Alzheimer’s risk linked to health of extended family
DEMENTIA may run in the wider family, suggests a new study.
Researchers found that having great-grandparents or cousins with Alzheimer’s disease is linked to a higher risk of developing the degenerative illness.
They say that an extended family history may give bigger clues to a person’s chances of being struck down.
Having a parent with Alzheimer’s has been known to raise a person’s risk of developing the disease.
But the new study, published in the online issue of the journal Neurology, suggests that having second- and third-degree relatives who have had Alzheimer’s may also increase the risk.
First-degree relatives include siblings who share both parents. Second-degree relatives include grandparents, blood-related aunts and uncles, and siblings who share one parent. Third-degree relatives include great-grandparents, great uncles, great aunts and first cousins.
Study author Professor
For the study, researchers looked at the Utah Population Database, which includes the genealogy of
The database is linked to
In that database, researchers analysed data from more than 270,000 people who had at least three generations of genealogy connected to the original
Of those, 4,436 have a death certificate that indicates Alzheimer’s disease as a cause of death.
Researchers found that people with one first-degree relative with Alzheimer’s had a 73 per cent increased risk of developing it.
People with two first-degree relatives with it were four times more likely to develop the disease; those with three were two-and-half more times likely and those with four were nearly 15 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
CREDIT: "SWNS -