Women whose mothers had a stroke are at increased risk for both stroke and myocardial infarction, new research has shown.
In a study of sex-of-parent and sex-of-proband interactions for family history of stroke in acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients, Amitava Banerjee of the University of Oxford, England, and colleagues evaluated the family histories of 1,957 patients who had suffered a stroke, transient ischemic attack, myocardial infarction, or unstable angina. They determined that maternal history of stroke was more than twice as common than paternal stroke history in women with ACS, with an odds ratio of 2.53. Additionally, women with ACS were more likely to have female vs. male first-degree relatives with stroke history (odds ratio 2.09), while the opposite was true for males with ACS (odds ratio 0.69), the authors reported Feb. 1 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics.
Previous studies have shown that women face a higher risk of myocardial infarction before age 65 if their mothers had a myocardial infarction at an early age, and that stroke in female first-degree relatives is a powerful risk factor for ischemic stroke in women; however, this is the first study to point toward sex-specific heritability of vascular disease across different arterial territories, the authors wrote. The current study is also the first to consider “the full spectrum of ACS without age restrictions on the proband or parent at time of vascular event,” they stated.
The findings are especially noteworthy because “family history of stroke is omitted from existing MI risk prediction tools, which perform less well in women than in men,” the authors stressed.
Authors: The Oxford Vascular Study is funded by the U.K. Medical Research Council, the Dunhill Medical Trust, the Stroke Association, the BUPA Foundation, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the Thames Valley Primary Care Research Partnership and the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Oxford. Author A.P. Banning is supported by the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Oxford.