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Mother Matters When It Comes To The Heart
New Scientist ^ | 4-27-2006 | Roxanne Khamsi

Posted on 04/27/2006 5:10:24 PM PDT by blam

Mother matters when it comes to the heart

17:59 27 April 2006 news service
Roxanne Khamsi

When it comes to some matters of the heart, mothers have more influence than fathers, a large-scale study finds, and the effect is particularly pronounced in daughters.

Swedish researchers used a national registry of more than 11 million people stretching back to 1932 to assess how parents’ history of heart problems might link to the health woes of their children. Their analysis focused specifically on people in the database who had suffered a heart attack or angina, a severe constricting pain in the heart.

A woman has a 43% greater chance of such heart disease if her mother suffered from the condition, according to the new study. By comparison, if her father had the disease she faces only a 17% greater chance of heart disease than patients with no family history of the illness.

Sons are also influenced by their parents’ heart health, but for them the paternal transmission of the disease was almost as strong: If coronary heart disease struck his mother or father, a man’s chance of developing it increase by 55% or 41%, respectively.

Bad habits

The effect seen is probably mainly an environmental one, the researchers say. “Children spend more time with their mothers, during which they may pick up risky behaviours such as poor dietary habits, physical inactivity and smoking,” says Kristina Sundquist of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, who led the research. But other factors, such as a genetic predisposition to heart disease, might also explain the findings, she adds.

Not unexpectedly, if both parents have a history of such ill health, the male and female risk of heart attack and angina increase even more – by 108% and 82%, respectively.

“If a person has a mother or both parents with coronary heart disease then it means he or she should be more aware of other risk factors,” says Sundquist.

She explains that a few previous studies have found that a history of heart disease in the mother has a bigger impact if the father had same illness, but adds that her study is the largest to date.

“It’s a very persuasive study,” comments Howard Sesso of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, US, whose earlier work has reached similar conclusions. He adds that the number of papers published on the topic have been “few and far between”.

Journal reference: American Journal of Preventative Medicine (DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2006.01.010)

TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: comes; heart; matters; mother; when

1 posted on 04/27/2006 5:10:27 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Perhaps you should have posted this on Mothers' Day.

2 posted on 04/27/2006 5:27:55 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued (Bob Taft for Impeachment)
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To: Clintonfatigued
"Perhaps you should have posted this on Mothers' Day."

I'm a 'current' events kind of guy and it was in the news today.

3 posted on 04/27/2006 5:45:28 PM PDT by blam
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