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Study Description

This study includes 1,220 cases with young onset stroke (stroke before age 60 years) who are participants of the larger RACE study. Risk Assessment of Cerebrovascular Events (RACE) is an on-going existing case-control study of stroke now involving over 5000 imaging confirmed cases of stroke and 5000 controls, recruited from seven centers in Pakistan. The study is aimed to investigate the genetic, biomarker and lifestyle determinants of stroke and its subtypes. Cases are eligible for inclusion in the study if they: (i) are aged at least 18 years; (ii) present with a sudden onset of neurological deficit respecting a vascular territory with sustained deficit at 24 hours verified by medical attention within 72 hours after onset (onset is defined by when the patient was last seen normal and not when found with deficit); and (iii) the diagnosis is supported by CT/MRI; and (iv) present with a Modified Rankin Score < 2 prior to the stroke. Findings from patient's history, 12-lead ECG and CT or MRI of the brain. The mandatory procedures for inclusion in this investigation are: (i) clinical verification of cerebrovascular event within 72 hours of onset; (ii) neuroimaging CT (non-contrast) or MRI (MRI is not a mandatory investigation but recorded whenever ordered by the attending physician); and (iii) 12-lead ECG. All other ancillary investigations ordered by the attending physician are recorded as well. The TOAST classification method is used to classify ischemic stroke based on aetiology whereas the Oxfordshire classification is used to classify stroke neuro-anatomically.

Control participants for this subset of young onset stroke were individuals enrolled in the Pakistan Risk of Myocardial Infarction Study (PROMIS), a case-control study of acute MI based in Pakistan. RACE capitalizes on the genetic data (including information on GWAS) that has already been collected from the healthy participants enrolled in PROMIS. RACE and PROMIS share similar methodology of recruitment. Participants from both these investigations are derived from similar catchment areas, hence providing an attractive opportunity for RACE to utilize PROMIS controls as common controls for genetic investigations. Controls in PROMIS were recruited following procedures and inclusion criteria as adopted for RACE cases. In order to minimize any potential selection biases, PROMIS controls selected for this stroke substudy were frequency matched to RACE cases based on age and gender and were recruited in the following order of priority: (1) non-blood related or blood related visitors of patients of the out-patient department; (2) non-blood related visitors of stroke patients; (3) patients of the out-patient department presenting with minor complaints (e.g. back pain, minor gastric complaints). Control subjects from the PROMIS study were genotyped at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute on the Illumina 660W Quad array. The Center for Non-Communicable Diseases, Pakistan, serves as the coordinating center for both RACE and PROMIS. More information on these research investigations can be found at

This young onset stroke component to the RACE study was funded through the Gene Environment Association Studies initiative (GENEVA, as one of three studies designed to assess the genetics of young onset stroke and modification of genetic effects by smoking. GENEVA is part of the trans-NIH Genes, Environment, and Health Initiative (GEI). Genotyping of 1,220 young onset stroke cases was performed at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Inherited Disease Research (CIDR). Data cleaning and harmonization were done at the GEI-funded GENEVA Coordinating Center at the University of Washington.

This study is part of the Gene Environment Association Studies initiative (GENEVA, funded by the trans-NIH Genes, Environment, and Health Initiative (GEI). The overarching goal is to identify novel genetic factors that contribute to stroke through large-scale genome-wide association studies of cases and controls recruited within Pakistan. Genotyping was performed at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Inherited Disease Research (CIDR). Data cleaning and harmonization were done at the GEI-funded GENEVA Coordinating Center at the University of Washington.

  • Study Type: Case-Control
  • dbGaP estimated ancestry components using GRAF-pop
  • Number of study subjects that have individual level data available through Authorized Access: 2627

Authorized Access
Publicly Available Data (Public ftp)

Connect to the public download site. The site contains release notes and manifests. If available, the site also contains data dictionaries, variable summaries, documents, and truncated analyses.

In the course of routine data cleaning and data analyses, investigators may incidentally identify genetic abnormalities that might influence the clinical care of an individual. These statements and recommendations have been developed to help investigators when they are informed of any such incidental findings.

  1. GENEVA Statement on Incidental Findings
  2. GENEVA Aneuploidy Reference Table
  3. GENEVA Pharmacogenetic Variants Reference Table

Study Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria

All stroke cases in this young onset stroke subset had age of onset < 60 years. Patients who are (i) unable to give consent due to stroke related disability and have no surrogate (a valid surrogate respondent is a spouse or a first degree relative who lives in the same home as the patient and identifies himself/herself being aware of the participants medical history and habits) respondent to provide consent; (ii) have a non-vascular cause of sudden neurologic deficit (such as tumour, brain tuberculoma or other causes); and (iii) suffer from stroke due to cardiac surgery, angiogram, endovascular or any other related procedure in the hospital, are excluded from this investigation.

Molecular Data
TypeSourcePlatformNumber of Oligos/SNPsSNP Batch IdComment
Whole Genome Genotyping Illumina Human660W-Quad_v1_A 592839 1048965
Selected publications
Diseases/Traits Related to Study (MESH terms)
Authorized Data Access Requests
Study Attribution