This finding deflates unrealistic hopes for changing lifestyle as the primary key to much reducing heart disease
From the American Heart Journal abstract (regarding a study by Sweden’s Center for Primary Health Care Research):
The Swedish Multigenerational register was used to follow all Swedish-born adoptees (born in or after 1932, n = 80,214) between January 1, 1973, and December 31, 2008, for CHD.
The risk of CHD was estimated in adopted men and women with at least one biological parent with CHD and adopted men and women with at least one adoptive parent with CHD.
The control groups consisted of adopted men or women without a biological parent with CHD or adopted men or women without an adoptive parent with CHD.
Adopted men and women with at least one biological parent with CHD (n = 749) were 1.4 to 1.6 times (statistically significant, 95% CI) more likely to have CHD than adoptees without a biological parent with CHD. In contrast, men and women with at least one adoptive parent with CHD (n = 1,009) were not at increased risk of the disease.
These findings (based on validated hospital diagnoses unbiased by recall) suggest that the familiar transmission of CHD from parents to offspring is more related to genetic factors than to family environmental factors.
© 2011 Kristina Sundquist, Marilyn Winkleby, Xinjun Li, Jianguang Ji, Kari Hemminki, and Jan Sundquist, Familiar transmission of coronary heart disease: A cohort study of 80,214 Swedish adoptees linked to their biological and adoptive parents, American Heart Journal 162(2): 317-322 (August 2011) (paragraph split)
Lund University’s press release puts most everyone else to shame by being accurate, helpful, and properly citing its research source
The release also distilled the research’s message for lay individuals into two helpful sentences:
“The results of our studies suggest that the risk of coronary heart disease is not transferred via an unhealthy lifestyle in the family, but rather via the genes,” says Kristina Sundquist, a professor at the Center for Primary Health Care Research in Malmö, Sweden.
“But that does not mean that one’s lifestyle is not a factor in one’s own risk of developing coronary heart disease.”
© 2011 Press Office, Coronary heart disease due to genes, not family lifestyle, Lund University (26 August 2011)
Why similar accuracy and attribution seems to be a bridge too far for virtually everybody else in the world escapes me.