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1.  Symptomatic carotid atherosclerotic disease: correlations between plaque composition and ipsilateral stroke risk 
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
For symptomatic patients with carotid artery stenosis the risk-benefit for surgical intervention may vary among patient groups. Various modalities of plaque imaging have been promoted as potential tools for additional risk stratification, particularly in patients with moderate stenosis. However, it remains uncertain to what extent carotid plaque components predict risk of future ipsilateral ischaemic stroke.
METHODS
In two large atherosclerotic carotid plaque biobank studies, we related histological characteristics of 1640 carotid plaques with a validated risk model for the prediction of individual 1- and 5-year stroke risk.
RESULTS
No significant heterogeneity between the studies was found. Predicted 5-year stroke risk (top versus bottom quartile) was related to plaque thrombus (OR=1.42, 95%CI 1.11-1.89, p=0.02), fibrous content (0.65, 0.49-0.87, p=0.004), macrophage infiltration (1.41, 1.05-1.90, p=0.02), high micro-vessel density (1.49, 1.05-2.11, p=0.03), and overall plaque instability (1.40, 1.05-1.87,p=0.02). This association was not observed for cap thickness, calcification, intra-plaque haemorrhage, or lymphocyte infiltration. Plaques removed within 30-days of most recent symptomatic event were most strongly correlated with predicted stroke risk.
CONCLUSIONS
Features of ‘the vulnerable carotid plaque’ including plaque thrombus, low fibrous content, macrophage infiltration and microvessel density correlate with predicted stroke risk. This study provides a basis for plaque imaging studies focused on stroke risk stratification.
doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.114.007221
PMCID: PMC4285579  PMID: 25477221
Acute Stroke; Carotid atherosclerotic plaque; Risk Prediction
2.  Shared genetic susceptibility to ischemic stroke and coronary artery disease – a genome-wide analysis of common variants 
Summary
Background and Purpose
Ischemic stroke (IS) and coronary artery disease (CAD) share several risk factors and each have a substantial heritability. We conducted a genome-wide analysis to evaluate the extent of shared genetic determination of the two diseases.
Methods
Genome-wide association data were obtained from the METASTROKE, CARDIoGRAM, and C4D consortia. We first analyzed common variants reaching a nominal threshold of significance (p<0.01) for CAD for their association with IS and vice versa. We then examined specific overlap across phenotypes for variants that reached a high threshold of significance. Finally, we conducted a joint meta-analysis on the combined phenotype of IS or CAD. Corresponding analyses were performed restricted to the 2,167 individuals with the ischemic large artery stroke (LAS) subtype.
Results
Common variants associated with CAD at p<0.01 were associated with a significant excess risk for IS and for LAS and vice versa. Among the 42 known genome-wide significant loci for CAD, three and five loci were significantly associated with IS and LAS, respectively. In the joint meta-analyses, 15 loci passed genome-wide significance (p<5×10-8) for the combined phenotype of IS or CAD and 17 loci passed genome-wide significance for LAS or CAD. Since these loci had prior evidence for genome-wide significance for CAD we specifically analyzed the respective signals for IS and LAS and found evidence for association at chr12q24/SH2B3 (pIS=1.62×10-07) and ABO (pIS =2.6×10-4) as well as at HDAC9 (pLAS=2.32×10-12), 9p21 (pLAS =3.70×10-6), RAI1-PEMT-RASD1 (pLAS =2.69×10-5), EDNRA (pLAS =7.29×10-4), and CYP17A1-CNNM2-NT5C2 (pLAS =4.9×10-4).
Conclusions
Our results demonstrate substantial overlap in the genetic risk of ischemic stroke and particularly the large artery stroke subtype with coronary artery disease.
doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.113.002707
PMCID: PMC4112102  PMID: 24262325
3.  Reduction in early stroke risk in carotid stenosis with transient ischemic attack associated with statin treatment 
Stroke; a journal of cerebral circulation  2013;44(10):10.1161/STROKEAHA.113.001576.
Background and Purpose
Statins reduce stroke risk when initiated months after TIA/stroke and reduce early vascular events in acute coronary syndromes, possibly via pleiotropic plaque-stabilisation. Few data exist regarding acute statin use in TIA. We aimed to determine if statin pre-treatment at TIA onset modified early stroke risk in carotid stenosis.
Methods
We analyzed data from 2770 TIA patients from 11 centres, 387 with ipsilateral carotid stenosis. ABCD2 score, abnormal DWI, medication pre-treatment, and early stroke were recorded.
Results
In patients with carotid stenosis, 7-day stroke risk was 8.3% (95% confidence interval [CI] 5.7–11.1) compared with 2.7% [CI 2.0–3.4%] without stenosis (p<0.0001) (90-day risks 17.8% and 5.7% [p<0.0001]). Among carotid stenosis patients, non-procedural 7-day stroke risk was 3.8% [CI 1.2–9.7%] with statin treatment at TIA onset, compared to 13.2% [CI 8.5–19.8%] in those not statin pre-treated (p=0.01) (90-day risks 8.9% versus 20.8% [p=0.01]). Statin pre-treatment was associated with reduced stroke risk in carotid stenosis patients (OR for 90-day stroke 0.37, CI 0.17–0.82), but not non-stenosis patients (OR 1.3, CI 0.8–2.24) (p for interaction 0.008). On multivariable logistic regression, the association remained after adjustment for ABCD2 score, smoking, antiplatelet treatment, recent TIA, and DWI hyperintensity (adjusted p for interaction 0.054).
Conclusion
In acute symptomatic carotid stenosis, statin pre-treatment was associated with reduced stroke risk, consistent with findings from randomized trials in acute coronary syndromes. These data support the hypothesis that statins started acutely after TIA symptom onset may also be beneficial to prevent early stroke. Randomized trials addressing this question are required.
doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.113.001576
PMCID: PMC3871879  PMID: 23908061
Transient ischaemic attack; carotid stenosis; statin
4.  Genome wide analysis of blood pressure variability and ischemic stroke 
Background and Purpose
Visit-to-visit variability in BP is associated with ischemic stroke. We sought to determine whether such variability has a genetic aetiology and whether genetic variants associated with BP variability are also associated with ischemic stroke.
Methods
A GWAS for loci influencing BP variability was undertaken in 3,802 individuals from the Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcome Trial (ASCOT) study where long-term visit-to-visit and within visit BP measures were available. Since BP variability is strongly associated with ischemic stroke, we genotyped the sentinel SNP in an independent ischemic stroke population comprising of 8,624 cases and 12,722 controls and in 3,900 additional (Scandinavian) participants from the ASCOT study in order to replicate our findings.
