Familial Risk Assessment for Early-Onset Coronary Heart Disease

Published in: Genetics in Medicine, v. 8, no. 8, Aug. 2006, p. 525-531

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2006

by Maren T. Scheuner, William C. Whitworth, Henraya McGruder, Paula W. Yoon, Muin J. Khoury

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PURPOSE: The authors examined the performance of a familial risk assessment method that stratifies risk for early-onset coronary heart disease by considering the number of relatives with coronary disease, degree of relationship, lineage, and age at diagnosis. METHODS: By using data from the HealthStyles 2003 survey, the authors assessed the associations between familial risk and early-onset coronary heart disease, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, and obesity. By using area under the curve statistics, the authors evaluated the discriminatory ability of various risk assessment models. RESULTS: Of 4035 respondents, 60% were female and 72% were white, with a mean age of 48.8 years. After adjustment for demographics, strong and moderate risk were significantly associated with approximately a five- and twofold risk of early-onset coronary disease, respectively. After adjustment for demographics and personal history of cardiovascular disease, strong familial risk was also significantly associated with diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, and obesity. A risk assessment model that included familial risk, demographics, and personal history of diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, and obesity was most optimal with an area under the curve statistic of 87.2% CONCLUSIONS: Familial risk assessment can stratify risk for early-onset coronary heart disease. Several conditions associated with increased familial risk can be prevented. These results have important implications for risk assessment and risk-reducing interventions.

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