Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) are recruiting a million participants to join a decade long heart health study. The enabling factor? Smartphones. It’s a great example of information technology bleeding into other fields and speeding their progress. If all goes to plan, the UCSF study (dubbed Health eHeart) will be the broadest such study ever completed.
In comparison, the much lauded Framingham Heart Study, initiated in 1948, recruited and studied 15,000 participants over three generations. The Framingham study outlined today’s familiar set of heart risks that doctors use to evaluate patients and prescribe lifestyle changes—high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, smoking, obesity, diabetes, stress, and physical inactivity.
The discovery and subsequent mediation of these risk factors is largely credited with a 75% decline in mortality rates due to heart-related disease in the last half century. See Dr. Hans Diehl discuss how heart disease was shown to be more of a lifestyle illness than a genetic illness by World War II and the Framingham study below: