Objectives. The offspring of individuals with premature coronary heart disease are themselves at increased risk for myocardial infarction before the age of 55. Consensus panels have recommended that all such offspring undergo an evaluation of cardiovascular risk, including cholesterol testing. Methods. To examine self-reported rates of cardiovascular risk factor assessment in this population, we conducted a telephone survey of 318 Canadian adults with premature coronary heart disease and of one offspring from 298 (94%) of the 318 families. Results. The median age of the offspring was 20 years (range 2 to 39 y). Among the 219 late adolescent and young adult offspring, only 97 (44%) reported having had a blood cholesterol measurement during the preceding 3 years. Thirty-seven percent reported being current smokers, 31% were overweight, and 30% exercised fewer than three times per week. Men were less likely than women to report having had their blood pressure measured in the preceding year (57% vs 80%). Conclusions. These low rates of cardiac risk factor assessment in families of patients with premature coronary heart disease represent missed opportunities for primary prevention. More effective strategies to prevent atherosclerosis in this population are needed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health