Results
The ASCOT discovery GWAS identified a cluster of 17 correlated SNPs within the NLGN1 gene (3q26.31) associated with BP variability. The strongest association was with rs976683 (p=1.4×10−8). Conditional analysis on rs976683 provided no evidence of additional independent associations at the locus. Analysis of rs976683 in ischemic stroke patients found no association for overall stroke (OR 1.02; 95% CI 0.97-1.07; p=0.52) or its sub-types: CE (OR 1.07; 95% CI 0.97-1.16; p=0.17), LVD (OR 0.98; 95% 0.89-1.07; p=0.60) and SVD (OR 1.07; 95% CI 0.97-1.17; p=0.19). No evidence for association was found between rs976683 and BP variability in the additional (Scandinavian) ASCOT participants (p=0.18).
Conclusions
We identified a cluster of SNPs at the NLGN1 locus showing significant association with BP variability. Follow up analyses did not support an association with risk of ischemic stroke and its subtypes.
doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.113.002186
PMCID: PMC3904673  PMID: 23929743
Blood pressure variability; stroke; GWAS; gene; polymorphism
5.  Stroke Genetics Network (SiGN) Study: Design and rationale for a genome-wide association study of ischemic stroke subtypes 
Background and Purpose
Meta-analyses of extant genome-wide data illustrate the need to focus on subtypes of ischemic stroke for gene discovery. The NINDS Stroke Genetics Network (SiGN) contributes substantially to meta-analyses that focus on specific subtypes of stroke.
Methods
The NINDS Stroke Genetics Network (SiGN) includes ischemic stroke cases from 24 Genetic Research Centers (GRCs), 13 from the US and 11 from Europe. Investigators harmonize ischemic stroke phenotyping using the web-based Causative Classification of Stroke (CCS) system, with data entered by trained and certified adjudicators at participating GRCs. Through the Center for Inherited Diseases Research (CIDR), SiGN plans to genotype 10,296 carefully phenotyped stroke cases using genome-wide SNP arrays, and add to these another 4,253 previously genotyped cases for a total of 14,549 cases. To maximize power for subtype analyses, the study allocates genotyping resources almost exclusively to cases. Publicly available studies provide most of the control genotypes. CIDR-generated genotypes and corresponding phenotypic data will be shared with the scientific community through dbGaP, and brain MRI studies will be centrally archived.
Conclusions
The SiGN consortium, with its emphasis on careful and standardized phenotyping of ischemic stroke and stroke subtypes, provides an unprecedented opportunity to uncover genetic determinants of ischemic stroke.
doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.113.001857
PMCID: PMC4056331  PMID: 24021684
ischemic stroke; genetics; genomics
6.  Acute post-stroke blood pressure relative to premorbid levels in intracerebral haemorrhage versus major ischaemic stroke: a population-based study 
The Lancet. Neurology  2014;13(4):374-384.
Summary
Background
It is often assumed that blood pressure increases acutely after major stroke, resulting in so-called post-stroke hypertension. In view of evidence that the risks and benefits of blood pressure-lowering treatment in acute stroke might differ between patients with major ischaemic stroke and those with primary intracerebral haemorrhage, we compared acute-phase and premorbid blood pressure levels in these two disorders.
Methods
In a population-based study in Oxfordshire, UK, we recruited all patients presenting with stroke between April 1, 2002, and March 31, 2012. We compared all acute-phase post-event blood pressure readings with premorbid readings from 10-year primary care records in all patients with acute major ischaemic stroke (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale >3) versus those with acute intracerebral haemorrhage.
Findings
Of 653 consecutive eligible patients, premorbid and acute-phase blood pressure readings were available for 636 (97%) individuals. Premorbid blood pressure (total readings 13 244) had been measured on a median of 17 separate occasions per patient (IQR 8–31). In patients with ischaemic stroke, the first acute-phase systolic blood pressure was much lower than after intracerebral haemorrhage (158·5 mm Hg [SD 30·1] vs 189·8 mm Hg [38·5], p<0·0001; for patients not on antihypertensive treatment 159·2 mm Hg [27·8] vs 193·4 mm Hg [37·4], p<0·0001), was little higher than premorbid levels (increase of 10·6 mm Hg vs 10-year mean premorbid level), and decreased only slightly during the first 24 h (mean decrease from <90 min to 24 h 13·6 mm Hg). By contrast with findings in ischaemic stroke, the mean first systolic blood pressure after intracerebral haemorrhage was substantially higher than premorbid levels (mean increase of 40·7 mm Hg, p<0·0001) and fell substantially in the first 24 h (mean decrease of 41·1 mm Hg; p=0·0007 for difference from decrease in ischaemic stroke). Mean systolic blood pressure also increased steeply in the days and weeks before intracerebral haemorrhage (regression p<0·0001) but not before ischaemic stroke. Consequently, the first acute-phase blood pressure reading after primary intracerebral haemorrhage was more likely than after ischaemic stroke to be the highest ever recorded (OR 3·4, 95% CI 2·3–5·2, p<0·0001). In patients with intracerebral haemorrhage seen within 90 min, the highest systolic blood pressure within 3 h of onset was 50 mm Hg higher, on average, than the maximum premorbid level whereas that after ischaemic stroke was 5·2 mm Hg lower (p<0·0001).
Interpretation
Our findings suggest that systolic blood pressure is substantially raised compared with usual premorbid levels after intracerebral haemorrhage, whereas acute-phase systolic blood pressure after major ischaemic stroke is much closer to the accustomed long-term premorbid level, providing a potential explanation for why the risks and benefits of lowering blood pressure acutely after stroke might be expected to differ.
Funding
Wellcome Trust, Wolfson Foundation, UK Medical Research Council, Stroke Association, British Heart Foundation, National Institute for Health Research.
doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(14)70031-6
PMCID: PMC4238109  PMID: 24582530
7.  A Multi-Ethnic Meta-Analysis of Genome-Wide Association Studies in Over 100,000 Subjects Identifies 23 Fibrinogen-Associated Loci but no Strong Evidence of a Causal Association between Circulating Fibrinogen and Cardiovascular Disease 
Sabater-Lleal, Maria | Huang, Jie | Chasman, Daniel | Naitza, Silvia | Dehghan, Abbas | Johnson, Andrew D | Teumer, Alexander | Reiner, Alex P | Folkersen, Lasse | Basu, Saonli | Rudnicka, Alicja R | Trompet, Stella | Mälarstig, Anders | Baumert, Jens | Bis, Joshua C. | Guo, Xiuqing | Hottenga, Jouke J | Shin, So-Youn | Lopez, Lorna M | Lahti, Jari | Tanaka, Toshiko | Yanek, Lisa R | Oudot-Mellakh, Tiphaine | Wilson, James F | Navarro, Pau | Huffman, Jennifer E | Zemunik, Tatijana | Redline, Susan | Mehra, Reena | Pulanic, Drazen | Rudan, Igor | Wright, Alan F | Kolcic, Ivana | Polasek, Ozren | Wild, Sarah H | Campbell, Harry | Curb, J David | Wallace, Robert | Liu, Simin | Eaton, Charles B. | Becker, Diane M. | Becker, Lewis C. | Bandinelli, Stefania | Räikkönen, Katri | Widen, Elisabeth | Palotie, Aarno | Fornage, Myriam | Green, David | Gross, Myron | Davies, Gail | Harris, Sarah E | Liewald, David C | Starr, John M | Williams, Frances M.K. | Grant, P.J. | Spector, Timothy D. | Strawbridge, Rona J | Silveira, Angela | Sennblad, Bengt | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Uitterlinden, Andre G | Franco, Oscar H | Hofman, Albert | van Dongen, Jenny | Willemsen, G | Boomsma, Dorret I | Yao, Jie | Jenny, Nancy Swords | Haritunians, Talin | McKnight, Barbara | Lumley, Thomas | Taylor, Kent D | Rotter, Jerome I | Psaty, Bruce M | Peters, Annette | Gieger, Christian | Illig, Thomas | Grotevendt, Anne | Homuth, Georg | Völzke, Henry | Kocher, Thomas | Goel, Anuj | Franzosi, Maria Grazia | Seedorf, Udo | Clarke, Robert | Steri, Maristella | Tarasov, Kirill V | Sanna, Serena | Schlessinger, David | Stott, David J | Sattar, Naveed | Buckley, Brendan M | Rumley, Ann | Lowe, Gordon D | McArdle, Wendy L | Chen, Ming-Huei | Tofler, Geoffrey H | Song, Jaejoon | Boerwinkle, Eric | Folsom, Aaron R. | Rose, Lynda M. | Franco-Cereceda, Anders | Teichert, Martina | Ikram, M Arfan | Mosley, Thomas H | Bevan, Steve | Dichgans, Martin | Rothwell, Peter M. | Sudlow, Cathie L M | Hopewell, Jemma C. | Chambers, John C. | Saleheen, Danish | Kooner, Jaspal S. | Danesh, John | Nelson, Christopher P | Erdmann, Jeanette | Reilly, Muredach P. | Kathiresan, Sekar | Schunkert, Heribert | Morange, Pierre-Emmanuel | Ferrucci, Luigi | Eriksson, Johan G | Jacobs, David | Deary, Ian J | Soranzo, Nicole | Witteman, Jacqueline CM | de Geus, Eco JC | Tracy, Russell P. | Hayward, Caroline | Koenig, Wolfgang | Cucca, Francesco | Jukema, J Wouter | Eriksson, Per | Seshadri, Sudha | Markus, Hugh S. | Watkins, Hugh | Samani, Nilesh J | Wallaschofski, Henri | Smith, Nicholas L. | Tregouet, David | Ridker, Paul M. | Tang, Weihong | Strachan, David P. | Hamsten, Anders | O’Donnell, Christopher J.
Circulation  2013;128(12):10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.113.002251.
Background
Estimates of the heritability of plasma fibrinogen concentration, an established predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD), range from 34 to 50%. Genetic variants so far identified by genome-wide association (GWA) studies only explain a small proportion (< 2%) of its variation.
Methods and Results
We conducted a meta-analysis of 28 GWA studies, including more than 90,000 subjects of European ancestry, the first GWA meta-analysis of fibrinogen levels in 7 African Americans studies totaling 8,289 samples, and a GWA study in Hispanic-Americans totaling 1,366 samples. Evaluation for association of SNPs with clinical outcomes included a total of 40,695 cases and 85,582 controls for coronary artery disease (CAD), 4,752 cases and 24,030 controls for stroke, and 3,208 cases and 46,167 controls for venous thromboembolism (VTE). Overall, we identified 24 genome-wide significant (P<5×10−8) independent signals in 23 loci, including 15 novel associations, together accounting for 3.7% of plasma fibrinogen variation. Gene-set enrichment analysis highlighted key roles in fibrinogen regulation for the three structural fibrinogen genes and pathways related to inflammation, adipocytokines and thyrotrophin-releasing hormone signaling. Whereas lead SNPs in a few loci were significantly associated with CAD, the combined effect of all 24 fibrinogen-associated lead SNPs was not significant for CAD, stroke or VTE.
Conclusion
We identify 23 robustly associated fibrinogen loci, 15 of which are new. Clinical outcome analysis of these loci does not support a causal relationship between circulating levels of fibrinogen and CAD, stroke or VTE.
doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.113.002251
PMCID: PMC3842025  PMID: 23969696
Fibrinogen; cardiovascular disease; genome-wide association study
8.  A Novel MMP12 Locus Is Associated with Large Artery Atherosclerotic Stroke Using a Genome-Wide Age-at-Onset Informed Approach 
PLoS Genetics  2014;10(7):e1004469.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have begun to identify the common genetic component to ischaemic stroke (IS). However, IS has considerable phenotypic heterogeneity. Where clinical covariates explain a large fraction of disease risk, covariate informed designs can increase power to detect associations. As prevalence rates in IS are markedly affected by age, and younger onset cases may have higher genetic predisposition, we investigated whether an age-at-onset informed approach could detect novel associations with IS and its subtypes; cardioembolic (CE), large artery atherosclerosis (LAA) and small vessel disease (SVD) in 6,778 cases of European ancestry and 12,095 ancestry-matched controls. Regression analysis to identify SNP associations was performed on posterior liabilities after conditioning on age-at-onset and affection status. We sought further evidence of an association with LAA in 1,881 cases and 50,817 controls, and examined mRNA expression levels of the nearby genes in atherosclerotic carotid artery plaques. Secondly, we performed permutation analyses to evaluate the extent to which age-at-onset informed analysis improves significance for novel loci. We identified a novel association with an MMP12 locus in LAA (rs660599; p = 2.5×10−7), with independent replication in a second population (p = 0.0048, OR(95% CI) = 1.18(1.05–1.32); meta-analysis p = 2.6×10−8). The nearby gene, MMP12, was significantly overexpressed in carotid plaques compared to atherosclerosis-free control arteries (p = 1.2×10−15; fold change = 335.6). Permutation analyses demonstrated improved significance for associations when accounting for age-at-onset in all four stroke phenotypes (p<0.001). Our results show that a covariate-informed design, by adjusting for age-at-onset of stroke, can detect variants not identified by conventional GWAS.
