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Genetic Predisposition to Smoking Causally Linked to Stroke Outcomes

Last Updated: September 23, 2022.

FRIDAY, Sept. 22, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- There appears to be a causal association for genetic predisposition to smoking with worse functional outcome after ischemic stroke, according to a study published online Sept. 21 in Neurology.

Zhizhong Zhang, Ph.D., from Jinling Hospital and Medical School of Nanjing University in China, and colleagues examined the impact of genetically predicted smoking and alcohol consumption on poststroke outcomes using a Mendelian randomization (MR) framework. Instrumental variables were selected from a genome-wide association study of European ancestry individuals; summary-level data were obtained for functional outcome after ischemic stroke.

The researchers found that in univariable inverse-weighted MR analysis, a genetic predisposition to smoking initiation was associated with worse functional outcome after ischemic stroke (odds ratio, 1.48). When adjusting for genetically predicted alcohol consumption in multivariable MR analyses, the association remained significant (odds ratio, 1.56). There was no association for genetically predicted alcohol consumption with functional outcomes after ischemic stroke. Similar results were seen in sensitivity analyses with other approaches and in analyses restricted to models without adjustment for baseline stroke severity.

"Our results provide genetic support for the theory that smoking causes poor recovery after ischemic stroke," a coauthor said in a statement. "These findings have important implications for stroke recovery. Not only should doctors encourage all people to not smoke, people who have had a stroke should be encouraged to quit smoking."

One author disclosed financial ties to Novo Nordisk.

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