Journal Article

The familial risk of subarachnoid haemorrhage

Graham M. Teasdale, Joanna M. Wardlaw, Philip M. White, Gordon Murray, Evelyn M. Teasdale and Valerie Easton

in Brain

Published on behalf of The Guarantors of Brain

Volume 128, issue 7, pages 1677-1685
Published in print July 2005 | ISSN: 0006-8950
Published online April 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2156 | DOI:
The familial risk of subarachnoid haemorrhage

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Relatives of people with aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) may be at increased risk of SAH, but precise data on the level of risk and which relatives are most likely to be affected are lacking. We studied two samples: 5478 relatives of patients from the whole of Scotland who had a SAH in one year and 3213 relatives of patients with a SAH admitted to the West of Scotland regional neurosurgical unit 10 years previously. Overall, 2% of all relatives in each sample had a SAH. In the Scotland-wide sample, the absolute lifetime risk of SAH (from birth to 70 years) was higher for first-degree relatives [4.7%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 3.1–6.3%] than for second-degree (1.9%; 95% CI: 1.0–2.9%). In the West of Scotland sample, the lifetime risks were very similar to the Scotland-wide sample. The 10-year prospective risk for first-degree relatives alive at the time of the index patient's SAH was 1.2% (95% CI: 0.4–2%) and for second-degree was 0.5% (95% CI: 0.1–0.8%). There was a trend for risk to be highest in families with two first-degree relatives affected and lowest with only one second-degree affected. Most living relatives of patients who suffer a SAH are at low absolute risk of a future haemorrhage; screening is inappropriate except for the few families in whom two or more first-degree relatives, i.e. index case plus one extra have been affected.

Keywords: subarachnoid haemorrhage; intracranial aneurysm; familial risk; epidemiology; screening; CHI = Community Health Index; CI = confidence interval; ISD = Scottish Office Information and Statistics Division; MRA = magnetic resonance angiography; SAH = subarachnoid haemorrhage

Journal Article.  5929 words. 

Subjects: Neurology ; Neuroscience

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