Author Summary
Ischaemic stroke places an enormous burden on global healthcare. However, the disease processes that lead to stroke are not fully understood. Genome-wide association studies have recently established that common genetic variants can increase risk of ischaemic stroke and its subtypes. In this study, we aimed to identify novel genetic associations with ischaemic stroke and its subtypes by addressing the fact that younger onset cases may have a stronger genetic component, and using this information in our analyses. We identify a novel genetic variant on chromosome 11 (rs660599), which is associated with increased risk of large artery stroke. We also show that mRNA expression of the nearest gene (MMP12) is higher in arteries with the disease process underlying large artery stroke (atherosclerosis). Finally, we evaluate our novel analysis approach, and show that our method is likely to identify further associations with ischaemic stroke.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004469
PMCID: PMC4117446  PMID: 25078452
9.  17q25 Locus Is Associated With White Matter Hyperintensity Volume in Ischemic Stroke, But Not With Lacunar Stroke Status 
Background and Purpose
Recently, a novel locus at 17q25 was associated with white matter hyperintensities (WMH) on MRI in stroke-free individuals. We aimed to replicate the association with WMH volume (WMHV) in patients with ischemic stroke. If the association acts by promoting a small vessel arteriopathy, it might be expected to also associate with lacunar stroke.
Methods
We quantified WMH on MRI in the stroke-free hemisphere of 2588 ischemic stroke cases. Association between WMHV and 6 single-nucleotide polymorphisms at chromosome 17q25 was assessed by linear regression. These single-nucleotide polymorphisms were also investigated for association with lacunar stroke in 1854 cases and 51 939 stroke-free controls from METASTROKE. Meta-analyses with previous reports and a genetic risk score approach were applied to identify other novel WMHV risk variants and uncover shared genetic contributions to WMHV in community participants without stroke and ischemic stroke.
Results
Single-nucleotide polymorphisms at 17q25 were associated with WMHV in ischemic stroke, the most significant being rs9894383 (P=0.0006). In contrast, there was no association between any single-nucleotide polymorphism and lacunar stroke. A genetic risk score analysis revealed further genetic components to WMHV shared between community participants without stroke and ischemic stroke.
Conclusions
This study provides support for an association between the 17q25 locus and WMH. In contrast, it is not associated with lacunar stroke, suggesting that the association does not act by promoting small-vessel arteriopathy or the same arteriopathy responsible for lacunar infarction.
doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.113.679936
PMCID: PMC3771337  PMID: 23674528
genetics; Genome-wide Association Study; leukoaraiosis; small-vessel disease; stroke
11.  Quality of life after TIA and stroke 
Neurology  2013;81(18):1588-1595.
Objective:
To evaluate the 5-year impact of stroke and TIA on utility and quality-adjusted survival.
Methods:
TIA and stroke patients from a UK population-based study (Oxford Vascular Study) were recruited from 2002 to 2007, and followed up until 2012. Quality of life was assessed over 5 years using the EQ-5D (EuroQol-5 Dimensions), with responses converted into utilities ranging from −0.59 (worse than death) to 1 (perfect health), using UK population valuations. Utilities for stroke and TIA patients were compared with those in matched controls obtained from the 2006 Health Survey for England. Five-year quality-adjusted life years were estimated by combining utility and survival information.
Results:
Four hundred forty TIA and 748 stroke patients were ascertained and included. Utility remained constant at approximately 0.78 over the 5 years after TIA. Utility improved from 0.64 one month after stroke to 0.70 at 6 months (p = 0.006), remaining at approximately 0.70 thereafter. Matched controls had considerably higher utility levels than stroke/TIA patients (0.85, p < 0.001). Event severity and recurrent stroke were significant predictors of decreased long-term utility. Five-year quality-adjusted life expectancy was 3.32 (95% confidence interval: 3.22–3.48) quality-adjusted life years after TIA and 2.21 (2.15–2.37) after stroke, varying considerably by severity (minor: 2.94; moderate: 1.65; and severe: 0.70).
Conclusion:
Quality-adjusted survival is low over the 5 years after stroke and TIA, with severity and recurrent stroke being major predictors. There remains considerable scope for improvements in acute treatment and secondary prevention to improve the quality of life after TIA and stroke.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182a9f45f
PMCID: PMC3806919  PMID: 24107865
12.  Association between Family Risk of Stroke and Myocardial Infarction with Prevalent Risk Factors and Coexisting Diseases 
Background
Familial transmission of stroke and myocardial infarction (MI) is partially mediated by transmission of cerebrovascular and cardiovascular risk factors. We examined relationships between family risk of stroke and MI with risk factors for these phenotypes.
Methods
Cross-sectional association between the stratified log-rank family score (SLFS) for stroke and MI with prevalent risk factors was assessed in the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) cohort.
Results
Individuals in the 4th quartile of SLFS scores for stroke were more likely to have prevalent risk factors including hypertension (OR: 1.43; 95% CI: [1.30, 1.58]), left ventricular hypertrophy (OR 1.42; 95% CI: [1.16, 1.42]), diabetes (OR: 1.26; 95% CI: [1.12, 1.43]) and atrial fibrillation (OR 1.23; 95% CI: [1.03, 1.45]) compared to individuals in the 1st quartile. Likewise, individuals in the 4th quartile of SLFS scores for MI were more likely to have prevalent risk factors including hypertension (OR 1.57; 95% CI: [1.27, 1.94]) and diabetes (OR 1.29; 95% CI: [1.12, 1.43]) than the 1st quartile. In contrast to stroke, the family risk score for MI was associated with dyslipidemia (OR 1.38; 95% CI: [1.23, 1.55]) and overweight/obesity (OR 1.22; 95% CI: [1.10, 1.37]).
Conclusions
Family risk of stroke and MI are strongly associated with the majority of risk factors associated with each disease. Family history and genetic studies separating nonspecific contributions of intermediate phenotypes from specific contributions to the disease phenotype may lead to more thorough understanding of transmission for these complex disorders.
doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.111.645044
PMCID: PMC3805250  PMID: 22328552
stroke; myocardial infarction; cohort studies; family risk; REGARDS
13.  Transient isolated brainstem symptoms preceding posterior circulation stroke: a population-based study 
Lancet Neurology  2013;12(1):65-71.
Summary
Background
Transient isolated brainstem symptoms (eg, isolated vertigo, dysarthria, diplopia) are not consistently classified as transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs) and data for prognosis are limited. If some of these transient neurological attacks (TNAs) are due to vertebrobasilar ischaemia, then they should be common during the days and weeks preceding posterior circulation strokes. We aimed to assess the frequency of TNAs before vertebrobasilar ischaemic stroke.
Methods
We studied all potential ischaemic events during the 90 days preceding an ischaemic stroke in patients ascertained within a prospective, population-based incidence study in Oxfordshire, UK (Oxford Vascular Study; 2002–2010) and compared rates of TNA preceding vertebrobasilar stroke versus carotid stroke. We classified the brainstem symptoms isolated vertigo, vertigo with non-focal symptoms, isolated double vision, transient generalised weakness, and binocular visual disturbance as TNAs in the vertebrobasilar territory; atypical amaurosis fugax and limb-shaking as TNAs in the carotid territory; and isolated slurred speech, migraine variants, transient confusion, and hemisensory tingling symptoms as TNAs in uncertain territory.
Findings
Of the 1141 patients with ischaemic stroke, vascular territory was categorisable in 1034 (91%) cases, with 275 vertebrobasilar strokes and 759 carotid strokes. Isolated brainstem TNAs were more frequent before a vertebrobasilar stroke (45 of 275 events) than before a carotid stroke (10 of 759; OR 14·7, 95% CI 7·3–29·5, p<0·0001), particularly during the preceding 2 days (22 of 252 before a vertebrobasilar stroke vs two of 751 before a carotid stroke, OR 35·8, 8·4–153·5, p<0·0001). Of all 59 TNAs preceding (median 4 days, IQR 1–30) vertebrobasilar stroke, only five (8%) fulfilled the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) criteria for TIA. The other 54 cases were isolated vertigo (n=23), non-NINDS binocular visual disturbance (n=9), vertigo with other non-focal symptoms (n=10), isolated slurred speech, hemisensory tingling, or diplopia (n=8), and non-focal events (n=4). Only 10 (22%) of the 45 patients with isolated brainstem TNAs sought medical attention before the stroke and a vascular cause was suspected by their physician in only one of these cases.
Interpretation
In patients with definite vertebrobasilar stroke, preceding transient isolated brainstem symptoms are common, but most symptoms do not satisfy traditional definitions of TIA. More studies of the prognosis of transient isolated brainstem symptoms are required.
Funding
Wellcome Trust, UK Medical Research Council, Dunhill Medical Trust, Stroke Association, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Thames Valley Primary Care Research Partnership, and the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Oxford.
doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(12)70299-5
PMCID: PMC3530272  PMID: 23206553
14.  Impact of Different Operational Definitions on Mild Cognitive Impairment Rate and MMSE and MoCA Performance in Transient Ischaemic Attack and Stroke 
Background
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is at least as prevalent as dementia after transient ischaemic attack (TIA)/stroke and is increasingly recognised as an important outcome in observational studies and randomised trials. However, there is no consensus on how impairment should be defined, and numerous different criteria exist. Previous studies have shown that different criteria for cognitive impairment impact on prevalence rates in epidemiological studies. However, there are few data on how operational differences within established criteria (e.g. Petersen-MCI) affect measured impairment rates and the performance of short cognitive tests such as the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), particularly in cerebrovascular disease. We therefore evaluated the effect of different operational definitions on measured rates of Petersen-MCI and on reliability of short cognitive tests in patients with TIA and stroke.
Methods
Consecutive patients underwent the MMSE, MoCA and neuropsychological battery ≥1 year after TIA or stroke in a population-based study. MCI was defined using the Petersen method and subclassified as single or multiple domain, both with (original) and without (modified) subjective memory impairment. Different cut-offs (>1, >1.5 and >2 standard deviations, SD) on a given test relative to published norms were compared together with use of single versus multiple tests to define domain impairment.
Results
91 non-demented subjects completed neuropsychological testing (mean age ± SD 69.7 ± 11.6 years, 54 male, 49 stroke) at a mean of 3.1 ± 1.9 years after the index event. Rates of cognitive impairment ranged from 14/91 (15%) for MCI-original at >2 SD cut-off to 61/91 (67%) MCI-modified at >1 SD cut-off, and the proportion of MCI that was multiple domain varied, e.g. 24/46 (52%) versus only 5/27 (20%) at 1 versus 2 SD cut-off for MCI-modified. Requirement for subjective memory complaint approximately halved estimates [e.g. 17 (19%) vs. 39 (43%) for MCI at 1.5 SD cut-off, single test definition], whereas use of multiple tests versus a single test to define a cognitive domain had less impact. In general, diagnostic accuracy was higher, and optimal cut-offs lower, on MMSE and MoCA for multiple-domain versus single-domain MCI, but the MoCA appeared superior for detecting MCI-modified, whereas the MMSE performed well in detecting MCI-original.
Conclusion
Even within established criteria for MCI, differences in operational methodology result in 4-fold variation in MCI estimates. Optimal MMSE and MoCA cut-offs are lower, and reliability more similar, when criteria for MCI are more stringent. Our findings have implications for sample size and adjusted relative risk calculations in randomised trials and for comparisons between studies.
doi:10.1159/000355496
PMCID: PMC3902763  PMID: 24217342
Mild cognitive impairment; Montreal Cognitive Assessment; Mini Mental State Examination; Transient ischaemic attack; Stroke; Vascular cognitive impairment

15.  Leukoaraiosis and Increased Cerebral Susceptibility to Ischemia: Lack of Confounding by Carotid Disease 
Background
Leukoaraiosis is associated with an increased risk of stroke, but the underlying mechanism remains uncertain, as do the associations with other risk factors, such as carotid disease. We aimed to determine the role of carotid disease and of other clinical variables in the development of leukoaraiosis and to define their contributions to the associated increased risk of stroke.
Methods and Results
We prospectively studied a large cohort of consecutive patients with transient ischemic attack (TIA) and minor stroke who attended a TIA clinic between 2002 and 2009. Detailed clinical data were obtained, and patients underwent magnetic resonance brain and vascular imaging. We assessed the severity of leukoaraiosis with use of the ARWMC (Age Related White Matter Changes) score: 671 patients (374 [56%] men; mean [SD] age 71 [11] years) were studied, of whom 415 (62%) had leukoaraiosis. In a multivariate analysis, leukoaraiosis was associated with increasing age (P<0.0001) and hypertension (P=0.01), as well as the presence of acute (P<0.0001) and chronic (P=0.014) infarction on magnetic resonance imaging. In the univariate analysis, a current and past diagnosis of stroke versus TIA also showed a strong association. Carotid disease was not associated with leukoaraiosis, even in the presence of a flow‐limiting (>70%) stenosis or occlusion, and the risk factor profiles for leukoaraiosis and carotid disease differed.
Conclusions
The association with more severe ischemic events (stroke versus TIA) and infarction on imaging is consistent with leukoaraiosis being a marker of increased cerebral susceptibility to ischemia. In contrast, the presence, severity of, and risk factors for atheromatous disease showed no association with leukoaraiosis, suggesting that these are two unrelated disease processes.
doi:10.1161/JAHA.113.000261
PMCID: PMC3828783  PMID: 23963757
leukoaraiosis; MRI; stroke
16.  Stroke: Working toward a Prioritized World Agenda 
Background and Purpose
The aim of the Synergium was to devise and prioritize new ways of accelerating progress in reducing the risks, effects, and consequences of stroke.
Methods
Preliminary work was performed by 7 working groups of stroke leaders followed by a synergium (a forum for working synergistically together) with approximately 100 additional participants. The resulting draft document had further input from contributors outside the synergium.
Results
Recommendations of the Synergium are: Basic Science, Drug Development and Technology: There is a need to develop: (1) New systems of working together to break down the prevalent ‘silo’ mentality; (2) New models of vertically integrated basic, clinical, and epidemiological disciplines; and (3) Efficient methods of identifying other relevant areas of science. Stroke Prevention: (1) Establish a global chronic disease prevention initiative with stroke as a major focus. (2) Recognize not only abrupt clinical stroke, but subtle subclinical stroke, the commonest type of cerebrovascular disease, leading to impairments of executive function. (3) Develop, implement and evaluate a population approach for stroke prevention. (4) Develop public health communication strategies using traditional and novel (e.g., social media/marketing) techniques. Acute Stroke Management: Continue the establishment of stroke centers, stroke units, regional systems of emergency stroke care and telestroke networks. Brain Recovery and Rehabilitation: (1) Translate best neuroscience, including animal and human studies, into poststroke recovery research and clinical care. (2) Standardize poststroke rehabilitation based on best evidence. (3) Develop consensus on, then implementation of, standardized clinical and surrogate assessments. (4) Carry out rigorous clinical research to advance stroke recovery. Into the 21st Century: Web, Technology and Communications: (1) Work toward global unrestricted access to stroke-related information. (2) Build centralized electronic archives and registries. Foster Cooperation Among Stakeholders (large stroke organizations, nongovernmental organizations, governments, patient organizations and industry) to enhance stroke care. Educate and energize professionals, patients, the public and policy makers by using a ‘Brain Health’ concept that enables promotion of preventive measures.
Conclusions
To accelerate progress in stroke, we must reach beyond the current status scientifically, conceptually, and pragmatically. Advances can be made not only by doing, but ceasing to do. Significant savings in time, money, and effort could result from discontinuing practices driven by unsubstantiated opinion, unproven approaches, and financial gain. Systematic integration of knowledge into programs coupled with careful evaluation can speed the pace of progress
doi:10.1111/j.1747-4949.2010.00442.x
PMCID: PMC3712839  PMID: 20636706
Prevention; Rehabilitation; Stroke; Translational; Treatment
17.  Stroke: Working Toward a Prioritized World Agenda 
Background and Purpose
The aim of the Synergium was to devise and prioritize new ways of accelerating progress in reducing the risks, effects, and consequences of stroke.
Methods
Preliminary work was performed by 7 working groups of stroke leaders followed by a synergium (a forum for working synergistically together) with approximately 100 additional participants. The resulting draft document had further input from contributors outside the synergium.
Results
Recommendations of the Synergium are:
Basic Science, Drug Development and Technology: There is a need to develop: (1) New systems of working together to break down the prevalent “silo” mentality; (2) New models of vertically integrated basic, clinical, and epidemiological disciplines; and (3) Efficient methods of identifying other relevant areas of science.
Stroke Prevention: (1) Establish a global chronic disease prevention initiative with stroke as a major focus. (2) Recognize not only abrupt clinical stroke, but subtle subclinical stroke, the commonest type of cerebrovascular disease, leading to impairments of executive function. (3) Develop, implement and evaluate a population approach for stroke prevention. (4) Develop public health communication strategies using traditional and novel (eg, social media/marketing) techniques.
Acute Stroke Management: Continue the establishment of stroke centers, stroke units, regional systems of emergency stroke care and telestroke networks.
Brain Recovery and Rehabilitation: (1) Translate best neuroscience, including animal and human studies, into poststroke recovery research and clinical care. (2) Standardize poststroke rehabilitation based on best evidence. (3) Develop consensus on, then implementation of, standardized clinical and surrogate assessments. (4) Carry out rigorous clinical research to advance stroke recovery.
Into the 21st Century: Web, Technology and Communications: (1) Work toward global unrestricted access to stroke-related information. (2) Build centralized electronic archives and registries.
Foster Cooperation Among Stakeholders (large stroke organizations, nongovernmental organizations, governments, patient organizations and industry) to enhance stroke care.
Educate and energize professionals, patients, the public and policy makers by using a “Brain Health” concept that enables promotion of preventive measures.
Conclusions
To accelerate progress in stroke, we must reach beyond the current status scientifically, conceptually, and pragmatically. Advances can be made not only by doing, but ceasing to do. Significant savings in time, money, and effort could result from discontinuing practices driven by unsubstantiated opinion, unproven approaches, and financial gain. Systematic integration of knowledge into programs coupled with careful evaluation can speed the pace of progress.
doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.110.586156
PMCID: PMC3712843  PMID: 20498453
prevention; rehabilitation; stroke; translational; treatment
18.  Factors That Can Affect the External Validity of Randomised Controlled Trials 
PLoS Clinical Trials  2006;1(1):e9.
doi:10.1371/journal.pctr.0010009
PMCID: PMC1488890  PMID: 16871331
19.  Common variants at 6p21.1 are associated with large artery atherosclerotic stroke 
Nature genetics  2012;44(10):10.1038/ng.2397.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have not consistently detected replicable genetic risk factors for ischemic stroke, potentially due to etiological heterogeneity of this trait. We performed GWAS of ischemic stroke and a major ischemic stroke subtype (large artery atherosclerosis, LAA) using 1,162 ischemic stroke cases (including 421 LAA cases) and 1,244 population controls from Australia. Evidence for a genetic influence on ischemic stroke risk was detected, but this influence was higher and more significant for the LAA subtype. We identified a new LAA susceptibility locus on chromosome 6p21.1 (rs556621: odds ratio (OR) = 1.62, P = 3.9 × 10−8) and replicated this association in 1,715 LAA cases and 52,695 population controls from 10 independent population cohorts (meta-analysis replication OR = 1.15, P = 3.9 × 10−4; discovery and replication combined OR = 1.21, P = 4.7 × 10−8). This study identifies a genetic risk locus for LAA and shows how analyzing etiological subtypes may better identify genetic risk alleles for ischemic stroke.
doi:10.1038/ng.2397
PMCID: PMC3651583  PMID: 22941190
20.  Population-based study of capsular warning syndrome and prognosis after early recurrent TIA 
Neurology  2012;79(13):1356-1362.
Objective:
Many guidelines recommend emergency assessment for patients with ≥2 TIAs within 7 days, perhaps in recognition of the capsular warning syndrome. However, it is unclear whether all patients with multiple TIAs are at high early risk of stroke and whether treatable underlying pathologies are more prevalent in this group.
Methods:
We studied clinical characteristics, Trial of Org 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment (TOAST) classification, and risk of stroke in 1,000 consecutive patients with incident and recurrent TIAs in a prospective, population-based study (Oxford Vascular Study).
Results:
Of 1,000 patients with TIAs, 170 had a further TIA within 7 days (105 within 24 hours). Multiple TIAs were not associated with carotid stenosis or atrial fibrillation, and much of the 10.6 (95% confidence interval [CI] 6.5−15.9) risk of stroke during the 7 days after the first TIA was due to patients with small-vessel disease (SVD) etiology (10 of 24 vs 8 of 146, odds ratio [OR] = 12.3, 95% CI 3.7–41.9, p < 0.0001), particularly those with motor weakness (i.e., capsular warning syndrome) compared with hemisensory events (9 of 15 [60%], 95% CI 35.3–84.7 vs 1 of 9 [11.1%], 95% CI 0–31.7, p = 0.03). The 7-day risk of stroke after a recurrent TIA was similar to the risk after a single TIA in patients with non-SVD TIA (8 of 146 [5.5%] vs 76 of 830 [9.2%], OR = 0.58, 95% CI 0.25–1.3, p = 0.20). Of the 9 patients with stroke after a capsular warning syndrome, all had the recurrent TIA within 24 hours after the first TIA, and the subsequent stroke occurred within 72 hours of the second TIA in 8. The ABCD2 scores of all preceding TIAs were ≥4 in all 9 patients with capsular warning syndrome before stroke.
Conclusions:
Capsular warning syndrome is rare (1.5% of TIA presentations) but has a poor prognosis (7-day stroke risk of 60%). Otherwise, recurrent TIA within 7 days is not associated with a greater stroke risk than that after a single TIA.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e31826c1af8
PMCID: PMC3448742  PMID: 22972645
21.  Age- and sex-specific rates of leukoaraiosis in TIA and stroke patients 
Neurology  2012;79(12):1215-1222.
Objective:
To determine any sex differences in age-specific prevalence or severity of leukoaraiosis, a marker of white matter ischemia, in population-based and clinic cohorts of TIA/stroke and in a systematic review of the literature.
Methods:
Age-specific sex differences were calculated for both CT and MRI in the Oxford Vascular Study (OXVASC) and in an MRI-based clinic cohort. We pooled odds ratios (ORs) for leukoaraiosis in women vs men from published studies by fixed-effect meta-analysis, stratified by patient characteristics (stroke vs nonstroke) and CT vs MRI.
Results:
Among 10 stroke studies (all CT-based), leukoaraiosis was most frequent in women (OR = 1.42, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.27–1.57, p < 0.0001), with little heterogeneity between studies (p = 0.28). However, no such excess was seen in 10 reports of nonstroke cohorts (0.91, 0.67–1.24, p = 0.56). Moreover, excess leukoaraiosis in women on CT-imaging in OXVASC (1.38, 1.15–1.67, p = 0.001) was explained by their older age (age-adjusted OR = 1.01, 0.82–1.25, p = 0.90). Leukoaraiosis was more severe in older (≥75) women (CT-1.50, 1.14–1.97, p = 0.004 in OXVASC; MRI-1.70, 1.17–2.48, p = 0.006 in OXVASC and clinic cohort). However, leukoaraiosis was independently associated with early mortality (hazard ratio = 1.46, 1.23–1.73, p < 0.0001), suggesting that comparisons in older age groups will be biased by prior premature death of men with leukoaraiosis. Sex differences in severity of leukoaraiosis were not addressed in previous studies.
Conclusions:
Previously reported excess leukoaraiosis in women with TIA/stroke is likely to be confounded by age and apparently greater severity in older women is likely to be biased by premature death in men with leukoaraiosis.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e31826b951e
PMCID: PMC3440447  PMID: 22955138
22.  Genetic risk factors for ischaemic stroke and its subtypes (the METASTROKE Collaboration): a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies 
Traylor, Matthew | Farrall, Martin | Holliday, Elizabeth G | Sudlow, Cathie | Hopewell, Jemma C | Cheng, Yu-Ching | Fornage, Myriam | Ikram, M Arfan | Malik, Rainer | Bevan, Steve | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Nalls, Mike A | Longstreth, WT | Wiggins, Kerri L | Yadav, Sunaina | Parati, Eugenio A | DeStefano, Anita L | Worrall, Bradford B | Kittner, Steven J | Khan, Muhammad Saleem | Reiner, Alex P | Helgadottir, Anna | Achterberg, Sefanja | Fernandez-Cadenas, Israel | Abboud, Sherine | Schmidt, Reinhold | Walters, Matthew | Chen, Wei-Min | Ringelstein, E Bernd | O'Donnell, Martin | Ho, Weang Kee | Pera, Joanna | Lemmens, Robin | Norrving, Bo | Higgins, Peter | Benn, Marianne | Sale, Michele | Kuhlenbäumer, Gregor | Doney, Alexander S F | Vicente, Astrid M | Delavaran, Hossein | Algra, Ale | Davies, Gail | Oliveira, Sofia A | Palmer, Colin N A | Deary, Ian | Schmidt, Helena | Pandolfo, Massimo | Montaner, Joan | Carty, Cara | de Bakker, Paul I W | Kostulas, Konstantinos | Ferro, Jose M | van Zuydam, Natalie R | Valdimarsson, Einar | Nordestgaard, Børge G | Lindgren, Arne | Thijs, Vincent | Slowik, Agnieszka | Saleheen, Danish | Paré, Guillaume | Berger, Klaus | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Hofman, Albert | Mosley, Thomas H | Mitchell, Braxton D | Furie, Karen | Clarke, Robert | Levi, Christopher | Seshadri, Sudha | Gschwendtner, Andreas | Boncoraglio, Giorgio B | Sharma, Pankaj | Bis, Joshua C | Gretarsdottir, Solveig | Psaty, Bruce M | Rothwell, Peter M | Rosand, Jonathan | Meschia, James F | Stefansson, Kari | Dichgans, Martin | Markus, Hugh S
Lancet Neurology  2012;11(11):951-962.
Summary
Background
Various genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been done in ischaemic stroke, identifying a few loci associated with the disease, but sample sizes have been 3500 cases or less. We established the METASTROKE collaboration with the aim of validating associations from previous GWAS and identifying novel genetic associations through meta-analysis of GWAS datasets for ischaemic stroke and its subtypes.
