Heritability of young- and old-onset ischaemic stroke

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Journal Article
European Journal of Neurology, 2015, 22 (11), pp. 1488 - 1491
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© 2015 European Academy of Neurology. Background and purpose: Although the genetic contribution to stroke risk is well known, it remains unclear if young-onset stroke has a stronger genetic contribution than old-onset stroke. This study aims to compare the heritability of ischaemic stroke risk between young and old, using common genetic variants from whole-genome array data in population-based samples. Methods: This analysis included 4050 ischaemic stroke cases and 5765 controls from six study populations of European ancestry; 47% of cases were young-onset stroke (age < 55 years). To quantify the heritability for stroke risk in these unrelated individuals, the pairwise genetic relatedness was estimated between individuals based on their whole-genome array data using a mixed linear model. Heritability was estimated separately for young-onset stroke and old-onset stroke (age ≥ 55 years). Results: Heritabilities for young-onset stroke and old-onset stroke were estimated at 42% (±8%, P < 0.001) and 34% (±10%, P < 0.001), respectively. Conclusions: Our data suggest that the genetic contribution to the risk of stroke may be higher in young-onset ischaemic stroke, although the difference was not statistically significant.
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