Background and purpose: Stroke is a complex disease with multiple genetic and environmental risk factors. Blacks endure a nearly 2-fold greater risk of stroke and are 2× to 3× more likely to die from stroke than European Americans.
Methods: The COMPASS (Consortium of Minority Population Genome-Wide Association Studies of Stroke) has conducted a genome-wide association meta-analysis of stroke in >22 000 individuals of African ancestry (3734 cases, 18 317 controls) from 13 cohorts.
Results: In meta-analyses, we identified one single nucleotide polymorphism (rs55931441) near the HNF1A gene that reached genome-wide significance (P=4.62×10-8) and an additional 29 variants with suggestive evidence of association (P<1×10-6), representing 24 unique loci. For validation, a look-up analysis for a 100 kb region flanking the COMPASS single nucleotide polymorphism was performed in SiGN (Stroke Genetics Network) Europeans, SiGN Hispanics, and METASTROKE (Europeans). Using a stringent Bonferroni correction P value of 2.08×10-3 (0.05/24 unique loci), we were able to validate associations at the HNF1A locus in both SiGN (P=8.18×10-4) and METASTROKE (P=1.72×10-3) European populations. Overall, 16 of 24 loci showed evidence for validation across multiple populations. Previous studies have reported associations between variants in the HNF1A gene and lipids, C-reactive protein, and risk of coronary artery disease and stroke. Suggestive associations with variants in the SFXN4 and TMEM108 genes represent potential novel ischemic stroke loci.
Conclusions: These findings represent the most thorough investigation of genetic determinants of stroke in individuals of African descent, to date.
Keywords: brain ischemia; coronary artery disease; genome-wide association study; meta-analysis; phenotype; risk factors.