Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genes play greater role in heart attacks than stroke, researchers say

Date:
July 27, 2011
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
People are more likely to inherit a predisposition to heart attack than to stroke, according to a new study. The finding supports earlier research that showed genes influencing stroke risk are largely those involved in regulating blood pressure. Researchers say heart and stroke risk should be assessed separately in healthy people.

People are significantly more likely to inherit a predisposition to heart attack than to stroke, according to research reported in Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics, an American Heart Association journal.

The study results have implications for better understanding the genetics of stroke and suggest the need for separate risk assessment models for the two conditions.

"We found that the association between one of your parents having a heart attack and you having a heart attack was a lot stronger than the association between your parent having a stroke and you having a stroke," said senior author Peter M. Rothwell, M.D., Ph.D., professor of clinical neurology at Oxford University in England. "That suggests the susceptibility to stroke is less strongly inherited than the susceptibility to heart attack."

A second analysis, which included patients' siblings as well as parents, yielded the same result: Family history proved a stronger risk predictor for heart attack than for stroke.

Rothwell and his colleagues conducted the study to clarify and confirm evidence suggesting a great difference in genetic predisposition between heart attacks and strokes. "We had found previously that much of the heritability of stroke is related to the genetics of high blood pressure, which doesn't seem to be the case for heart attack," Rothwell said. Hypertension appears to be closely related with stroke rather than heart attack, which is why a family history of hypertension is related to a higher risk of stroke.

In the report just published, all patients were enrolled in the ongoing Oxford Vascular Study. OXVASC, as the study is known, that began in 2002 to study strokes, heart attacks and other acute vascular events in a part of Oxfordshire County where more than 91,000people are served by one hospital. Previous analyses in the same population conducted by lead author, Amitava Banerjee MPH PhD, have shown the particular importance of family history in mother-daughter transmission in both heart attacks and stroke. "Family history of heart attacks and family history of strokes have rarely been studied in the same population," Banerjee said.

The researchers used data from 906 patients (604 men) with acute heart ailments and 1,015 patients (484 men)who suffered acute cerebral events. Among the study's findings:

  • In the heart patients, 30 percent had one parent who'd had a heart attack, 21 percent had at least one sibling who had suffered a heart attack. Seven percent had two or more siblings who had heart attacks and 5 percent had two parents with heart attack.
  • Among the patients with a stroke or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs, often called a mini-strokes or warning strokes), 21 percent had one parent who had a stroke, and 2 percent had two parents with stroke. Eight percent had at least one sibling with a stroke and 1.4 percent had at least two siblings with stroke.
  • The risk of a sibling developing acute heart problems was similar for those with heart attack or stroke.
  • The risk for an acute cardiac event was six times greater if both parents had suffered a heart attack and one-and-a-half times greater if one parent had a heart attack. In contrast, the likelihood of stroke did not change significantly with parents' stroke history.

The findings, if confirmed by additional studies, hold two significant implications, Rothwell said.

"First, the way physicians predict the odds of a healthy person suffering a heart attack or stroke needs refining," he said. "Currently, most risk models lump a patient's family history of stroke and heart attack together. We probably should model family history of stroke and heart attack separately in the future."

The new data also indicated that using the same criteria to predict both medical events overestimate the risk of stroke, he added. "The knowledge of genetic factors in stroke lags behind that in coronary artery disease," Rothwell said. The discovery that genes play a significantly smaller role in stroke could mean that genetic studies of stroke may not be critical to the field, he added.

Co-authors are Amitava Banerjee, MPH Ph.D.; Louise E. Silver, R.G.N., Ph.D.; Carl Heneghan, Ph.D.; Sarah J. V. Welch, R.G.N. MA; Ziyah Mehta, Ph.D.; and Adrian P. Banning, M.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Amitava Banerjee, Louise E. Silver, Carl Heneghan, Sarah J.V. Welch, Ziyah Mehta, Adrian P. Banning, Peter M. Rothwell. Relative Familial Clustering of Cerebral Versus Coronary Ischaemic Events. Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics, 2011; DOI: 10.1161/CIRCGENETICS.110.959114

Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Genes play greater role in heart attacks than stroke, researchers say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110726163440.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2011, July 27). Genes play greater role in heart attacks than stroke, researchers say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110726163440.htm
American Heart Association. "Genes play greater role in heart attacks than stroke, researchers say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110726163440.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins