Coronary heart disease in mothers and fathers of adult children with alcohol use disorders

Susanna Calling, Henrik Ohlsson, Jan Sundquist, Kenneth S. Kendler, Kristina Sundquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background and aim: Having a family member with an alcohol use disorder (AUD) may negatively affect a person's health. Our aim was to study the long-term risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in parents who have an offspring with AUD. Design: Cohort study with Cox regression models and co-sibling analyses. Setting: Sweden. Participants: From population registers, we selected all parent-offspring pairs in which the parent was born in Sweden between 1945 and 1965. Measurements: Baseline was set when the offspring was 15 years old and AUD was assessed from medical and criminal registers. The parents were followed for CHD during a mean follow-up of 18 years. Hazard ratios (HRs) in mothers and fathers were calculated and adjusted for potential confounders (year of birth, age at childbirth, sex of the child, parent' AUD, educational level, and marital status). Findings: In mothers, the adjusted HR for CHD was 1.24 (95% CI = 1.19–1.28) in relation to having a child with AUD. In fathers, the HR for CHD was lower than in mothers but still increased; the adjusted HR was 1.08 (95% CI = 1.05–1.12). In the co-sibling analyses, the HRs for mothers were similar to the HRs estimated from the population-based sample, but in fathers the association did not remain significant (HR = 0.98 [0.90–1.06]). Conclusions: In Sweden, there appears to be an association between having an offspring with alcohol use disorder and increased risk of developing coronary heart disease. For fathers, the association did not remain in co-sibling analyses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3390-3397
Number of pages8
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol-related disorders
  • co-sibling analyses
  • cohort study
  • coronary disease
  • family
  • parents


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