Heart Beat: Heart disease - it's all relative

Heart Beat

Heart disease — it's all relative

Published: March, 2006

Brothers and sisters often share traits like facial features, body shape, certain turns of phrase, or a fondness for peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Add heart trouble to the list. A report from the second-generation Framingham Offspring Study indicates that having a sibling with cardiovascular disease increases your chances of having it, too. The increase is on a par with having a parent with cardiovascular disease.

The study covered a lot of territory, defining cardiovascular disease as angina (chest pain), heart attack, needing a procedure to bypass or open a narrowed or blocked artery, stroke or transient ischemic attack (mini-stroke), peripheral artery disease, or death due to a heart or circulation-related problem.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise

New subscriptions to Harvard Health Online are temporarily unavailable. Click the button below to learn about our other subscription offers.

Learn More »