Background: Premature cardiovascular disease (CVD) is treated in the same way as CVD of advanced age. However, in patients with premature CVD and a family history of CVD, different -possibly genetic- mechanisms may underlie this disease, which current medical treatment is not targeted to. This suggests that subjects with a genetic predisposition to CVD are more likely to have recurrent cardiovascular events. Methods: We retrospectively investigated 291 patients with premature CVD and assessed the amount of recurrent events according to family history in a follow-up period of 31 years. Premature CVD was defined as an event <51 years for men or <56 for women. We used a Cox proportional hazards model to estimate the relationship between a positive family history and recurrence of cardiovascular events. Results: Patients with recurrent events had more often a positive family history (60.0% vs. 47.1%; p<0.05), were more often smokers (85.2% vs. 70.7%; p<0.05), had more often hypertension (36.3% vs. 23.6%; p<0.05) and had a longer follow-up period (10.0 years vs. 5.4 years; p<0.001) than patients without recurrent events. After adjusting for these differences and modelling time to events, a positive family history was independently associated with recurrent events (Hazard ratio 1.31 (95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.01-1.72; p<0.05)). Conclusions: Patients with a genetic predisposition for CVD are at risk for recurrent events, after adjusting for risk factors and other confounders. This might imply that in subjects with a genetic predisposition for CVD different pathophysiological mechanisms are active, leading to recurrent events.
Mulders, T. A., Meyer, Z., van der Donk, C. F. M., Kroon, A. A., Ferreira, I., Stehouwer, C. D. A., & Pinto Sietsma, S. J. (2011). Patients with premature cardiovascular disease and a positive family history for cardiovascular disease are prone to recurrent events. International Journal of Cardiology, 153(1), 64-67. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2010.08.040