Siblings’ Day: Blood That Binds


ORLANDO, FL (Ivanhoe Newswire) — April 10th is the day we celebrate our siblings. It’s the day we give thanks for always having a partner in crime or just someone in the family to blame. More than 80 percent of children in the US grow up with a sibling. Whatever your relationship is, it’s important to know that when it comes to your health, what happens to them, could happen to you. And although your DNA doesn’t have to determine your medical future, knowing your risk can be a life saver.

Love’em or hate’em … siblings don’t just share the same eyes and hair color. There are less visible traits that are inherited, like a greater likelihood you’ll develop heart disease or have a stroke.

Ricardo Hanel, MD, PhD Neurosurgeon Baptist Health says, “Big time hereditary and that’s very important to educate all the way from primary care physicians to the whole population.”

A study out of Johns Hopkins found that sibling history is a better predictor of a person’s likelihood of developing coronary heart disease than a parental history. Another study found if you have a brother who had a heart attack by age 55 or a sister by age 65 then you are at greater risk yourself. Also, if your sibling had a brain aneurysm …

“I tell my patients you just got a 50 percent bonus cause mom has an aneurysm or your sister has an aneurysm,” explains Dr. Hanel.

According to the American Diabetes Association, when one twin develops type 2 diabetes, the other twin has a three in four risk of also developing it. To lower your risk, it’s important to keep active. For each hour spent watching the TV or working at your desk, it increases the odds of getting type 2 diabetes by 22 percent.

And what about cancer? If your brother is diagnosed with prostate cancer, then you’re two to three times as likely to develop it. Other cancers that run in families include breast, bowel and ovarian cancers.

Doctors say it’s important to know your family medical history, but remember, your genes don’t have to be your destiny. Siblings’ day

When it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, researchers at Harvard say having a brother or sister diagnosed with it increases your risk by 30 percent. Also, if your sibling takes a genetic test for health reasons, you should not rely on their results. They are only 50 percent genetically identical. There is still 50 percent you will not know.

Free weekly e-mail on Medical Breakthroughs from Ivanhoe. To sign up:

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Bob Walko, Editor.