Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Epidemiol Community Health. 2000 Nov;54(11):859-63.

How accurately do adult sons and daughters report and perceive parental deaths from coronary disease ?

Author information

  • 1Department of General Practice, University of Glasgow, 4 Lancaster Crescent, Glasgow G12 ORR. clinmed.gla.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To describe how adult sons and daughters report and perceive parental deaths from heart disease

DESIGN:

Two generation family study.

SETTING:

West of Scotland.

SUBJECTS:

1040 sons and 1298 daughters aged 30-59 from 1477 families, whose fathers and mothers were aged 45-64 in 1972-76 and have been followed up for mortality over 20 years.

OUTCOME:

Perception of a "family weakness" attributable to heart disease.

RESULTS:

26% of sons and daughters had a parent who had died of coronary heart disease (CHD). The proportion was higher in older offspring (+18% per 10 year age difference) and in manual compared with non-manual groups (+37%). Eighty nine per cent of parental deaths from CHD were correctly reported by offspring. Only 23% of sons and 34% of daughters with at least one parent who had died of CHD considered that they had a family weakness attributable to heart disease. Perceptions of a family weakness were higher when one or both parents had died of CHD, when parental deaths occurred at a younger age, in daughters compared with sons and in offspring in non-manual compared with manual occupations.

CONCLUSIONS:

Only a minority of sons and daughters with experience of a parent having died from CHD perceive this in terms of a family weakness attributable to heart disease. Although men in manual occupations are most likely to develop CHD, they are least likely to interpret a parental death from CHD in terms of a family weakness. Health professionals giving advice to patients on their familial risks need to be aware of the difference between clinical definitions and lay perceptions of a family history of heart disease.

PMID:
11027201
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1731587
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk