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Ethn Dis. 2000 Spring-Summer;10(2):138-47.

Familial resemblance for coronary heart disease risk: the HERITAGE Family Study.

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Department of Kinesiology and Health Science, York University, North York, Ontario, Canada.


The objective of this study was to quantify familial resemblance for coronary heart disease risk in 260 Black and 427 White participants in the HERITAGE Family Study. Coronary heart disease risk was estimated using a coronary heart disease risk index (CHDRI) computed from the revised Framingham Heart Study algorithm, based on age, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking status. Using a familial correlation model to test hypotheses regarding familial aggregation, significant familial resemblance was detected in both Blacks and Whites. There were significant sibling correlations in both Blacks and Whites, while spouse correlations were significant only in the White sample. The maximal heritabilities, which have to be interpreted cautiously in light of negligible parent-offspring correlations, were 34% and 53% in Whites and Blacks, respectively. Thus, the maximal heritability, which includes both genetic and non-genetic sources of variation, is higher in Blacks than Whites, and explains a significant proportion of the total phenotypic variance. The results indicate that risk of coronary heart disease runs along family lines, and common environmental effects are important in explaining the observed familial resemblance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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