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Framingham Heart Study -- If you make a change, it will make a difference.

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Uploaded on Jul 29, 2011

Question: Dr. Holly, what are the Framingham Risk Calculators and why are they important?

You have heard the terms "evidence-based medicine," "random controlled studies" and "double blind studies." These are the methods and the results of scientific investigation to determine the cause of disease and the best way to prevent, cure or control a disease.

One of the earliest and now the longest running scientific study is the Framingham Heart Study. Started in 1949 in Framingham, Massachusetts, the study now includes three generations of the same family members and has established the causes, cure and control of heart disease.

Question: Dr. Holly, how can this help people in Southeast Texas?

The Framingham Heart Study has developed twelve risk calculators which can let you know what your is for heart disease, stroke and other heart-related illnesses. The higher your risk, the more important it is for you to take steps to avoid heart disease.

The American Academy of Family Practice recommends that every five years a family physician should calculate one of the Framingham Risk Scores for each of their patients.

At SETMA, we calculate all twelve risk calculators every time your are seen, and because we use electronic health records, it takes us one second to do it.

Question: Dr. Holly, in a practical sense, how does this really help a patient?

One of the questions healthcare providers have to answer for their patients is "If I make a change in my life, will it make a difference in my health?" In reality, we ask people to make changes now which will benefit them twenty or thirty years from now.

In order to do this, SETMA has designed a "What If Scenario" with the Framingham studies. It works like this, if you are 50 years old, your actual heart age is 50. One of the Framingham Scores will calculate, based on a number of factors your relative heart age, which may be 70.

In that case, we re-calculate for you what your relative heart age will be if you improve your blood pressure, cholesterol, and stop smoking. We can show you that your relative heart age may go down to 55 thus we can prove that "if you make a change, it will make a difference."

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