You'll Want to Return This Gift from Mother

Mothers' strokes may be linked to daughters' increased risk of stroke

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) New research from the University of Oxford, England, shows a mother's stroke can help predict her daughter's heart attack.

Dr. Amitava Banerjee, a clinical research associate at the Stroke Prevention Research Unit at the University of Oxford said the study indicates stroke in mothers is associated with heart attacks in female offspring, though a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the vascular, cross-generational events has not been identified.

Researchers looked at 2,210 men and women who had either experienced heart attacks, other coronary syndromes or strokes and found that more than 24 percent of those who experienced heart attacks and angina (chest pain) -- along with approximately the same percentage of patients who experienced stroke or mini-strokes -- had a history of stroke in one or more first-degree relatives, such as their parents or siblings.

In women with heart attacks or unstabilized angina, stroke was more common in mothers than fathers. The same association was not seen in men with heart issues.

Dr. Tatjana Rundek, an associate professor of neurology, epidemiology and public health at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said, according to her own study, genetic variations in genes involved in fat metabolism may have effects on plaque in arteries that are dependent on gender.

Coronary heart disease, which causes heart attack, is the single leading cause of death among women in the United States, according to the American Heart Association.

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Review Date: 
February 4, 2011
Last Updated:
February 4, 2011