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Using the Framingham Heart Study to Understand Heart Failure

In This Video

  • Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital are using data from Framingham Heart Study to study over 1,000 proteins in the blood and how they relate the development of heart failure
  • The research could help identify new drug pathways or other therapies to reduce the risk of heart failure
  • Combining exercise testing with measurements from the Framingham Heart Study can help uncover abnormalities in the cardiovascular system

In this video, Matthew Nayor, MD, cardiologist in the Heart Failure and Transplantation Program in the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses his research on identifying and predicting heart failure using data from the Framingham Heart Study. By measuring proteins in the blood, the research could help identify new future treatments. The team is also combining data from the study with exercise testing data to evaluate and compare how patients progress through the stages of heart failure development.


As a heart failure cardiologist, I have the opportunity to care for patients with very advanced heart disease who may require a heart transplant or implantable heart pump. I focus my research on trying to identify these patients before their disease becomes so severe that it affects their heart and other organ systems in irreversible ways. To do this, I've had the opportunity to work on the Framingham Heart Study, which is a tremendous resource for the cardiovascular epidemiology community.

One of the studies that we're doing that I'm most excited about is taking blood that was sampled in 1995 on close to 2,000 individuals in the Framingham Heart Study. We're now able to use new technology to measure over 1,000 proteins in that blood and see how they relate to the development of heart failure over the next 20 years. I believe this research has the potential to identify new ways of predicting who is at highest risk of developing heart failure, but also perhaps identifying pathways that can be modified with drugs or other therapies to reduce one's risk of developing the disease.

Another opportunity is using exercise as a physiologic probe to uncover abnormalities in the cardiovascular system that may not be apparent at rest. We're now using exercise testing with compressive metabolic measurements in the Framingham Heart Study and linking those with measurements in the Mass General Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test Lab to evaluate how these changes with exercise compare in individuals in the community, and those with overt manifestations of heart failure. We're using exercise and high-dimensional molecular data to try to untangle the different pathways with which people progress through these stages of heart failure development.

Learn more about the Heart Failure and Transplantation Program

Refer a patient to the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center

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