Family History of Stroke Is an Independent Risk Factor for Lacunar Stroke Subtype With Asymptomatic Lacunar Infarcts at Younger Ages

I.L. Knottnerus*, M.J.F. Gielen, J. Lodder, R.P. Rouhl, J. Staals, R. Vlietinck, R.J. van Oostenbrugge

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background and Purpose-Results from case-control and case-case studies indicate that a positive family history of stroke (FHstroke) is an independent risk factor for lacunar stroke. Different lacunar stroke phenotypes can be distinguished on the basis of the presence of asymptomatic lacunar infarcts (aLACs), ischemic white-matter lesions, or brain microbleeds. The aim of the present study was to determine whether familial aggregation of stroke was different for lacunar stroke phenotypes. Methods-In 157 patients with a first-ever lacunar stroke, a complete first-degree FHstroke was obtained by a standardized questionnaire and additional interview. Lacunar stroke patients were categorized successively into groups, depending on the presence of aLACs, ischemic white-matter lesions, and brain microbleeds on magnetic resonance imaging. Results-Fifty-two percent of patients reported a positive FHstroke in at least one of their first-degree relatives. In younger (<65 years) probands, a high frequency of parental FHstroke (59% versus 20%, P<0.01) in those with aLACs compared with probands without aLACs was found. In multivariate analysis, the strongest associations were found for parental FHstroke (odds ratio=6.46; 95% CI=1.96 to 21.33), maternal FHstroke (odds ratio=4.00; 95% CI=1.18 to 13.56), and paternal FHstroke (odds ratio=5.40; 95% CI=1.14 to 25.61). Conclusions-A family history of stroke might be an independent risk factor for the lacunar stroke phenotype with aLACs at younger ages, suggesting a role for genetic factors in this phenotype caused by diffuse vasculopathy. (Stroke. 2011; 42: 1196-1200.)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1196-1200
Number of pages5
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


  • epidemiology
  • family history
  • genetics
  • risk factors
  • lacunar stroke

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