Aug 11, 2021

Relative Risk for Alzheimer Disease Based on Complete Family History

According to a study of genealogy records from the 1800s and later, Alzheimer estimate relative risk based on specific family history constellations, including from first- to third-degree relatives, shows increased risk of Alzheimers if a close relative also had the same problem.

Quoting from the study:


Any affected first-degree relatives (FDR) significantly increased risk of AD (≥1 FDRs: relative risk [RR] 1.73, 95% confidence interval [CI] [1.59–1.87]; ≥2 FDRs: RR 3.98 [3.26–4.82]; ≥3 FDRs: RR 2.48 [1.07–4.89]; ≥4 FDRs: RR 14.77 [5.42–32.15]). Affected second-degree relatives (SDR) increased risk even in the presence of affected FDRs (FDR = 1 with SDR = 2: RR 21.29 [5.80–54.52]). AD only in third-degree relatives (TDR) also increased risk (FDR = 0, SDR = 0, TDR ≥3: RR 1.43 [1.21–1.68]). Mixed evidence was observed for differences in risk based on maternal compared to paternal inheritance; higher risks for men than women with equivalent family history, and higher risk for individuals with at least one affected FDR regardless of the relative’s age at death, were observed.


This population-based estimation of RRs for AD based on family history ascertained from extended genealogy data indicates that inherited genetic factors have a broad influence, extending beyond immediate relatives. Providers should consider the full constellation of family history when counseling patients and families about their risk of AD.

You can read a lot more of the details at: