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Sickle cell trait may not contribute to stroke risk


Sickle cell trait may not be an independent genetic risk factor for ischemic stroke among African Americans, a new meta-analysis suggests.

In a review of four studies with more than 19,000 African-American participants, Hyacinth I. Hyacinth, MD, PhD, MPH, of Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and colleagues reported no association between heterozygosity for the sickle cell mutation or sickle cell trait and incidence of ischemic stroke in JAMA Neurology.

“Sickle cell trait was not associated with a higher risk of ischemic stroke among African Americans,” Hyacinth told MedPage Today. “This negative study and its findings are important as we attempt to develop more targeted approaches for stroke prevention.”

“Significant stroke disparity exists between African Americans and non-Hispanic whites,” he said. “Because this disparity is not explained by traditional risk factors such as access to healthcare, identifying biological factors that account for the differences is an important strategy for stroke prevention.”




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