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Smoking-linked genes lead to poor recovery after stroke, suggests study

Smoking-linked genes lead to poor recovery after stroke, suggests study

People with smoking-related genes are at 48% higher risk of poor recovery after a stroke than people without the smoking-associated gene
smoking and stroke
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People with smoking-linked genes have poorer chances of recovery after a stroke, a new study in the peer-reviewed journal Neurology reveals. The study validates evidence that identifies the link between smoking and stroke re-occurrence.  

“Stroke recovery can vary widely among people, from full recovery to serious disability or death,” study author Xinfeng Liu, PhD, of Nanjing University in China, said in a statement. 

The study examined records of a meta-analysis of 12 studies from the United States, Europe, and Australia involving people of European heritage and who had a history of smoking and stroke. 

Smoking is known to be the single most important cause for ischemic stroke, a common form of stroke that occurs due to a lack of blood flow to the brain. 

The World Stroke Organization, a non-profit, estimates that 101 million people globally have experienced a stroke.  

Several studies have established a link between smoking and ischemic stroke, including a few that have identified genetic factors in increased stroke incidence and delayed recovery. 

Researchers from Nanjing University explored the genetic relationship between smoking and stroke recovery.   

Liu conducted a meta-analysis of 12 studies based on age, sex, and history of stroke from the health records of 6,021 people. A study design called Mendelian randomization was used to screen the cause and effect of 373 genetic variations. Single nucleotide polymorphisms were used as biomarkers to detect the link between smoking-associated genes and stroke recovery. 

The study results were divided into two categories: good recovery (those who fully recovered or have slight disability after stroke) and poor recovery (those who have moderate recovery or severe disabilities).  

“Our results provide genetic support for the theory that smoking causes poor recovery after ischemic stroke,” Liu said in the statement. 

The study concluded that people with the smoking-associated genes have a 48% increased risk of poor recovery than those without, implying that people should be encouraged to quit smoking, especially after a stroke.  

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