News & AnalysisEpidemiology

Budget Woes Threaten Long-Term Heart Studies

Science  16 Aug 2013:
Vol. 341, Issue 6147, pp. 701
DOI: 10.1126/science.341.6147.701

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The Framingham Heart Study is an icon of epidemiology. Its long-term monitoring of a large group, or cohort, of people in a Massachusetts town has yielded landmark results on everything from the link between cholesterol and heart disease to the genetic risk of stroke. But this year, the thorough clinical exams that participants periodically receive will be scaled back, and plans for new tests put on hold. Similar cohort studies sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute are confronting a similar fate and some observers suggest that the era of such large, costly long-termstudies is drawing to a close.