Role of family history in patients with myocardial infarction. An Italian case-control study. GISSI-EFRIM Investigators.
BACKGROUND A family history of heart disease has been reported to increase the risk of coronary heart disease. We examined the relation between family history of myocardial infarction (MI) and risk of acute MI to establish the independency of this association, the degree of risk in relation to the number and age of relatives affected, and the possible interaction between family history and other major risk factors for MI.
METHODS AND RESULTS In a case-control study conducted in Italy within the framework of the GISSI-2 Trial, 916 cases of newly diagnosed MI and 1,106 hospital controls were identified. Using a structured questionnaire, data were collected on the history of MI in first-degree relatives and the age at which the event occurred. Compared with subjects without family history of MI in first-degree relatives, the relative risk (RR) of MI was 2.0 (95% confidence interval, CI, 1.6-2.5) in those with one and 3.0 (95% CI, 2.0-4.4) in those with two or more relatives affected (chi 2(1) test for trend, 54.1; p less than 0.001). Such an increase was not substantially affected by allowance for recognized risk factors. The risk related to family history involving at least two relatives was higher for early MI (less than 55 years) (RR, 20.0; 95% CI, 3.3-121.2) compared with later MI (less than or equal to 65 years) (RR, 3.5; 95% CI, 1.8-6.6). When known risk factors were considered for their interaction with family history, the effect on RR was approximately multiplicative for several variables, including smoking, serum cholesterol, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia but not for diabetes and body mass index. Thus, the presence of both family history and smoking and cholesterol levels greater than or equal to 226 mg/dl led to an RR of 14 (95% CI, 3.7-50.0) and 8.3 (95% CI, 1.8-38.7), respectively.
CONCLUSIONS This study indicates that a family history of MI is an independent risk factor for MI, and that the number of relatives and the age at which they were affected is related to the strength of the association. There is a multiplicative effect on RR between family history and several major risk factors for MI.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association