University of Minnesota

Albany Cardiovascular Health Center Study

Study Category: The Cohort Studies (1947-1972)
Years: 1953 - 1981
Location: Albany, New York, USA
Principal Investigator: Doyle, Joseph
External Resource: View URL


Initiated by Herman Hilleboe in 1953 under the auspices of the New York State Department of Health that he directed, this was one of the earlier cohort studies in which characteristics leading to cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk were sought among a healthy population (civil service workers).


The cohort was 2202 civil employees, men 39 to 55 years of age, mostly white and educated, who were followed until 1981 with biannual examinations for incidence of CVD. There was excellent participation, and extensive sharing of survey methods and some combined data analysis with the Framingham Heart Study.


The average annual incidence rate of coronary heart disease (CHD) during the initial study years was 8.5 per 1000. Approximately half of the new cases of CHD over the first 44 months of follow-up were due to acute infarction (AMI), approximately one third were attributed to angina pectoris, and the remainder to the findings of an abnormal exercise treadmill test and electrocardiogram.

The risk of sudden death increased with age up to 60 years with a fall off thereafter. At all ages, the incidence of sudden cardiac death was greater in persons with antecedent coronary risk factors including elevated serum cholesterol and blood pressure, cigarette smoking, ECG evidence of left ventricular hypertrophy, and higher relative body weight. The risk of sudden death increased with increasing deciles of multivariable-adjusted risk.


Albany was one of the first epidemiological studies to report on the predictive power of a standardized exercise electrocardiogram, to pool data (with its “sister study” at Framingham), and to compare risk discrimination with the multiple logistic versus Cox proportional hazards models. (HB)


Hilleboe HE, James G, Doyle JT (1954). Cardiovascular Health Center. I. Project design for public health research. American Journal of Public Health, 44: 851-63.

Doyle JT, Kannel WB, McNamara PM, Quickenton P, Gordon T (1976). Factors related to suddenness of death from coronary disease: combined Albany – Framingham studies. American Journal of Cardiology, 37: 1073-8.

Chang HG, Lininger LL, Doyle JT, Maccubbin PA, Rothenberg RB (1990). Application of the Cox model as a predictor of relative risk of coronary heart disease in the Albany Study. Statistics in Medicine, 9: 287-92.