Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Maternal factors in CAD risk

Dr K. Sundquist of Karolinski Institute, has just reported in the Amercan Journal of Preventive medicine, an interesting finding that mothers with a history of CAD pass down this risk of CAD to their siblings, more often than fathers. In this interesting study, she reviewed registry data of all Swedish males and females born since 1932, and their registered parents, for CAD related hospital admissions and deaths from 1987-2001.

Among 10,946 males with a parent with CAD, 55% of them had a mother with CAD, and 41% of them with a father with CAD, when compared to those males without CAD. In the 3281 females with a parent with CAD, 43% of them had a mother with CAD and 17% of them with a father with CAD, when compared with the controls without CAD. Of course, if both parents have CAD, the CAD risk to siblings is much higher. You are more like mum, including CAD risk.

What this means is very interesting. Are intra-uterine factors, or genetics factors, or as the researchers suggested, the mere factor that they spend more of their childhood time with their mother and so imbibe more of the mother's CAD risk habits, like lack of exercise, overeating, perhaps smoking, etc., the cause? Remember, these are all registry data. They suggest a pattern. There may or may not be a causal relationship. But it is an interesting fact. It certainly calls for more research.

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