Coronary Events Are More Heritable Than Cerebral Events

Despite similar incidence, MI significantly more likely to cluster in families than stroke

THURSDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- Coronary events are more heritable than cerebral events, with myocardial infarction (MI) significantly more likely than stroke to cluster in families, according to a study published online July 26 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics.

Amitava Banerjee, M.P.H., M.R.C.P., D. Phil., from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues investigated family history of MI and stroke, related risk factors in first-degree relatives, and the extent to which parental history was associated with affected siblings in each disease category. Complete family history data were available for 904 probands (604 men; mean age, 70 years) with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and 1,015 probands (484 men; mean age, 73 years) with cerebral events.

The investigators found that, in the ACS probands, parental MI correlated with MI in one or more siblings (odds ratio, [OR], 1.48 and 5.97, for one or both parents with MI, respectively). In the cerebral events group, parental stroke did not correlate with sibling stroke. Despite similar incidence of stroke and MI, overall frequency of two or more siblings with the same condition was greater in the ACS probands than in the cerebral probands (OR, 5.43). A total of 15.7 percent of ACS cases occurred in families with two or more affected first-degree relatives, as compared to 5.1 percent of transient ischemic attack/strokes cases. All results were independent of smoking and were similar when the analyses were confined to probands with MI-only versus stroke.

"Heritability of coronary events was greater than that of cerebral events, such that MI was more likely to cluster in families than was stroke," the authors write.

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