Methods
We meta-analysed data from 15 ischaemic stroke cohorts with a total of 12 389 individuals with ischaemic stroke and 62 004 controls, all of European ancestry. For the associations reaching genome-wide significance in METASTROKE, we did a further analysis, conditioning on the lead single nucleotide polymorphism in every associated region. Replication of novel suggestive signals was done in 13 347 cases and 29 083 controls.
Findings
We verified previous associations for cardioembolic stroke near PITX2 (p=2·8×10−16) and ZFHX3 (p=2·28×10−8), and for large-vessel stroke at a 9p21 locus (p=3·32×10−5) and HDAC9 (p=2·03×10−12). Additionally, we verified that all associations were subtype specific. Conditional analysis in the three regions for which the associations reached genome-wide significance (PITX2, ZFHX3, and HDAC9) indicated that all the signal in each region could be attributed to one risk haplotype. We also identified 12 potentially novel loci at p<5×10−6. However, we were unable to replicate any of these novel associations in the replication cohort.
Interpretation
Our results show that, although genetic variants can be detected in patients with ischaemic stroke when compared with controls, all associations we were able to confirm are specific to a stroke subtype. This finding has two implications. First, to maximise success of genetic studies in ischaemic stroke, detailed stroke subtyping is required. Second, different genetic pathophysiological mechanisms seem to be associated with different stroke subtypes.
Funding
Wellcome Trust, UK Medical Research Council (MRC), Australian National and Medical Health Research Council, National Institutes of Health (NIH) including National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).
doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(12)70234-X
PMCID: PMC3490334  PMID: 23041239
23.  Aspirin in the Chemoprevention of Colorectal Neoplasia: An Overview 
Considerable evidence supports the effectiveness of aspirin for chemoprevention of colorectal cancer (CRC) in addition to its well-established benefits in the prevention of vascular disease. Epidemiologic studies have consistently observed an inverse association between aspirin use and risk of CRC. A recent pooled analysis of a long-term post-trial follow-up of nearly 14,000 patients from 4 randomized, cardiovascular disease prevention trials showed that daily aspirin treatment for about 5 years was associated with a 34% reduction in 20-year CRC mortality. A separate meta-analysis of nearly 3,000 patients with a history of colorectal adenoma or cancer in 4 randomized adenoma prevention trials demonstrated that aspirin reduced the occurrence of advanced adenomas by 28% and any adenoma by 17%. Aspirin has also been shown to be beneficial in a clinical trial of patients with Lynch syndrome, a hereditary CRC syndrome; in those treated with aspirin for at least 2 years, there was a ≥ 50% reduction in the risk of CRC commencing 5 years after randomization and after aspirin had been discontinued. A few observational studies have shown an increase in survival among patients with CRC who use aspirin. Taken together, these findings strengthen the case for consideration of long-term aspirin use in CRC prevention. Despite these compelling data, there is a lack of consensus about the balance of risks and benefits associated with long-term aspirin use, particularly in low-risk populations. The optimal dose to use for cancer prevention and the precise mechanism underlying aspirin’s anticancer effect require further investigation.
doi:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-11-0391
PMCID: PMC3273592  PMID: 22084361
Aspirin; colorectal cancer; colorectal adenoma; Lynch syndrome; adjuvant chemotherapy
24.  Aspirin in the Chemoprevention of Colorectal Neoplasia: An Overview 
Considerable evidence supports the effectiveness of aspirin for chemoprevention of colorectal cancer (CRC) in addition to its well-established benefits in the prevention of vascular disease. Epidemiologic studies have consistently observed an inverse association between aspirin use and risk of CRC. A recent pooled analysis of a long-term post-trial follow-up of nearly 14,000 patients from 4 randomized, cardiovascular disease prevention trials showed that daily aspirin treatment for about 5 years was associated with a 34% reduction in 20-year CRC mortality. A separate meta-analysis of nearly 3,000 patients with a history of colorectal adenoma or cancer in 4 randomized adenoma prevention trials demonstrated that aspirin reduced the occurrence of advanced adenomas by 28% and any adenoma by 17%. Aspirin has also been shown to be beneficial in a clinical trial of patients with Lynch syndrome, a hereditary CRC syndrome; in those treated with aspirin for at least 2 years, there was a ≥ 50% reduction in the risk of CRC commencing 5 years after randomization and after aspirin had been discontinued. A few observational studies have shown an increase in survival among patients with CRC who use aspirin. Taken together, these findings strengthen the case for consideration of long-term aspirin use in CRC prevention. Despite these compelling data, there is a lack of consensus about the balance of risks and benefits associated with long-term aspirin use, particularly in low-risk populations. The optimal dose to use for cancer prevention and the precise mechanism underlying aspirin’s anticancer effect require further investigation.
doi:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-11-0391
PMCID: PMC3273592  PMID: 22084361
Aspirin; colorectal cancer; colorectal adenoma; Lynch syndrome; adjuvant chemotherapy
25.  Meta-analysis in more than 17,900 cases of ischemic stroke reveals a novel association at 12q24.12 
Neurology  2014;83(8):678-685.
Objectives:
To perform a genome-wide association study (GWAS) using the Immunochip array in 3,420 cases of ischemic stroke and 6,821 controls, followed by a meta-analysis with data from more than 14,000 additional ischemic stroke cases.
Methods:
Using the Immunochip, we genotyped 3,420 ischemic stroke cases and 6,821 controls. After imputation we meta-analyzed the results with imputed GWAS data from 3,548 cases and 5,972 controls recruited from the ischemic stroke WTCCC2 study, and with summary statistics from a further 8,480 cases and 56,032 controls in the METASTROKE consortium. A final in silico “look-up” of 2 single nucleotide polymorphisms in 2,522 cases and 1,899 controls was performed. Associations were also examined in 1,088 cases with intracerebral hemorrhage and 1,102 controls.
Results:
In an overall analysis of 17,970 cases of ischemic stroke and 70,764 controls, we identified a novel association on chromosome 12q24 (rs10744777, odds ratio [OR] 1.10 [1.07–1.13], p = 7.12 × 10−11) with ischemic stroke. The association was with all ischemic stroke rather than an individual stroke subtype, with similar effect sizes seen in different stroke subtypes. There was no association with intracerebral hemorrhage (OR 1.03 [0.90–1.17], p = 0.695).
Conclusion:
Our results show, for the first time, a genetic risk locus associated with ischemic stroke as a whole, rather than in a subtype-specific manner. This finding was not associated with intracerebral hemorrhage.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000000707
PMCID: PMC4150131  PMID: 25031287

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