Navigation Links
Family History Has Strong Effect on Cardiac Risk
Date:9/7/2007

Screening, treatment of close relatives proposed

FRIDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Paying attention to the heart risk factors of close relatives of people with coronary heart disease could prevent more than 40 percent of early heart deaths, Scottish researchers say.

"If you want primary prevention, you have to go through the population to find groups with high risk," explained Dr. Jill Pell, professor of epidemiology at the University of Glasgow and lead author of a report in the Sept. 8 issue of the British Medical Journal.

"The 14 percent of families that have a history of coronary heart disease account for 72 percent of all premature deaths from heart disease," Pell pointed out.

That number comes from previous studies, which showed that 48 percent of major coronary events such as heart attacks occur in those families, Pell added. A brother or sister of someone who has a heart attack or other coronary event has twice the normal risk of having such an event, she said.

"So, instead of going through the entire population [for screening], we can go through the closest relatives of coronary disease patients," she reasoned.

Screening those close relatives and taking steps against risk factors such as high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes and high blood pressure could prevent more than 80 percent of the early heart attacks that occur in Britain each year, the Glasgow group estimated.

They plan to put that belief to a practical test with a pilot project to screen siblings and children of coronary heart disease patients, select those with obvious risk factors, and then work to bring those factors under control, Pell said.

"We would aim at global risk, all the factors together -- smoking, cholesterol, diet, exercise," she said.

In theory, working physicians are aware of the importance of family history in predicting coronary risk, Pell said. And they know that they should put that information to use with the close relatives of heart patients.

However, "the reality is that all of the studies to date show that it just isn't happening," she said.

People with coronary heart disease often show up in emergency rooms or outpatient clinics, the researchers noted. It would be easy to flag them as members of a family requiring counseling. In fact, such a flagging system is used for cancers that are known to have an inheritable background, the report's authors noted.

It would be easy to ask a heart patient if any close relatives have such a condition, Pell said, and to give basic advice when that is the case: "Tell your brother to check out his risk factors and modify them if necessary."

In the United States, the Sibling Family Heart Study, which has followed more than 800 people for more than a decade, has seen "a doubling of the number of heart attacks, deaths and events that need to be corrected with bypass surgery or angioplasty," added Dr. Dhananjay Vaidya, assistant professor of internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and a member of that study team.

"One surprising thing we found was that people who had early heart attacks and had a family history of heart disease had very little knowledge of how they were at greater risk," Vaidya said.

After all other risk factors are taken into account, having a close family member with coronary heart disease increased a person's risk of a major cardiac event by 45 percent, he said.

More information

There's more on the role of family in cardiac risk at the American Heart Association.



SOURCES: Jill Pell, M.D., professor, epidemiology, University of Glasgow, Scotland; Dhananjay Vaidya, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor, internal medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; Sept. 7, 2007, British Medical Journal


'/>"/>
Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Family planning with folate
2. Breast cancer in younger women strongly linked to family history
3. Accuracy of Some Natural Family Planning Methods Questioned .
4. Alcoholism Influenced By Both Genetics & Family Environment
5. Restless leg syndrome can be a family trait
6. Merck to pay $ 253.5 million to Vioxx victim family
7. Family Counseling To Encourage Children Eat Healthy
8. Survey finds that discussion with family very crucial in organ donation decision
9. Effective family control measures and stem cell research focus of Indian Government
10. Family history of alcoholism influences reaction to advice
11. Family planning is insisted upon Muslims by Shia cleric
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest ... . , Millions of individuals in the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once ... to both correct vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a weight loss fitness plan that ... the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, , All ... They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise program , ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand ... project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s ... within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom ... of success. In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result ... more than just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) learned ... receive two significant new grants to support its work to advance research and ... by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in fighting pulmonary ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Global Blood ... biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for the treatment ... today announced the closing of its previously announced ... stock, at the public offering price of $18.75 ... offering were offered by GBT. GBT estimates net ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 Dublin ... addition of the " Global Markets for Spectroscopy ... This report focuses on the ... review, including its applications in various applications. The report ... includes three main industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, food and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) ... would allow biopharmaceutical companies to more easily share health ... and coverage decisions, a move that addresses the growing ... The recommendations address restrictions in the sharing of ... label, a prohibition that hinders decision makers from accessing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: