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Antiphospholipid Antibodies and the Risk of Stroke in Urban and Rural Tanzania: A Community-Based Case-Control Study

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Richard Walker


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Background and Purpose-The burden of stroke is high in sub-Saharan Africa, and improved knowledge of risk factors is needed. Antiphospholipid antibodies are a common acquired stroke risk factor in young individuals. Antiphospholipid antibodies may be induced by infectious diseases. Sub-Saharan Africa has a high infectious burden, and we analyzed the contribution of antiphospholipid antibodies to the risk of stroke in an incident population from rural and urban Tanzania.Methods-Stroke cases and age- and sex-matched community-acquired controls from the rural Hai district and urban Dar-es-Salaam areas of Tanzania were recruited in a wider study of stroke incidence between June 2003 and June 2006. Lupus anticoagulant, anticardiolipin, anti-beta 2-glycoprotein I, and antiphosphatidylserine/prothrombin antibodies were determined in stored plasma, as well as IgG antibodies against Treponema pallidum.Results-Data from 158 stroke cases and 369 controls were analyzed. Thirty cases (19%) and 4 controls (1%) had a lupus anticoagulant (odds ratio, 20.8; 95% confidence interval, 7.2-60.5). Anticardiolipin IgG was the only other antiphospholipid antibody subtype associated with increased stroke risk (odds ratio, 2.1; 95% confidence interval, 1.0-4.3), but this association disappeared when corrected for IgG antibodies against Treponema pallidum results. The prevalence of anti-beta 2-glycoprotein I IgG antibodies in the Tanzanian healthy population was high when Dutch cutoff values were applied (67%), whereas presence of anti-beta 2-glycoprotein I IgM was associated with a reduced stroke risk (odds ratio 0.3; 95% confidence interval, 0.1-1.1).Conclusions-The presence of lupus anticoagulant is a strong, and to date unrecognized, risk factor for stroke in Tanzania, especially in young and middle-aged individuals.

Publication metadata

Author(s): de Mast Q, Molhoek JE, van der Ven AJ, Gray WK, de Groot PG, Jusabani A, Mugusi F, Urbanus RT, Walker RW

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Stroke

Year: 2016

Volume: 47

Issue: 10

Pages: 2589-2595

Print publication date: 01/10/2016

Online publication date: 13/09/2016

Acceptance date: 26/07/2016

ISSN (print): 0039-2499

ISSN (electronic): 1524-4628

Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.116.013760


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Funder referenceFunder name
Wellcome Trust
2012-1Dutch Thrombosis Foundation