Family history of cardiovascular disease does not predict risk-reducing behavior

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Abstract

Background

Family history is one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular disease, especially in the younger population. These individuals, being closely related to young symptomatic patients, are anticipated to have a high rate of risk factors but also to control them aggressively. The aim of the study was to evaluate the association between family history of cardiovascular disease and risk factors that control as well as reduce risk-reducing behavior among young, healthy adults.

Design and methods

Demographic, clinical and lifestyle parameters of career service personnel of the Israeli Defense Forces, who were checked at the staff periodic examination center, were evaluated. Behavioral and clinical parameters of participants, with and without cardiovascular family history, were compared.

Results

The study cohort comprised 41 099 patients (36 236 men and 4863 women). Of those, 3802 men and 628 women with a family history of cardiovascular disease were identified. Male individuals had a higher rate of treatable risk factors like, obesity (P<0.0005), high blood pressure (P<0.0005), high plasma glucose (P<0.0005) and dyslipidemia (P<0.0005) than individuals without a family history. Among the women, the rate of these risk factors was higher than in the control groups but was statistically significant only for obesity, high blood pressure and high glucose levels. Risk-reducing behavior like regular physical activity and nonsmoking status in both the sexes did not differ between the groups.

Conclusion

Members of the young population with a family history of cardiovascular disease is easily identified but remains largely uncontrolled. Special attention and continued education are required to modify their behavioral and medical parameters.

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