ANCHOR LEAD: IF YOU HAVE A BROTHER OR SISTER WHO’S HAD A HEART ATTACK, YOU SHOULD BE TESTED, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Screening the siblings of people who’ve just had a heart attack reveals widespread cardiovascular disease among these first degree relatives, a recent study found. Dan Judge, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, says such targeted screening may be the best bet for finding early disease.
JUDGE: There are many factors that influence the risk of coronary disease like cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, but the genetic factors, the inherited factors, are certainly prominent and not well understood at this point. The whole field of the genetics of cardiac disease is looking towards coronary artery disease, very common disorder, to identify blood tests and gene tests that will recognize who’s at greatest risk. Today we don’t have that sort of a blood test, but if you recognize the condition in one person you know that the other family members are automatically at increased risk compared to the general population. :31
Judge says those whose sibs have had heart problems should be screened for heart disease themselves. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.