If you have a sibling who's suffered a stroke, you might be nearly twice as likely to have one yourself, says a new study.

The Study

Researchers assessed stroke risk in 807 siblings of 181 people, aged 45 to 65, who had strokes in Nueces County, Texas. Nearly 60% of the stroke patients were Mexican-American, while the rest were non-Hispanic whites.

The stroke patients suffered either an ischemic stroke (where blood flow to the brain is blocked) or a transient ischemic attack, a ministroke.

The study found that brothers and sisters of people who had a stroke were almost twice as likely as the average American to have a stroke. The risk was even higher among Mexican-Americans.


The findings show there may be a genetic link to ischemic strokes in this ethnic group." said study author Lynda D. Lisabeth, of the stroke program and department of epidemiology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

"Other possible explanations could include shared environmental factors such as diet, physical activity and smoking habits. Medical conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes, which cluster in families, may also play a role," Lisabeth stated.

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