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. (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

<b>OBJECTIVES</b>: To describe how adult sons and daughters report and perceive parental deaths from heart disease <b>DESIGN</b>: Two generation family study. <b>SETTING</b>: West of Scotland. <b>SUBJECTS</b>: 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. <b>OUTCOME</b> : 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. <b>CONCLUSIONS</b>: 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:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hunt, Professor Kathryn and McConnachie, Professor Alex and Emslie, Dr Carol and Upton, Dr Mark and Watt, Professor 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 > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing > Centre for Population and Health Sciences
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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