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How accurately do adult sons and daughters report and perceive parental deaths from coronary disease?

Watt, G., McConnachie, A., Upton, M., Emslie, C., and Hunt, K. (2000) How accurately do adult sons and daughters report and perceive parental deaths from coronary disease? Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 54 (11). pp. 859-863. ISSN 0143-005X (doi:10.1136/jech.54.11.859)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jech.54.11.859

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To describe how adult sons and daughters report and perceive parental deaths from heart disease DESIGN: Two generation family study. SETTING: West of Scotland. SUBJECTS: 1040 sons and 1298 daughters aged 30-59 from 1477 families, whose fathers and mothers were aged 45-64 in 1972-76 and have been followed up for mortality over 20 years. OUTCOME : Perception of a "family weakness" attributable to heart disease. RESULTS : 26% of sons and daughters had a parent who had died of coronary heart disease (CHD). The proportion was higher in older offspring (+18% per 10 year age difference) and in manual compared with non-manual groups (+37%). Eighty nine per cent of parental deaths from CHD were correctly reported by offspring. Only 23% of sons and 34% of daughters with at least one parent who had died of CHD considered that they had a family weakness attributable to heart disease. Perceptions of a family weakness were higher when one or both parents had died of CHD, when parental deaths occurred at a younger age, in daughters compared with sons and in offspring in non-manual compared with manual occupations. CONCLUSIONS: Only a minority of sons and daughters with experience of a parent having died from CHD perceive this in terms of a family weakness attributable to heart disease. Although men in manual occupations are most likely to develop CHD, they are least likely to interpret a parental death from CHD in terms of a family weakness. Health professionals giving advice to patients on their familial risks need to be aware of the difference between clinical definitions and lay perceptions of a family history of heart disease.

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hunt, Prof Kathryn and McConnachie, Dr Alex and Emslie, Dr Carol and Upton, Dr Mark and Watt, Prof Graham
Authors: Watt, G., McConnachie, A., Upton, M., Emslie, C., and Hunt, K.
Subjects:R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Robertson Centre
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine > Centre for Population and Health Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
Research Group:Midspan
Journal Name:Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN:0143-005X
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2000 BMJ Publishing Group
First Published:First published in Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 54(11):859-863
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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