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Case-control studies of Alzheimer's disease were re-analysed to examine the association of Alzheimer's disease with family history in first degree relatives of dementia, Down's syndrome and Parkinson's disease. Overall, the relative risk of Alzheimer's disease for those with at least one first degree relative with dementia was 3.5 (95% confidence interval 2.6-4.6). Stratification according to age of onset of Alzheimer's disease showed that the relative risk decreased with increasing onset age. However, among patients with an onset of disease after 80 years, there were still significantly more subjects with one or more first degree relatives with dementia as compared to controls (relative risk 2.6; 95% confidence interval 1.3-5.2). The relative risk of Alzheimer's disease was significantly lower in patients who had one first degree relative with dementia (relative risk 2.6; 95% confidence interval 2.0-3.5) as compared to those who had two or more affected relatives (relative risk 7.5; 95% confidence interval 3.3-16.7). Furthermore, the re-analysis showed a significant association between Alzheimer's disease and family history of Down's syndrome (relative risk 2.7; 95% confidence interval 1.2-5.7), which was strongest in those patients who had a positive family history of dementia. The relative risk of Alzheimer's disease for those with a positive family history of Parkinson's disease was 2.4 (95% confidence interval 1.0-5.8).

Original publication




Journal article


International journal of epidemiology

Publication Date



20 Suppl 2


S13 - S20


Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Erasmus University Medical School, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


EURODEM Risk Factors Research Group, Humans, Parkinson Disease, Dementia, Alzheimer Disease, Down Syndrome, Risk Factors, Case-Control Studies, Age Factors, Aged, Middle Aged, United States, Australia, Europe, Female, Male, Meta-Analysis as Topic