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Combination of Stroke, Genetics Linked to Dementia

Apolipoprotein E 4 allele increases dementia risk

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly individuals who have both the apolipoprotein E (APOE) 4 allele and have had a stroke are at higher risk of developing dementia, according to the results of a study published in the Jan. 1 issue of Neurology.

Yaping Jin, M.D., Ph.D., from London Health Sciences Centre and University of Western Ontario in Canada, and colleagues assessed the combined effect of having the APOE 4 allele and stroke on the risk of dementia in 740 elderly individuals.

After a median follow-up of 4.6 years, the researchers found that the incidence of dementia was much higher in individuals with both the APOE 4 allele and stroke than in individuals with neither (8.4 versus 4.3 per 100 person-years). Compared to individuals without stroke or APOE 4 allele, the adjusted hazard ratios of incident dementia were 1.33 for stroke alone, 2.06 for APOE 4 alone, and 2.57 for both.

"The joint presence of stroke and APOE 4 was associated with a greater risk of dementia compared with absence of these two factors," Jin and colleagues conclude. "The effect of stroke on dementia does not seem to be modified by APOE 4."

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