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Genetic Predisposition to Smoking Increases Risk of Poor Stroke Recovery, Study Finds

A genetic predisposition for tobacco smoking, but not alcohol consumption, is associated with worse outcomes following an ischemic stroke, according to a study appearing this week in Neurology. Previous research has linked smoking to poorer recovery from stroke, but the exact relationship between the two is unclear. To investigate, a team led by scientists from Nanjing University examined data from a meta-analysis of 12 genome-wide association studies that included more than 6,000 ischemic stroke patients of European descent, using Mendelian randomization to determine the relationship between poor stroke recovery and genetic variations associated with smoking initiation and alcohol consumption. The researchers find that those genetically predisposed to smoking had a 48 percent greater risk of a poor stroke recovery versus those without the genetic predisposition — a finding that did not change when the investigators adjusted for genetic predisposition for alcohol consumption. The findings, the study's authors write, warrant larger studies in different ethnic populations.