The familial risk of subarachnoid haemorrhage

Davie Cooper Scottish Aneurysm Study Group, Graham M Teasdale, Joanna M Wardlaw, Philip M White, Gordon Murray, Evelyn M Teasdale, Valerie Easton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Relatives of people with aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) may be at increased risk of SAH, but precise data on the level of risk and which relatives are most likely to be affected are lacking. We studied two samples: 5478 relatives of patients from the whole of Scotland who had a SAH in one year and 3213 relatives of patients with a SAH admitted to the West of Scotland regional neurosurgical unit 10 years previously. Overall, 2% of all relatives in each sample had a SAH. In the Scotland-wide sample, the absolute lifetime risk of SAH (from birth to 70 years) was higher for first-degree relatives [4.7%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 3.1-6.3%] than for second-degree (1.9%; 95% CI: 1.0-2.9%). In the West of Scotland sample, the lifetime risks were very similar to the Scotland-wide sample. The 10-year prospective risk for first-degree relatives alive at the time of the index patient's SAH was 1.2% (95% CI: 0.4-2%) and for second-degree was 0.5% (95% CI: 0.1-0.8%). There was a trend for risk to be highest in families with two first-degree relatives affected and lowest with only one second-degree affected. Most living relatives of patients who suffer a SAH are at low absolute risk of a future haemorrhage; screening is inappropriate except for the few families in whom two or more first-degree relatives, i.e. index case plus one extra have been affected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1677-85
Number of pages9
Issue numberPt 7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Intracranial Aneurysm
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Scotland
  • Sex Factors
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
  • Survival Analysis


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