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Genetic Contributions to Early and Late Onset Ischemic Stroke

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Butterworth, Adam 
Danesh, John 
Markus, HS 


Objective: To determine the contribution of common genetic variants to risk of early onset ischemic stroke.

Methods: We performed a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of early onset stroke (EOS), ages 18-59, using individual level data or summary statistics in 16,927 cases and 576,353 non-stroke controls from 48 different studies across North America, Europe, and Asia. We further compared effect sizes at our most genome-wide significant loci between EOS and late onset stroke (LOS) and compared polygenic risk scores for venous thromboembolism between EOS and LOS.

Results: We observed an association between EOS and ABO, a known stroke locus. The effect size of the peak ABO SNP, rs8176685, was significantly larger in EOS compared to LOS (OR 1.17 (95% C.I.: 1.11-1.22) vs 1.05 (0.99-1.12); p for interaction = 0.008). Analysis of genetically determined ABO blood groups revealed that EOS cases were more likely to have blood group A and less likely to have blood group O compared to both non-stroke controls and to LOS cases. Using polygenic risk scores, we observed that greater genetic risk for venous thromboembolism, another prothrombotic condition, was more strongly associated with EOS compared to LOS (p=0.008).

Conclusion: The ABO locus, genetically predicted blood group A, and higher genetic propensity for venous thrombosis are more strongly associated with EOS than with LOS, supporting a stronger role of prothrombotic factors in EOS.



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Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins

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