Patients at greater risk if mother has coronary heart disease

NEW YORK--If your mother has coronary heart disease (CHD), you may want to make an extra effort to combat your personal risk, according to a study in the June issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Findings indicate maternal transmission of CHD is stronger than paternal transmission and transmission is even stronger if both parents have the disease.

"Treatment decisions are often difficult in patients with intermediate CHD risk, such as those patients with borderline hypertension or borderline elevated lipid levels," said Kristina Sundquist, MD, PhD, assistant professor at the Karolinska Institute's Center for Family Medicine in Stockholm, Sweden. "Current risk assessments mention family history of CHD, but do not necessarily take into account the sex of the parent or if both parents have the disease. We wanted to discover another piece of evidence that can help determine which of these intermediate patients are at high risk."

Dr. Sundquist presented these findings today at an American Medical Association media briefing, Cardiovascular Disease, in New York City.

Dr. Sundquist and her colleagues created a database using Swedish government-based statistics from the Multigeneration Register, National Census Data, Cause of Death Register and Swedish Hospital Discharge Register. This vast amount of information allowed them to track all Swedish men and women born since 1932, their registered parents, CHD-related hospital admissions and CHD deaths. The final result was a database consisting of 10,946 male cases and 3,281 female cases with a mother and/or father with CHD.

Researchers compared the number of CHD patients with parental history of disease to the number of CHD patients with no parental history of the disease. Because the dataset was so large, they were also able to stratify analysis by age, gender, occupational status and region.

Men had a 55 percent greater risk of developing disease if they had a maternal his

Contact: Kristina Sundquist, MD, PhD
American Medical Association

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