Heart Study they predicted incident heart failure in relation to BMI and physical activity index (PAI). When BMI is decreased and PAI is increased, the risk ratio was 15% for heart failure. An increased BMI with an increased PAI gave a risk ratio of 21.9%. When the BMI is decreased and PAI is decreased the risk ratio is 24.5% for heart failure. With an increased BMI and a decreased PAI, the risk ratio was 25.6% (see Appendix C for the number of events and the number at risk for each category). According to the risk ratio results when comparing BMI to PAI, whenever the PAI was decreased the risk ratio was significantly higher than when it was increased, which demonstrates that physical activity does have an impact on the prevalence of heart failure. Further, when the PAI was decreased in

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