Aims: To determine whether the Joint European Societies' recommendations that first degree blood relatives of patients with premature coronary heart disease (CHD) should be screened for coronary risk factors is being followed and, if so, how effectively these relatives are being managed. Methods and results: Using a postal questionnaire, 3322 relatives (siblings and children ≥18 years of age) of 1289 index patients in the EUROASPIRE II survey who had suffered from premature CHD (men under 55 years and women under 65 years) were asked whether screening for coronary risk factors had occurred and, if so, how they were being managed in terms of lifestyle advice and drug therapies. Overall, screening for coronary risk factors because of CHD in the family was only performed in 11.1% of siblings and 5.6% of children. However, prevalences of different cardiac risk factors were high both in relatives and offspring and a clear familial clustering could be documented. Less than 50% of siblings and 25% of children were given some general lifestyle advice regarding cardiac risk factors. Moreover, active interventions such as starting antihypertensive or lipid lowering drugs were rarely carried out, particularly in children of patients with premature CHD. Conclusions: European physicians rarely screen family members of patients with premature CHD for cardiac risk factors. General lifestyle style advice or active treatment for these risk factors are also rarely given. However, since these family members have a high prevalence and familial clustering of cardiac risk factors, they form an idea[target population for primary prevention of CHD in high-risk patients. © 2003 The European Society of Cardiology. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
De Sutter, J., De Bacquer, D., Kotseva, K., Sans, S., Pyörälä, K., Wood, D., & De Backer, G. (2003). Screening of family members of patients with premature coronary heart disease: Results from the EUROASPIRE II family survey. European Heart Journal, 24(3), 249–257. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0195-668X(02)00386-X