OBJECTIVES: Vasospastic angina (VSA) is a complex coronary vasomotor disorder associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction and sudden death. Despite considerable advances in understanding VSA pathophysiology, the interplay between genetic and environmental factors remains elusive. Accordingly, we aimed to determine the familial VSA risk among first-degree relatives of affected individuals.

METHODS: A population-based multigenerational cohort study was conducted, including full-sibling pairs born to Swedish parents between 1932 and 2018. Register-based diagnoses were ascertained through linkage to the Swedish Multigeneration Register and National Patient Register. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and adjusted HRs were calculated for relatives of individuals with VSA compared with relatives of individuals without VSA.

RESULTS: The total study population included 5 764 770 individuals. Overall, 3461 (0.06%) individuals (median age at disease onset 59 years, IQR: 63-76) were diagnosed with VSA. Of these, 2236 (64.61%) were women. The incidence rate of VSA for individuals with an affected sibling was 0.31 (95% CI: 0.24 to 0.42) per 1000 person-years compared with 0.04 (95% CI: 0.04 to 0.04) per 1000 person-years for those without an affected sibling, yielding an IRR of 7.58 (95% CI: 5.71 to 10.07). The risk of VSA for siblings with an affected sibling was significantly increased in the fully adjusted model (HR: 2.56; 95% CI: 1.73 to 3.79). No increased risk of VSA was observed in spouses of affected individuals (HR: 0.63; 95% CI: 0.19 to 2.09).

CONCLUSIONS: In this nationwide family study, we identified high familial risk for VSA independent of shared environmental risk factors. Our findings indicate that VSA tends to cluster in families, emphasising the need to explore genetic and non-genetic factors that may contribute.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere002504
JournalOpen Heart
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Dec 6

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
  • Family Medicine


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