The Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MRFIT) was a randomized clinical trial to determine whether multifactor intervention in high-risk asymptomatic middle-aged men would prevent fatal coronary heart disease (CHD) events compared with usual medical care. Beginning in 1972, MRFIT enrolled 12,866 participants at high risk of death from coronary heart disease at 22 clinical centers in the United States. MRFIT aimed to determine whether a special intervention program to lower serum cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, and eliminate cigarette smoking would result in a significant reduction in mortality from CHD. Follow-up continued until 1982 with an average follow-up of 6-8 years. The 361,662 men screened constitute the largest cohort with standardized serum cholesterol measurements and long-term mortality follow-up. Mortality follow-up of randomized and screened men continued through 1999.
Data from the MRFIT resulted in more than 200 publications. In 1998, JAMA selected the MRFIT main results paper from 1982 as one of 24 “important groundbreaking and practice-changing articles” and reprinted it in its entirety.