Previously, it was unknown whether increased risk of Coronary Heart Disease was through unhealthy lifestyle or inheredited through genes. A new study from the Center for Primary Health Care Research in Sweden, published in the American Heart journal shows gene has the most influence.

Reseachers followed 80 thousand adopted men and women who developed Coronary Heart Disease born in 1932 or later using the Swedish multi-generation register and in-patient care register, they also studied the adoptive parents and biological parents over the same period.

Studying subjects who have been adopted and comparing them with both adopted and biological parents found the risk of coronary heart disease in adopted individuals who had at least one biological parent with coronary heart disease was 40-60% higher.

Researchers point out that there was no increased risk found in individuals whose adoptive parents suffered from coronary heart disease, not even if both adoptive parents had the disease.

“The results of our studies suggest that the risk of coronary heart disease is not transferred via an unhealthy lifestyle in the family, but rather via the genes,” says Kristina Sundquist, a professor at the Center for Primary Health Care Research in Malmö, Sweden.

“But that does not mean that one’s lifestyle is not a factor in one’s own risk of developing coronary heart disease.”