(HealthDay News) — The presence of myocardial infarction (MI) without substantial coronary artery disease (CAD) is not familial, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics, held from October 18–22 in San Diego.
Benjamin D. Horne, PhD, MPH, from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City, and Stacey Knight, PhD, from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, examined whether MI is familial among patients with mild CAD and clinically-significant three-vessel CAD. Data were obtained from the Intermountain Genealogy Registry, including about 700,000 patients seen since 1994.
The researchers found that the genealogical index of familiality (GIF: 10,000 times the average pairwise kinship coefficient) was 0.448 for controls and 0.395 for cases with younger MI and mild CAD (P>0.05). For cases with MI at any age and mild CAD, the GIF was 0.440 (P>0.05 vs. control). The GIF was 0.564 among cases with MI at any age and three-vessel CAD (P<0.001 vs. control GIF). GIF was similarly elevated at 0.645 for older cases who never had an MI but had three-vessel CAD (P<0.001 versus control).
“Because coronary disease and heart attacks are so closely related, researchers in the past have assumed they’re the same thing,” Horne said in a statement. “This finding may help people realize that, through their choices, they have greater control over whether they ultimately have a heart attack.”