Some studies suggest that first-degree relatives of female patients with premature coronary heart disease (CHD) are at greater risk for early disease than if the proband is a male patient. To examine coronary risk factors, related knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs concerning CHD risk, we screened a sample of 87 apparently healthy offspring (56 female subjects and 31 male subjects) of women with documented premature CHD. More than half of the offspring had total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels above the recommended levels for primary prevention, 31% were current smokers, and 56% exercised fewer than three times a week. A high proportion were overweight with a high prevalence of central obesity. A total of 13% had only one major risk factor, a family history of premature CHD, 10% had two risk factors, 23% had three, and 54% had four or more CHD risk factors. When compared with the Framingham cohort, 29% of sons and 30% of daughters exceeded their age- and sex-specific average risk for having CHD in 10 years. Only 28% identified heredity as a major cause of CHD, and 47% perceived their risk for future myocardial infarction as less than or equal to that of others their age. These findings suggest that adult children of women with premature CHD have a high prevalence of modifiable risk factors and do not perceive themselves to be at risk for CHD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine