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Heart Disease: An Epidemiological Problem in the U.S.


It is apparent that heart diseases have been rampant and hence posing a challenge to the obese and overweight people in the United States of America (Franklin et al, 2001, p. 1245). However, epidemiological studies have already been employed to diminish health menace caused by cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in United States. According to Franklin et al (2001, p.1245), Framingham study examined factors and evolution of heart diseases over several decades.Generally, the study targeted to examine both men and women in order to obtain valuable insight on the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, the study has enhanced the scrutiny of predisposing factors as well as diagnosis of such ailments in both men and women. Empirically, it is evident that more than 65% of adult who are overweight are susceptible to heart diseases (Ford, Giles & Mokdad, 2004, p.1791). In this case, cardiovascular ailments have been ranked the highest among those maladies that contribute to high mortality rates in United States. This paper explores why CVD has become an epidemiological problem in United States. Besides, the impacts of Framingham study have also been prioritized in this essay.

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Framingham Heart Study: Results

This study was carried out to investigate health status of men and women who aged from 30-60 years and did not have signs and symptoms of heart diseases (Franklin et al, 2001 p1248). Consecutively, they would be examined after two years and their medical details recorded. Moreover, their lifestyles and eating habits were observed and over several decades, a qualitative analysis was made in regard to the data recorded. Basing on the analyses made from the results, scientists were able to establish the concept of “risk factors” (Ford, Giles & Mokdad, 2004, p.1793). In this case, they aimed at elaborating various aspects in people’s health and lifestyles that accelerated their suffering from cardiovascular diseases. A report was released in 1961 that gave a conclusion on how to decimate limit factors which caused heart disorders (Linton & Fazio, 2003, p.10).

As part of the findings from the study, smoking was identified as one of the major predisposing factors of cardiovascular infirmities. Besides this, it was revealed that filters in cigarettes do not decimate the risks in anyway (Franklin et al., 2001, p.1249). Predictably, it was discovered that regardless of differences in age and pulse pressure, men were more prevalence to heart diseases due to smocking as opposed to women. However, women were more susceptible to diabetes mellitus than men (Franklin et al, 2001, p.1247). It is clear that, some of the notable heart complications are painless. However, they silently delimit the heart function and eventually cause deaths. Another predictable factor is on consumption of food that is highly rich in cholesterol. It is vivid that fatty foods have high levels of lipoproteins which have adverse effects on arteries and blood capillaries of the heart (Linton & Fazio, 2003, p.13). Gradual hardening of arteries due to fatty deposits in the arteries limits blood flow in the body. Eventually, the heart gets fatigued and fails to function. Certainly, it is clear from the research done that lack of exercise accelerates weight gain resulting into obesity.

From the statistical records obtained during the study, it is revealed that ailments which result to heart failure are triggered due to poor metabolism (Franklin et al., 2001 p1247). In this case, poor diet increases risks of ailing from diabetes, hypertension and obesity. It is estimated that 17% of children in United States are obese hence likely to succumb to cardiovascular infirmities (Ford, Giles & Mokdad, 2004, p.1791). In line with this, it is vivid that the poor minority are more prevalent to heart diseases due to malnourishment, stress and lack of recreational facilities for exercising. It is also a commonly observed experience in the United States that the population is highly prone to predisposing factors like smoking, alcoholism and poverty among the minor races (Linton & Fazio, 2003, p. 22). However, the study has also confirmed that cardiovascular epidemics can be decimated by weight control through physical exercises (Linton & Fazio, 2003, p. 25). In line with this, addiction to media programs accelerated inactivity among youths, children and older adults. Besides, people are different in the way they respond to metabolic syndrome. It is also factual that heart related problems invade people depending on their genes.

Framingham Heart Study: Impact

Qualitatively, the Framingham study has been appraised by health practitioners and clinicians in US in helping them understand features of CVDs (Ford, Giles & Mokdad, 2004, p.1799). In this context, this has enabled them to predict and monitor the predisposing factors that might occur in future. Models laid by this study are effective for lay people to desist from the baseline of CVD. Notably, Framingham study has highly resulted into decline in mortality rate in United States. It is evident from statistical records that, there has been a drop rate of 50% for people who die from cardiovascular illnesses (Burt et al, 1995, p. 307).

Moreover, empirical research studies indicate that the study has eventually diminished the number of smokers in U.S from 70% to 30% (Burt et al, 1995 p312). In this essence, smocking was perceived to be one of the predisposing factors that made people in US to become vulnerable to heart diseases (Franklin et al, 2001, p.1249). Decline in smocking rate has consequentially reduced risk of suffering from CVDs. In addition to this, and with the help of Framingham study, citizens in U.S have been enlightened that certain types of food contain cholesterol. This substance block the heart vessels like arteries causing heart attacks (Ford, Giles & Mokdad, 2004, p.1797). This has led to documentation of programs that help the state to reverse rate at which poor eating habit is actively increasing prevalence of CVDs.

It is evident that new drugs have been made available to control and decimate heart ailments like hypertension (Franklin et al., 2001, p.1247). Earlier on, heart specialists did not know that heart attacks caused no pain to patients. In this case, they diagnosed them for other infirmities. Contemporarily, they can now understand that painless attacks ruin heart functions. It is definite that there has been rise in survival rate of people with CVDs due to development of new form of therapies. These include thrombolysis and angioplasty to enhance the patients to recover from the illness (Burt et al., 1995, p. 309). Though the impacts remain unsatisfactory, it is predicted that the morbidity and mortality rate will decline with time. Frequently, several recommendations have been made through the study to impact changes in people’s lifestyles (Linton & Fazio, 2003, p. 27). Doctors have been equipped with knowledge from the study on how to advise patients on proper diet, exercise and treatment thus reversing the impacts of heart diseases. For instance, active exercise has helped old adults to reduce weight thus living healthy lifestyles. Consequentially, the data provided by Framingham study has fueled US specialists and the government to take stern measures on predisposing factors like smocking, drug abuse amid others (Franklin et al, 2001, p.1247). Coincidentally, this has improved the life span of citizens in US thus decimating mortality rates.

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In summing up, it is imperative to note that cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) have been ranked highly among those illnesses that cause deaths in United States. Recently, it has been ranked as one of the most chronic ailments in developed countries. It is also apparent that one fifth of mortality cases are related to heart diseases. Nonetheless, there have been establishment of new tools to annihilate these risk factors associated with cardiovascular diseases. Better strategies have helped to underscore the risks thus making the public to improve their lifestyles. This has been accomplished by improving on diet, active physical activities and pre-diagnosis for early detection of CVDs. Through the Framingham study, clinicians and health specialists have documented on measures of freeing patients from CVDs. Subsequently, use of sophisticated methodologies to limit CVDs has enhanced a predictable trend.


Burt, L. et al. (1995). Prevalence of hypertension in the US adult population. Results from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988–1991. Hypertension. 25, 305–313.

Ford, E., Giles,H & Mokdad A. (2004).The distribution of 10-Year risk for coronary heart disease among US adults: findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III. J Am Coll Cardiol. 43(10), 1791-1796.

Franklin, S. et al. (2001). Does the relation of blood pressure to coronary heart disease risk change with aging? The Framingham Heart Study. Circulation.103, 1245– 1249.

Linton, M. & Fazio, S. (2003). A practical approach to risk assessment to prevent coronary artery disease and its complications. Am J Cardiol. 92(1), 9-26.

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