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Western Collaborative Group Study (WCGS): 25-Year Follow-up of Cardiovascular Disease Morbidity and Mortality

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Identifier:
First received: May 25, 2000
Last updated: June 23, 2005
Last verified: July 2000

To conduct a 25-year follow-up of the surviving participants in the Western Collaborative Group Study, the first large prospective study of coronary heart disease risk factors to incorporate direct assessment of Type A behavior.

Cardiovascular Diseases
Heart Diseases
Coronary Disease
Cerebrovascular Accident

Study Type: Observational

Further study details as provided by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI):

Study Start Date: July 1985
Estimated Study Completion Date: June 1990
Detailed Description:


The WCGS began in 1960 with 3,524 male volunteers who were employed by 11 California companies. Subjects were 39 to 59 years old and free of heart disease as determined by electrocardiogram. After the initial screening, the study population dropped to 3,154 and the number of companies to 10 because of various exclusions. The cohort comprised both blue- and white-collar employees. At baseline the following information was collected: socio-demographic including age, education, marital status, income, occupation; physical and physiological including height, weight, blood pressure, electrocardiogram, and corneal arcus; biochemical including cholesterol and lipoprotein fractions; medical and family history and use of medications; behavioral data including Type A interview, smoking, exercise, and alcohol use. Later surveys added data on anthropometry, triglycerides, Jenkins Activity Survey, and caffeine use. Average follow-up continued for 8.5 years with repeat examinations. During the 8.5 year follow-up, coronary heart disease occurred in 257 of the initially disease-free group, of whom 50 died of coronary heart disease. There were 90 non-coronary disease deaths. Multiple logistic analyses confirmed the roles of blood pressure, serum cholesterol and cigarette smoking as risk factors. The study also found that Type A behavior, as assessed by a Structured Interview, was associated independently with the risk of coronary heart disease and constituted a 2:1 risk.

In 1982, Dr. Richard Brand and Dr. David Ragland at the School of Public Health, University of California at Berkeley, conducted a Mortality Follow-up of the 3,014 WCGS subjects living in 1969. The purpose of the 1982 follow-up was to locate the original participants, determine vital status, and obtain information about the health status of the participants who were still alive, and cause of death of participants who had died between 1969 and 1982. All individuals contacted were asked to participate in the proposed 25-year follow-up physical examination. At that time in 1983 there were 2,534 surviving subjects. All data gathered by the 1982 Mortality Follow-up were used in the 25-year follow-up.


The follow-up evaluated the power of cardiovascular disease risk factors, as measured in 1960, to predict coronary heart disease morbidity and mortality over 25 years and to predict stroke. It also evaluated the power of changes in cardiovascular disease risk factors as observed across the seven repeat exams from 1960 to 1969, to predict long-term morbidity and mortality and provided the basis for a potential future follow-up of an aging cohort.

The 25-year follow-up extended the existing database by adding current risk factor status and cardiovascular disease morbidity data collected by physical examinations and personal interviews. The new data included physical, physiological, and biochemical variables, health behavior, medical and family history, and Type A behavior. Existing mortality records were updated and used to determine cause of death and, where possible, the extent of cardiovascular pathology.


Genders Eligible for Study:   Male
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

No eligibility criteria

  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

No Contacts or Locations Provided
  More Information

Rosenman RH: An Update on the Type A Behavior Pattern and its Relationship to Coronary Artery Disease. Perspect Lipid Disorders, 5:4-9, 1987
Rosenman RH: Der Einfluss von Angst Oder Angstfreiheit Auf das Kreislaufsystem. In: Nutzinger DO, Pfersmann D, Welan T, and Zapotoczky HG, (Eds.), Herzphobie: Klassifikation, Diagnostik und Therapie. Stuttgart: Ferdinand Enre Verlag, 1987
Rosenman RH. Type A Behavior and Hypertension. In: Julius S, Bassett DR, (Eds.), Handbook of Hypertension, Vol. 9, Behavioral Factors in Hypertension. Elsevier Science, 1987
Rosenman RH, Chesney MA: Behavioral and Pharmacological Modification of Coronary-Prone Type A Behaviors. Directions in Psychiatary. Vol. 4, Lesson 12. New York, Hatherleigh Company, Ltd., 1984
Rosenman RH, Swan GE: Some Reflections on Type A Behavior, Psychiatr Times, 5:Ni.3, March 1988
Rosenman RH, Swan GE: Some Relationships of Contrasting Emotions to Cardiovascular Disorders. Stress Med, 4:27-32, 1988 Identifier: NCT00005174     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 1051
Study First Received: May 25, 2000
Last Updated: June 23, 2005
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Cardiovascular Diseases
Cerebral Infarction
Brain Diseases
Brain Infarction
Brain Ischemia
Central Nervous System Diseases
Cerebrovascular Disorders
Nervous System Diseases
Vascular Diseases processed this record on February 27, 2015