Relative risk for Alzheimer disease based on complete family history.

Research paper by Lisa A LA Cannon-Albright, Norman L NL Foster, Karen K Schliep, James M JM Farnham, Craig C CC Teerlink, Heydon H Kaddas, Joann J Tschanz, Chris C Corcoran, John S K JSK Kauwe

Indexed on: 12 Apr '19Published on: 15 Mar '19Published in: Neurology


The inherited component for Alzheimer disease (AD) risk has focused on close relatives; consideration of the full family history may improve accuracy and utility of risk estimates. A population resource including a genealogy of Utah pioneers from the 1800s linked to Utah death certificates was used to estimate relative risk for AD based on specific family history constellations, including from first- to third-degree relatives. Any affected first-degree relatives (FDR) significantly increased risk of AD (≥1 FDRs: relative risk [RR] 1.73, 95% confidence interval [CI] [1.59-1.87]; ≥2 FDRs: RR 3.98 [3.26-4.82]; ≥3 FDRs: RR 2.48 [1.07-4.89]; ≥4 FDRs: RR 14.77 [5.42-32.15]). Affected second-degree relatives (SDR) increased risk even in the presence of affected FDRs (FDR = 1 with SDR = 2: RR 21.29 [5.80-54.52]). AD only in third-degree relatives (TDR) also increased risk (FDR = 0, SDR = 0, TDR ≥3: RR 1.43 [1.21-1.68]). Mixed evidence was observed for differences in risk based on maternal compared to paternal inheritance; higher risks for men than women with equivalent family history, and higher risk for individuals with at least one affected FDR regardless of the relative's age at death, were observed. This population-based estimation of RRs for AD based on family history ascertained from extended genealogy data indicates that inherited genetic factors have a broad influence, extending beyond immediate relatives. Providers should consider the full constellation of family history when counseling patients and families about their risk of AD. Copyright © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of the American Academy of Neurology.