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Risk Jumps in Middle-Age if Sibling Has Heart Disease

Sibling-associated risk higher than if both parents have cardiovascular disease

THURSDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged adults who have a sibling with cardiovascular disease (CVD) have a 45% increase in risk for CVD, greater than that conferred by having two parents with CVD, according to a study in the Dec. 28th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Joanne M. Murabito, M.D., Sc.D., of the Framingham Heart Study, Framingham, Mass., and colleagues examined data from 973 patients who had a sibling with CVD and 4,506 patients who did not have a sibling with CVD. The average age of the sibling CVD group was 57 years and it was 47 years in the group without a sibling with CVD.

The researchers found that having a sibling with CVD increased the risk of CVD by 55%. After adjusting for other risk factors, sibling CVD increased the risk by 45%.

In middle-aged adults, sibling CVD "confers increased risks of CVD events above and beyond traditional risk factors and parental premature CVD," the authors write. "Thus, sibling CVD should be considered as important as parental premature CVD in the assessment of risk."

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