Middle-Age Heart Profile Best If Parents Had Longevity

Genetic contribution to risk factors may play a role

MONDAY, March 12 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who have one or two parents who survived to age 85 or longer tend to have a better cardiovascular disease profile in middle age than patients who do not, researchers report in the March 12 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Dellara F. Terry, M.D., of the Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues analyzed data from 1,697 offspring of the Framingham Heart Study cohort, whose parents died before Jan. 1, 2005 or who lived to at least 85 years. The data yielded a sample of 705 people for whom neither parent was long-lived, 804 people who had one parent who lived beyond age 85, and 188 people who had two long-lived parents.

The middle-aged cardiovascular risk profile for offspring of two long-lived parents was the best, followed by those with one long-lived parent and those with none, yielding mean Framingham Risk Scores of 0.55, 1.08 and 1.71, respectively.

"There are well-established genetic contributions to each of the risk factors that we have examined that may partially explain the reduced risk factors for those with long-lived parents. Better understanding of genetic variation in cardiovascular risk factors and longevity eventually may be helpful for disease prevention and treatment strategies in the community," the authors conclude.

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Jane Parry

Jane Parry

Updated on March 12, 2007

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