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Sickle Cell Trait Not Linked to Stroke in African-Americans

Meta-analysis of four cohorts shows sickle cell trait not linked to incidence of ischemic stroke

FRIDAY, April 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) — For African-Americans, sickle cell trait (SCT) seems not to be associated with the incidence of ischemic stroke, according to a meta-analysis published online April 23 in JAMA Neurology.

Hyacinth I. Hyacinth, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., from Emory Children’s Center in Atlanta, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis to examine whether SCT is associated with increased risk of incident ischemic stroke among African-Americans. Four prospective population-based studies with African-American cohorts were assessed, including 19,464 individuals (1,520 with SCT, 17,944 without SCT, and 620 with ischemic stroke).

The researchers found that the distribution of risk factors for ischemic stroke did not differ when they compared participants with versus those without SCT at study visit 1 in each cohort. The crude incidence of ischemic stroke was 2.9 and 3.2 per 1,000 person-years for those with and without SCT, respectively. In the meta-analysis of all four cohorts, the hazard ratio of incident ischemic stroke independently associated with SCT was 0.8 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.47 to 1.35; P = 0.82), after adjustment for stroke risk factors. Similar results were obtained for the individual cohorts.

“The results of this study suggest performing a more thorough clinical evaluation of a stroke patient with SCT rather than assuming that SCT is the etiologic factor for the stroke,” the authors write.

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