East Texans Benefit from Framingham Heart Study

Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in the U.S., but a senior cardiac researcher says it doesn't have to be.

Dr. William Castelli passed along this information to East Texas cardiologists at Trinity Mother Frances Thursday. He's worked for 37 years in the Framingham Heart Study in Massachusetts.

The study followed generations of families in the town of Framingham for 54 years. Through Dr. Castelli's research, he was able to identify the common factors that contribute to cardiovascular disease.

"You have a very high heart attack rate here and you can go to any town in East Texas thanks to the people of Framingham mass and measure a few numbers on those people's bodies and identify the people who are going to get heart attack or a stroke," says Dr. William Castelli.

Through that information Dr. Castelli was able to tell east Texas doctors how to prevent and better treat heart disease. Some of the most important discoveries include revealing smoking increased the chances of heart disease, as well as obesity. Exercising and eating right had the opposite effect of reducing the risk of heart disease. Dr. Castelli is part of what is probably the most important long-term study in the history of cardiac research according to the vice president of cardiac research at Trinity Mother Frances.