A study of twins and stroke.
Although there are strong genetic contributions to coronary artery disease, only a few studies have considered heritable influences on stroke.
We investigated the role of genetic factors in stroke using the Twin Registry maintained by the National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council. The registry includes 15,948 male twin pairs born between 1917 and 1927. In 1985, 9,475 twins responded to a mailed questionnaire, which covered vascular risk factors, cardiac events, and stroke.
Analysis of twin pairs in which both responded to the questionnaire, and a question on stroke, indicated proband concordance rates of 17.7% for monozygotic pairs and 3.6% for dizygotic pairs (relative risk = 4.3; chi 2 = 4.94, df = 1; p less than 0.05).
This nearly fivefold increase in the prevalence of stroke among the monozygotic compared with the dizygotic twin pairs suggests that genetic factors are involved in the etiology of stroke. The twin study paradigm holds considerable promise for identifying both genetic and environmental influences on stroke.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association