Familial resemblance for coronary heart disease risk: The heritage family study

Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Louis Perusse, Treva Rice, Jacques Gagnon, James S. Skinner, Jack H. Wilmore, Arthur S. Leon, D. C. Rao, Claude Bouchard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to quantify familial resemblance for coronary heart disease risk in 260 Black and 427 White participants in the HERITAGE Family Study. Coronary heart disease risk was estimated using a coronary heart disease risk index (CHDRI) computed from the revised Framingham Heart Study algorithm, based on age, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking status. Using a familial correlation model to test hypotheses regarding familial aggregation, significant familial resemblance was detected in both Blacks and Whites. There were significant sibling correlations in both Blacks and Whites, while spouse correlations were significant only in the White sample. The maximal heritabilities, which have to be interpreted cautiously in light of negligible parent-offspring correlations, were 34% and 53% in Whites and Blacks, respectively. Thus, the maximal heritability, which includes both genetic and non-genetic sources of variation, is higher in Blacks than Whites, and explains a significant proportion of the total phenotypic variance. The results indicate that risk of coronary heart disease runs along family lines, and common environmental effects are important in explaining the observed familial resemblance. (Ethn Dis. 2000;10:138-147).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-147
Number of pages10
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2000


  • Blood Lipids
  • Blood Pressure
  • Coronary Heart Disease
  • Family Study
  • Genetic
  • Risk Factors


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