Background: Recent data suggest that inflammatory reactions are involved in the pathogenesis of cerebral ischaemia. Aim: To investigate whether certain inflammatory genetic polymorphisms are associated with the occurrence of ischaemic stroke. Methods: We investigated the prevalence of six polymorphisms in cytokine genes (IL-6, TNF-α, TNF-β, IL-β, IL-10, and IL-1Rα) in a group of ischaemic stroke patients (n=105) and in a control population (n=389). We analysed the prevalence of these polymorphisms in different stroke subtypes and in relation to outcome six months post-stroke. Results: There was no significant variation in cytokine gene polymorphism frequencies between control and stroke populations or for different stroke subtypes. Subgroup analysis demonstrated that the prevalence of the IL-6 -174 CC genotype was significantly lower in stroke patients without a history of hypertension compared to controls. Conclusion: The IL6 -174 CC genotype may be protective against stroke in those patients who have no history of hypertension. Further studies are required to verify these findings.
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