Parents Pass On Lower Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
New evidence suggests that if you could choose your parents, you could reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Researchers from the long-standing Framingham Heart Study (FHS), a program of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health, report that people whose parents live longer were more likely to avoid developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease in middle age than their peers whose parents died younger. They also found that the risk factor advantages persisted over time.
In the study, researchers examined 1,697 offspring age 30 and older (average age 40) whose parents participated in the original FHS and had reached age 85 or died before January 1, 2005. They compared cardiovascular risk factors among the offspring based on whether both parents, one parent, or neither parent lived to 85 years or older. The risk factors included age, sex, education, cigarette smoking, blood pressure, cholesterol, and body mass index (BMI). In addition, they compared the offsprings’ Framingham Risk Scores, a summary score based on the combined contribution of traditional cardiovascular risk factors.
Information on the Framingham Heart Study is located at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/about/framingham/index.html