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February 1995

Subarachnoid Hemorrhage and Family History: A Population-Based Case-Control Study

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Epidemiology, Tianjin (China) Medical College (Dr Wang), and the Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine (Dr Longstreth), and the Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Community Medicine (Drs Longstreth and Koepsell), University of Washington, Seattle.

Arch Neurol. 1995;52(2):202-204. doi:10.1001/archneur.1995.00540260108026

Objective:  To evaluate family history as a risk factor for subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Design and Setting:  A population-based case-control study in King County, Washington.

Subjects:  Cases consisted of 149 patients with spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage. Two control subjects who were matched to cases by gender and age within 5 years were identified for each case using random digit telephone dialing.

Main Measure:  Detailed information on family history was obtained through an in-person interview.

Results:  Some 11.4% of cases had a first-degree relative with a history of subarachnoid hemorrhage, compared with 6.4% of controls, yielding an odds ratio of 1.8 (95% CI, 0.92 to 3.7). The odds ratio for a positive family history among other relatives was 2.4 (95% CI, 1.1 to 5.2), likely reflecting family information bias. Findings were similar after adjustment was made for potential confounding variables, including cigarette smoking, a history of hypertension, and number of siblings and children.

Conclusion:  Although familial factors may be important in some families, overall they account for few cases of subarachnoid hemorrhage.

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