A Swedish research has revealed that heart disease risk is passed through the genes and not through an unhealthy lifestyle in the family.
The researchers, led by Professor Kristina Sundquist, studied people who had been adopted and compared them with both their biological and their adoptive parents.
The risk of coronary heart disease in adopted individuals who had at least one biological parent with coronary heart disease was 40-60 percent higher than that of a control group.
There was no increased risk in individuals whose adoptive parents suffered from coronary heart disease, not even if both adoptive parents had the disease.
"The results of our studies suggest that the risk of coronary heart disease is not transferred via an unhealthy lifestyle in the family, but rather via the genes," said Kristina Sundquist, a professor at the Centre for Primary Health Care Research in Malmo, Sweden.
"But that does not mean that one's lifestyle is not a factor in one's own risk of developing coronary heart disease," she added.
The finding was published in the American Heart Journal.