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Embargoed for Release: July 12, 2006

NHLBI Communications Office
nhlbi_news@nhlbi.nih.gov
301-496-4236
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Embargoed for Release: July 12, 2006

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Media Availability: Heart Failure in Parents is Associated with Increased Risk for Offspring

New results from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's (NHLBI) Framingham Heart Study demonstrate that having a parent who has had heart failure confers a 70 percent greater risk of developing the disease, even when accounting for common heart failure risk factors. Study participants with a parental occurrence of heart failure were about twice as likely to have a poorly functioning left ventricle, a heart abnormality which can lead to the development of heart failure.

This study provides further evidence that heart failure runs in families, however, it does not show whether the disease is inherited. Further study is needed to identify any shared environmental and genetic factors for heart failure that may explain familial occurrence of the condition. According to study authors, knowing a patient's parental occurrence of heart failure should lead physicians to investigate and treat early signs of heart failure.

"Association of Parental Heart Failure with Risk of Heart Failure in Offspring," will be published in the July 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Daniel Levy, M.D., director of NHLBI's Framingham Heart Study, is available to comment on the study's findings.

To schedule interviews, contact the NHLBI Communications Office at 301-496-4236.

Part of the National Institutes of Health, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) plans, conducts, and supports research related to the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart, blood vessel, lung, and blood diseases; and sleep disorders. The Institute also administers national health education campaigns on women and heart disease, healthy weight for children, and other topics. NHLBI press releases and other materials are available online at: www.nhlbi.nih.gov.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH)—The Nation's Medical Research Agency—includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.

For the Media

NHLBI Communications Office
nhlbi_news@nhlbi.nih.gov
301-496-4236
Ask for press officer on duty

Related Health Topics

Heart Failure