Mother's stroke history linked to daughter's risk of heart attack

Mar 10, 2011

A mother's history of stroke may help doctors determine her daughter's risk of heart attack

Female children of women who have had strokes may have an increased risk of suffering a heart attack, according to an upcoming study in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics.

In the study, researchers found that in addition to an increased risk of stroke, women whose mothers have had one may also be more likely to have a heart attack from a study of 2,200 heart patients. The results showed that female heart patients were more likely to have a mother who had experienced a stroke than a father who had.

"Our study results point towards sex-specific heritability of vascular disease across different arterial territories - namely coronary and cerebral artery territories," said lead researcher Amitava Banerjee, from the Stroke Prevention Research Unit at the University of Oxford.

Researchers also believe their discovery is significant, because, although women are less likely to suffer from a heart attack, they are more likely to die from one.

Knowing one's risk for heart attack is not only essential for early detection and treatment of heart problems. Since heart disease very frequently results in death, it can help encourage those who may develop heart problems to consider end-of-life preparations early on and ensure they have affairs in order to take care of their families in the event of their death.  

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