Heredity, Atherosclerosis and Coronary Heart Disease

  • Frederick H. Epstein
Part of the Ettore Majorana International Science Series book series (SIPC)


The familial-genetic aspects of coronary heart disease (CHD) are something of a stepchild in atherosclerosis research for, probably, two major reasons: (1) family studies are tedious and difficult, (2) professional geneticists who are needed as collaborators in this kind of work, sometimes tend to shy away from complex, polygenic situations, with the added problem of having to disentangle the influence of heredity from environmental factors. Yet, there is a trend toward including families in clinical-epidemiological investigations and genetic models to cope with the difficulties mentioned are beginning to be developed1,2. The statement has been made for many years that “the family history is important” with regard to susceptibility toward CHD but there is still no entirely satisfactory answer to the question how important it is quantitatively as compared with other risk factors and how importance relates to the age at which the disease presents3-5.


Coronary Heart Disease Coronary Heart Disease Risk Serum Cholesterol Level Coronary Heart Disease Patient Familial Aggregation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    W.J. Schull and K.W. Weiss, Genetic epidemiology: four strategies, Epidemiologic Reviews 2:1 (1974).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    C.F. Sing and M. Skolnick (eds.), Genetic Analysis of Common Diseases: Applications to Predictive Factors in Coronary Disease, Alan R. Liss, Inc., New York (1979).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    F.H. Epstein, Hereditary aspects of coronary heart disease, Am.Heart J. 67:445 (1964).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    F.H. Epstein, Risk factors in coronary heart disease – environmental and hereditary influences, Isr.J.Med.Sci. 3:594 (1967).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    F.H. Epstein, Genetics of ischaemic heart disease, Postgrad. Med.J. 52:477 (1976).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Task Force on Genetic Factors in Arteriosclerotic Diseases, DHEW Publication No. (NIH) 76–922, Washington, DC, US GPO (1976).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    A.M. Rissanen, Familial aggregation of coronary heart disease in a high incidence area (North Karelia, Finland), Brit.Heart.J. 42:294 (1979).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    A.M. Rissanen, Familial occurrence of coronary heart disease: effect of age at diagnosis, Am.J.Cardiol. 44:60 (1979).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    R.L. Phillips, A.M. Lilienfeld, E.L. Diamond and A. Kagan, Frequency of coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular accidents in parents and sons of coronary heart disease index cases and controls, Am.J.Epidemiol. 100:87 (1974).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    J. Slack, Genetic differences in liability to atherosclerotic heart disease, J.Roy.Coll.Phycns.London 8:115 (1974).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    B.C. Johnson, F.H. Epstein, and M.O. Kjelsberg, Distributions and familial studies of blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels in a total community - Tecumseh, Michigan, J.Chronic Dis. 18:147 (1965).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    R.J. Havlik, R.J. Garrison, M. Feinleib, W.B. Kannel, W.P. Castelli, and P.M. McNamara, Blood pressure aggregations in families, Am.J.Epidemiol. 110:304 (1979).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    M. Feinleib, R.J. Garrison, N.O. Borhani, R.H. Rosenman, and J. Christian, Studies of hypertension in twins, in: “Epidemiology and Control of Hypertension,” O. Paul, ed., Stratton, New York and London, p.3 (1975).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    D. Patterson and J. Slack, Lipid abnormalities in male and female survivors of myocardial infarction and their first degree relatives, Lancet 1:393 (1972).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    N.J. Stone, R.I. Levy, D.S. Fredrickson, and J. Verter, Coronary artery disease in 166 kindred with familial type hyperlipoproteinemia, Circulation 49:476 (1974).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    A. Rissanen and E. Nikkila, Aggregation of coronary risk factors in families of men with fatal or non-fatal coronary heart disease, Brit.Heart J. 42:373 (1979).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    D.S. Thelle and O.H. Førde, The Cardiovascular Study in Finnmark County: Coronary risk factors and the occurrence of myocardial infarction in first-degree relatives and in subjects of different ethnic origin, Am.J.Epidemiol. 110:708 (1979).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    H.G. Schrott, W.R. Clarke, D.A. Wiebe, W.E. Connor, and R.M. Lauer, Increased coronary mortality in relatives of hyper-cholesterolemic school children: The Muscatine Study, Circulation 59:320 (1979).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    D. Pometta, H. Micheli, L. Raymond, I. Oberhaensli, and A. Suenram, Decreased HDL cholesterol in prepubertal and pubertal children of CHD parents, Atherosclerosis 36:101 (1980).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    C.J. Glueck, P.M. Laskarzewski, D.C. Rao, and J.A. Morrison, Familial aggregation of coronary risk factors, in: “Complications of Coronary Heart Disease,” W.E. Connor and D. Bristow, eds., Lippincott Co., Philadelphia (1982).Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    J.J. Nora, R.H. Lortscher, R.D. Spangler, A.H. Nora, and W.J. Kimberling, Genetic-epidemiologic study of early-onset ischemic heart disease, Circulation 61:503 (1980).Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    C.B. Snowden, P.M. McNamara, R.J. Garrison, M. Feinleib, W.B. Kannel, and F.H. Epstein, Predicting coronary heart disease in siblings - a multivariate assessment, The Framingham Study, Am.J.Epidemiol. 115:217 (1982).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederick H. Epstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Social and Preventive MedicineUniversity of ZürichZürichSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations