Stockholm: If your sibling of either sex had a stroke, you may be atleast 60 percent more likely to have one too, says a finding from a new large study.
The study focused on ischemic strokes, which are caused by blood vessel blockage that cuts off blood flow to part of the brain. Ischemic strokes are by far the most common type, striking almost 700,000 Americans annually.
The study also found that if your sibling was 55 or younger at the time of the stroke, your risk of having one at 55 or younger is almost doubled, said Erik Ingelsson, senior study author and professor of cardiovascular epidemiology at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics reports.
"Health professionals should pay as much attention to a family history of stroke in siblings as in parents, and make patients aware that a genetic predisposition exists," Ingelsson said, according to a Karolinska statement.
Swedish researchers studied national health records from 1987 to 2007. They analyzed hospital discharge and cause of death records in 30,735 people who had a sibling with a stroke and 152,391 adults of a similar age with no history of a sibling having a stroke. At the time of their sibling`s stroke, people averaged 64 years old.
"If your sibling has had a stroke, it should motivate you to take more preventive actions and to pay more attention to lifestyle habits such as diet, exercise and blood pressure control," Ingelsson said.