Family history assessment: Strategies for prevention of cardiovascular disease

Steven C. Hunt, Marta Gwinn, Ted D. Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

73 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Family history assessment can be used to combine population-wide health promotion and risk-reduction efforts with a high-risk, targeted approach to help reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Family history is an independent predictor of CVD, and the upper portion of the family history distribution explains a larger fraction of CVD in the population than can be explained by extreme values of other risk factors (e.g., blood pressure and cholesterol). A positive family history of disease captures the underlying complexities of gene-gene and gene-environment interactions by identifying families with combinations of risk factors, both measured and unmeasured, that lead to disease expression. Family history is a useful tool for identifying most prevalent cases of CVD and for population-wide disease-prevention efforts. A positive family history also identifies the relatively small subset of families in the population at highest risk for CVD who may benefit most from targeted screening and intensive intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-142
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2003

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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