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Genetics more important to coronary heart disease risk than family lifestyle is, study shows

Date:
August 26, 2011
Source:
Lund University
Summary:
It has long been known that hereditary factors play a role in coronary heart disease. However, it has been unclear whether the increased risk is transferred through the genes or through an unhealthy lifestyle in the family. A new study shows that genes appear to be most important.

It has long been known that hereditary factors play a role in coronary heart disease. However, it has been unclear whether the increased risk is transferred through the genes or through an unhealthy lifestyle in the family. A new study from the Center for Primary Health Care Research in Sweden, published in the American Heart Journal, shows that genes appear to be most important.

The researchers, led by Professor Kristina Sundquist, studied people who had been adopted and compared them with both their biological and their adoptive parents. The Swedish multi-generation register and the in-patient care register were used to follow 80 214 adopted men and women. They were all born in 1932 or later and developed coronary heart disease between 1973 and 2008. Using the registers, the researchers also studied the adoptive parents and biological parents over the same period.

The risk of coronary heart disease in adopted individuals who had at least one biological parent with coronary heart disease was 40-60% higher than that of a control group. There was no increased risk in individuals whose adoptive parents suffered from coronary heart disease, not even if both adoptive parents had the disease.

"The results of our studies suggest that the risk of coronary heart disease is not transferred via an unhealthy lifestyle in the family, but rather via the genes," says Kristina Sundquist, a professor at the Center for Primary Health Care Research in Malmφ, Sweden.

"But that does not mean that one's lifestyle is not a factor in one's own risk of developing coronary heart disease."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Kristina Sundquist, Marilyn Winkleby, Xinjun Li, Jianguang Ji, Kari Hemminki, Jan Sundquist. Familiar transmission of coronary heart disease: A cohort study of 80,214 Swedish adoptees linked to their biological and adoptive parents. American Heart Journal, 2011; 162 (2): 317 DOI: 10.1016/j.ahj.2011.05.013

Cite This Page:

Lund University. "Genetics more important to coronary heart disease risk than family lifestyle is, study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110826091439.htm>.
Lund University. (2011, August 26). Genetics more important to coronary heart disease risk than family lifestyle is, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110826091439.htm
Lund University. "Genetics more important to coronary heart disease risk than family lifestyle is, study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110826091439.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

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