Posted on Jun 17, 2013, 6 a.m.
People with a parent who has early atherosclerosis of the aorta have a significantly increased risk of developing the disease.
Swedish researchers conducted a study to map the significance of heredity for the four most common forms of atherosclerotic disease: coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke, peripheral artery disease, and atherosclerosis of the aorta. Heredity was found to be a significant factor in all forms of atherosclerotic disease studied, however heredity was by far the highest for atherosclerosis of the aorta. Results showed that the risk of developing atherosclerosis of the aorta at a young age (< 55 for men, < 65 for women) was 9 times higher for people with a parent who has suffered from the condition than for those who did not have any family history of the disease. "If you know that one of your parents developed atherosclerosis of the aorta at a young age, you should arrange to have an ultrasound examination of the aorta", said Bengt Zöller of Lund University, Malmo. “The presence of cardiovascular disease in a parent or sibling is an important risk factor that should be included in patients' medical history and examinations. It is therefore important that doctors ask about family history so that they can decide whether further examinations are needed", added study leader Susanna Calling.
Susanna Calling, Jianguang Ji, Jan Sundquist, Kristina Sundquist, Bengt Zöller. Shared and non-shared familial susceptibility of coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke, peripheral artery disease and aortic disease. Int J Cardiol. 2013 Apr 30.[Epub ahead of print]