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Heart Failure More Likely If a Parent Had the Condition

Study shows significant increase in chances of heart failure over 10 years if parents had the disease

WEDNESDAY, July 12 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who have a parent with heart failure are more likely to have left ventricular dysfunction and eventually develop the condition themselves compared with those whose parents do not have heart failure, according to a report in the July 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Ramachandran S. Vasan, M.D., of the Boston University School of Medicine and the Framingham Heart Study in Boston, and colleagues examined the cross-sectional association of heart failure in parents in the Framingham Offspring Study cohort. The study included 1,497 offspring with an average age of 57, including 1,039 offspring whose parents did not have heart failure.

The 458 participants who had parents with heart failure were more likely than those who did not to have increased left ventricular mass (26.9 versus 17 percent), left ventricular internal dimensions (23.4 versus 18.6 percent), and left ventricular systolic dysfunction (5.7 versus 3.1 percent). The adjusted 10-year incidence of heart failure was 2.72 percent in subjects who had parents with heart failure compared to 1.62 percent in those whose parents did not.

"Our data emphasize the contribution of familial factors to the heart-failure burden in the community," the authors write. "Provided that parental occurrence of heart failure can be ascertained reliably by a thorough history taking, this information may facilitate early identification of persons at risk for heart failure."

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