Familial aggregation of early-onset myocardial infarction

David Brown, Wayne H. Giles, Wylie Burke, Kurt J. Greenlund, Janet B. Croft

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Although ischemic heart disease tends to cluster in families, previous studies have reported a modest (2-fold increased risk) to strong (10-fold increased risk) contribution of family history to the explanation of disease occurrence. The authors assessed the familial aggregation of early-onset myocardial infarction in 11,307 adults aged <65 years who participated in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Logistic regression was used to obtain odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). A parental history was more common in those with (n = 237) than in those without (n = 11,070) a myocardial infarction (19.8 vs. 7.9%, p ≤ 0.01). Adults with a parental history were also more likely to have multiple risk factors for cardiovascular disease (OR for four or five risk factors compared with none: 2.9, 95% CI: 1.4, 6.3). After multivariate adjustment, the likelihood of myocardial infarction was more than three times greater among adults with a parental history than among those without (95% CI: 1.7, 6.7). A maternal history of myocardial infarction was strongly associated (OR = 6.1, 95% CI: 2.1, 17.4) with an increased likelihood of myocardial infarction, and a paternal history was associated with a 3-fold (95% CI: 1.5, 6.3) increased likelihood of myocardial infarction after adjustment for cardiovascular disease risk factors. These results suggest a familial aggregation of early-onset myocardial infarction and show that family history is strongly associated with cardiovascular disease risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-238
Number of pages7
JournalCommunity Genetics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Cross-sectional study
  • Family history
  • Heart disease
  • Myocardial infarction


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