Stronger genetic link to heart attack than stroke

July 26, 2011 2:47:45 PM PDT
Stroke and heart attack are two very different kinds of cardiovascular events. A study in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics finds family history may only play a big role in one of them.

The authors focused on 1,600 people who suffered either a heart attack or stroke. They found the risk of heart attack was 48 percent greater if one parent had a heart attack and almost 600 percent if both parents had one.

In striking contrast, paternal stroke did not affect the patient's risk for stroke.

Researchers say, when it comes to genetics, family history of stroke and heart attack should be considered separately.