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Common Hemochromatosis Genotype Increases Stroke Risk

HFE gene defects increase risk for ischemic stroke by nearly threefold

MONDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with certain hereditary hemochromatosis genotypes have a twofold to threefold increased risk for ischemic stroke compared to those with other genotypes, according to a report in the March 27 issue of Neurology.

Børge Nordestgaard, M.D., of Herlev University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues analyzed HFE genotypes in 701 patients with symptomatic carotid atherosclerosis and 2,777 age- and gender-matched controls. They also tested another 9,178 individuals from a prospective population study, including 504 diagnosed with ischemic cerebrovascular disease and 393 diagnosed with ischemic stroke during a 24-year period.

Genotype was not consistently linked to carotid atherosclerosis. However, after adjustment, patients with the H63D/H63D genotype had about twice the risk of ischemic cerebrovascular disease and up to 2.8-fold greater risk for ischemic stroke compared to patients with the wild type/wild type genotype.

"Further research is needed to determine why this gene appears to cause such a significant increased risk of stroke, since our data suggests plaque build-up in the arteries and iron overload are not to blame," the authors write.

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