If you have a relative who died of heart disease before age 60, your own risk of early heart trouble is higher as well, a study involving millions of people in Denmark over three decades has determined.
Family history of premature heart disease has long been considered a risk factor for heart problems in future generations, and the new study, which appeared in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, strengthens this evidence.
Researchers found that people with a parent or sibling who died young of heart problems were roughly twice as likely as others to be diagnosed with coronary heart disease - where "plaques" build up in the heart arteries, raising the risk of heart attack before age 50.
They also had double the risk of suffering a ventricular arrhythmia, an often fatal rhythm disturbance in the heart's main pumping chamber.
"As with other chronic diseases, people should try to find out what they can about their family history," said Mattis Flyvholm Ranthe, the lead researcher on the study, in an email.
Researchers at the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen combed through public health data on almost four million Danish citizens born after 1949.
Between 1978 and 2008, almost 130,000 of them were diagnosed with some form of cardiovascular disease before age 50. Those odds were heightened when a first-degree relative had died of heart problems before hitting 60.
But those risks also were elevated when a second-degree relative, such as a grandparent or half-sibling, had died young. The risk of coronary disease, for example, was 43 percent higher in people with one second-degree relative who had died before age 60.
"This study tells us that a grandparent's history is meaningful too," said Amit Khera, who directs the preventative cardiology program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
The more relatives who died young, the greater the risk. When two or more first-degree relatives died of heart problems before age 60, a person's own risk of early heart disease rose five-fold.
It's not fully clear how much of a difference that lifestyle changes or medication for high blood pressure or cholesterol can make for people with heart disease in their family, but it's known that those steps help curb heart risk in general.
"There's no reason to suspect that preventive measures wouldn't apply to these folks as well," Khera said. SOURCE: bit.ly/PEP18s
Dr Ender Karaca, a post-doctoral associate in the department of molecular and human genetics at Baylor, first encountered the disorder in 2006 and 2007 during his residency training as a clinical geneticist in Turkey.
A routine inspection at a slaughterhouse in Mato Grosso state found an animal that veterinarians suspect of having a neurological problems
Public concern has been heightened by the spread of rumours on social media that there were many undiagnosed cases, as well as accusations of government cover-ups and inadequate hygiene procedures
The long-awaited proposal would subject the $2 billion e-cigarette industry to federal regulation for the first time.
Scientists are especially interested in this iceberg not only because of its size but because it originated in an unexpected location
About 15 percent of world's children going without vaccinations, says WHO's Director of Immunization Dr. Okwo-Bele
The weeklong campaign will target seven of South Sudan's ten states.
The latest cases bring the total number of confirmed cases in the kingdom to 272, of whom 81 have died.
In a survey conducted last year, most water analyzed was deemed to be "very poor" or "relatively poor" in standard and cannot be used for drinking purposes.
Poaching rhinos for their horns is a growing problem in South Africa and a lucrative business for organised criminal networks but it is unusual for thieves to target stock piles.
The 17 new cases, announced late on Monday on the Health Ministry website, bring the total number of Saudi infections to 261, of whom 81 have died
The amendments, now in their fourth draft, are expected to enshrine environmental protection as the overriding priority of the Chinese government
In 2008, the Zambian government banned smoking in public places, relying on state police to enforce the prohibition.
Saudi Arabia has reported 244 cases of MERS since the disease was identified in 2012, of which 79 have been fatal.
China is aiming to make energy production and consumption more ecological to fight smog, siad the Chinese Premier.
MERS has no vaccine or anti-viral treatment, but international and Saudi health authorities say the disease, which originated in camels, does not transmit easily between people and may simply die out