The AP (8/21, Marchione) reports that a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology of "four million people -- the largest ever on heart risks that run in families -- found that having a close relative die young of cardiovascular disease doubles a person's odds of developing it by age 50." The study found that "losing two or more close relatives to cardiovascular disease by age 60 more than tripled the odds that someone would develop it before age 50," while "having a less-immediate family member, such as a grandparent, die young of cardiovascular disease also modestly increased a person's risk of early-onset heart disease -- by 19 percent." The study took account of a number of alternate explanations for increased risk, but "had no information on smoking habits."
HealthDay (8/21, Reinberg) reports, "Death of a first-degree relative from cardiovascular causes before age 50 appears to double your risk of heart disease. If the deceased had not reached 35, that risk rises as much as tenfold."