Aneurysm risk may get passed down

1:18pm, February 20, 2007

From San Francisco, at the International Stroke Conference

A heightened risk of having a brain aneurysm seems to be passed down in some families, and the life-threatening rupture of an aneurysm appears to strike earlier in a succeeding generation, a study finds.

An aneurysm is a ballooning of a blood vessel associated with weakening of the vessel's walls. While most brain aneurysms never rupture, those that do cause a bleeding stroke and are fatal up to 50 percent of the time.

Past research has shown that about 10 percent of people who develop a brain aneurysm have a relative who has one, a significantly higher proportion than among people in general, says Daniel Woo, a neurologist at the University of Cincinnati.

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