The importance of family history in cerebrovascular disease.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The role of genetics in cerebrovascular disease remains controversial. The purpose of this study was to assess the influence of family history on atherothrombotic infarction or transient ischemic attack. METHODS: Ninety patients with stroke or transient ischemic attack and 90 age- and sex-matched community control subjects were studied prospectively. Medical and family histories were obtained from all subjects, and a complete physical examination was performed. RESULTS: Eighty-five patients and 86 control subjects knew their family history for ischemic heart disease and stroke. A positive history for ischemic heart disease was present in 62 (73%) of the patients and 46 (53%) of the control subjects (P = .019), and a positive family history for stroke was present in 38 (47%) of the patients and 21 (24%) of the control subjects (P = .014). CONCLUSIONS: Although a positive vascular family history was not an independent risk factor in a multivariate analysis, it was an excellent marker of the presence of other established vascular risk factors. Personal histories of ischemic heart disease, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia were found to be significant independent risk factors for stroke.
Graffagnino, C; Gasecki, AP; Doig, GS; Hachinski, VC
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