Sibling attacked by Stroke| The debate on whether the stroke hereditary disease or not, is still growing. But the latest research by Swedish scientists found evidence that risk of stroke can be seen from absence of siblings who have a history of stroke.
Researchers reported that individuals who have a sibling male or female with a stroke, the risk of stroke could rise to 64 percent than those who do not have a family history of stroke.
In fact, increasing the risk of stroke may be higher if a person has a sibling with a stroke when she was still relatively young. For example, when your brother had a stroke before the age of 56 years, then their siblings (brother or sister) have an increased risk of stroke nearly doubled.
The findings refer to the most common type of stroke - called ischemic stroke - which occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted as a result of blockages in blood vessels.
"Patients in zone of risk of heart attack or stroke should be made aware that genetic factors contribute greatly," says study leader, Dr. Erik Ingelsson, a professor of cardiovascular epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm.
To find out how relationships between family history and risk of stroke, researchers included more than 30 700 men and women that his brother had suffered a stroke and 152 000 adults who have siblings with no history of stroke.
The result, those who have a brother or sister with a history of stroke (61-64 percent) were more likely to suffer a stroke than people without a family history of stroke.
While individuals who have a sibling with a stroke at age 55 years or younger nearly doubled risk of stroke. Gender differences also seem to not be too influential.
Researchers emphasize that they only saw limited incidence of stroke and did not see the other risk factors like high blood pressure or cholesterol levels. This means that researchers can not track the extent to which genetic factors influence the risk of stroke.
"But if your brother had a stroke, probably the best idea is to pay more attention to lifestyle habits such as diet and exercise, and blood pressure checked regularly," advises Ingelsson.
Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, said the study was very helpful in better understanding about the risk of stroke. "It gives us insight into the family of risk, involving both genetic, in the case of high blood pressure and risk of high cholesterol, and lifestyle history together," he said.
"Obviously, those who have relatives with stroke have a higher risk, and should strive to address all modifiable risk factors for stroke," added Fonarow.
Dr. Murray Mittleman, director of cardiovascular epidemiology research unit of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, said, although one can not eliminate the factor of family history, but they can control the risk through lifestyle interventions.
"That means stop smoking if you are a smoker. Routine blood pressure checks, maintain an active lifestyle. And choose foods that nourish the heart to maintain a good balance of healthy fats, fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as a reasonable amount of fiber," Mittleman clear.