9 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the familial resemblance for baseline and seven-year changes in blood pressure in the Canadian population. Methods: The study participants were 857 people from 348 families in the 1988 Campbell's Survey, which was a seven-year follow-up of the Canada Fitness Survey. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures were measured at baseline and at follow-up, and were adjusted for age and body mass index by using regression analysis. Familial correlation models were fit to the data by using path analysis, and maximal heritabilities were calculated from the most parsimonious models. Results: There was significant familial resemblance for baseline blood pressure and changes in blood pressure. In general, all classes of familial correlations (spousal, parent-offspring and sibling) were significant and were of comparable magnitude. The maximal heritabilities, which are influenced to an unknown degree by genes and shared environmental factors, were 50% and 70% for diastolic and systolic blood pressures, respectively, and 66% and 41% for seven-year changes in diastolic and systolic blood pressures, respectively. Conclusions: There is significant familial aggregation for blood pressure and for natural changes in blood pressure in the Canadian population. Genes may be important in explaining the familial resemblance for blood pressure; however, the presence of significant spousal correlations suggests that shared lifestyle and family environments are also important factors in the familial aggregation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1267-1274
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Journal of Cardiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2001


  • Epidemiology
  • Follow-up studies
  • Genetics
  • Lifestyle


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