Background. The microsatellite polymorphism of heme oxygenase (HO)-1 gene promoter has been shown to be associated with the susceptibility to ischemic event, including coronary artery disease (CAD), myocardial infarction, and peripheral vascular disease. We aimed to examine whether the length of (GT) nrepeats in HO-1 gene promoter is associated with ischemic stroke in people with CAD risk factors, especially low level of HDL. Methods. A total of 183 consecutive firstever ischemic stroke inpatients and 164 non-stroke patients were screened for the length of (GT)nrepeats in HO-1 promoter. The long (L) and short (S) genotype are defined as the averaged repeat number >26 and <26, respectively. Results. Stroke patients tended to have more proportions of hypertension, diabetics and genotype L, than those of genotype S. Patients with genotype L of HO-1 gene promoter have higher stroke risk in comparison with genotype S especially in dyslipidemia individuals. The significant differences on stroke risk in multivariate odds ratios were found especially in people with low HDL-C levels. Conclusions. Subjects carrying longer (GT)nrepeats in HO-1 gene promoter may have greater susceptibility to develop cerebral ischemic only in the presence of low HDL-C, suggesting the protective effects in HO-1 genotype S in the process of ischemic stroke, particularly in subjects with poor HDL-C status.
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