A new study suggests that death from cardiac valve disease might be predominant in certain families. Researchers analyzed death certificates and genealogy data of people who died of aortic and mitral valve disease .
Results show deaths from nonrheumatic mitral and aortic diseases are clustered among close and distant relatives, which suggests a genetic link. Deaths from these conditions before age 65 appeared to have an even stronger genetic link. Having a first-degree relative with mitral valve disease was found to increase the risk by 2.5-times more .
However, the study shows deaths from rheumatic heart disease, with the disease clustered mainly around nuclear families, may be influenced more by environment. In conclusion the findings were found to suggest that unknown genetic factors could contribute to death due to mitral valve disease and death due to non-rheumatic aortic disease. However additional studies are required in this regard .