Incidence and mortality of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease (CHD) vary considerably among races, populations and ethnic groups. Some individuals with low levels of risk factors succumb early to disease while many others with a high risk profile do not. CHD clusters in families and is manyfold increased in first degree relatives of persons with an early onset of the disease. Such studies provide compelling evidence of the high degree of heritability of CHD and its risk factors. This book consolidates the available evidence for the roles of genetics in atherosclerosis, its correlates and its sequelae. It presents and discusses the methodology currently used to elucidate the role of genetics. Separate parts focus on evidence of familial aggregation and ethnic variability of the disease and on monogenic and polygenic inheritance modes including all the recent findings and innovation. The book also contains chapters on the genetic aspects of vessel wall processes, such as early structural findings in histological studies and the variability of coronary anatomic patterns. Polymorphisms at the DNA level (RFLP) are detailed and reviewed. Directions for future research in the exciting and fast developing realm of genetic epidemiology are outlined and the major preventive and public health implications are discussed. Genetic Factors in Coronary Heart Disease provides a systematic review of findings, integrated to offer a comprehensive summary and stepping stone for future research. It will be of interest to investigators in atherosclerosis, genetics, epidemiology, biostatistics, cardiology and public health.