Researchers from the University of Oxford looked at 2,200 men and women who had had heart attacks, stroke or some other coronary problem. Overall, more than 24% of those who had had heart disease had a family history of stroke in a first-degree relative, like a parent or sibling. About the same percentage of patients who had had a stroke themselves also had a family history of stroke.
But the pattern of association was particularly interesting when broken down by sex. Women who had suffered heart attacks or angina were more than twice as likely to have a maternal history of stroke than stroke history in their father. That link was not found in men with heart disease. The maternal stroke link also persisted regardless of the mother's history of heart attack.