Dr. Berenson passes away in Texas

Published 4:36 am Saturday, November 24, 2018

Dr. Gerald Berenson, 96, passed away Thursday morning in Houston, Texas.

Berenson, a native of Bogalusa, spearheaded the Bogalusa Heart Study — a long-term medical study to research how heart disease develops as people age.

The initiative, which started at LSU Medical Center and has been at Tulane Medical Center since 1992, has enrolled more than 15,000 people and become world-renowned. Among the Bogalusa Heart Study’s more notable findings was the discovery that the risk factors for cardiovascular disease can be detected in childhood.

Visitation will begin Saturday at noon at Congregation Shir Chadash, located at 3737 W. Esplanade Ave. in Metairie. The visitation will continue Sunday from noon until 2 p.m., followed by the funeral service at 2 p.m.

The Bogalusa Heart Study began in the early 1970s when Berenson began collecting health data from children in Bogalusa. The majority of those children then returned year after year for checkups, providing the medical community with countless reports and data on heart health as the children continued to age and mature.

The study generated thousands of peer-reviewed articles and has shown that children with risk factors are more likely to develop health problems as adults.