Sibling Death in Childhood, Young Adulthood Linked to Risk for CVD

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

Risks increased for overall cardiovascular disease and most type-specific CVDs, including MI, ischemic heart disease, heart failure

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Jan. 8, 2024 (HealthDay News) — Sibling death in childhood and early adulthood is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a study published online Jan. 8 in JAMA Network Open.

Chen Huang, from the School of Public Health at Fudan University in Shanghai, and colleagues examined the association between sibling death in the early decades of life and subsequent risk for incident early-onset CVD in a population-based cohort study composed of 2,098,659 individuals born in Denmark from 1978 to 2018.

The researchers found that 1,286 and 76,862 individuals in the bereaved and nonbereaved groups, respectively, were diagnosed with CVD during the median follow-up of 17.52 years. Sibling death in childhood and early adulthood was associated with an increased risk for overall CVD (cumulative incidence in bereaved and nonbereaved individuals at age 41 years: 1.96 and 1.35 percent, respectively; hazard ratio, 1.17). For most type-specific CVDs, increased risks were also seen, especially for myocardial infarction, ischemic heart disease, and heart failure. The association was seen regardless of whether the sibling died of CVD or non-CVD causes (hazard ratios, 2.54 and 1.13, respectively). Individuals who lost a twin or younger sibling had more a pronounced increased risk for CVD than those who lost an elder sibling (hazard ratios, 1.25 and 1.11, respectively).

“The findings highlight the need for extra attention and both social and mental support to bereaved siblings to reduce CVD risk later in life,” the authors write.

One author disclosed ties to Novo Nordisk.

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