When fibromuscular dysplasia hits a family, abdominal aortic aneurysms may too


One disease is more common in people assigned female at birth, while the other is more common in people assigned male at birth. But a new publication details a “shared complex genetic architecture” between the cardiovascular conditions that could explain why, when one member of a family develops fibromuscular dysplasia, another may develop an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

“We used complementary genetic approaches to validate the relationship between these two highly sex-biased conditions, raising some interesting questions regarding sex differences relating to a common, shared genetic risk profile,” said senior author Santhi K. Ganesh, M.D., an associate professor of internal medicine and human genetics, and a cardiologist at the University of Michigan Health Frankel Cardiovascular Center.

Ganesh and colleagues analyzed family histories from 73 people with FMD and 463 of their first-degree relatives who volunteered to participate in clinical research. They discovered that, in a family where one person had FMD, the risk of a male member of that family developing an abdominal aortic aneurysm was significantly higher. For example, the father of a person with FMD was twice as likely to experience AAA, according to results published in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine.

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