Background: Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (LpPLA2) levels are associated with stroke, though whether this extends to all populations and stroke subtypes is unknown. Methods: Serum samples from stroke-free community participants in the Northern Manhattan Study were assayed for LpPLA2 mass and activity. Participants were followed annually for stroke. Cox-proportional- hazard models were fitted to estimate hazard-ratios and 95% confidence intervals (HR, 95% CI) for the association of LpPLA2 levels with ischemic stroke (IS), after adjusting for demographic and medical risk factors. Results: Serum samples were available in 1946 participants, of whom 151 (7.8%) experienced a first IS during median follow-up 11 years. Mean age was 69 (SD 10), 35.6% were men, 20% non-Hispanic Whites, 22% non-Hispanic Blacks, and 55% Hispanics. LpPLA2 mass and activity levels were not associated with overall IS risk. LpPLA2 mass but not activity levels were associated with strokes due to large artery atherosclerosis (LAA; adjusted HR per SD 1.55, 95% CI 1.17-2.04). There was a dose-response relationship with LAA (compared to first quartile, 2nd quartile HR = 1.43, 95% CI 0.23-8.64; 3rd quartile HR = 4.47, 95% CI 0.93-21.54; 4th quartile HR = 5.07, 95% CI 1.07-24.06). The associations between LpPLA2-mass and LAA-stroke risk differed by race-ethnicity (p = 0.01); LpPLA2-mass was associated with increased risk of LAA among non-Hispanic Whites (adjusted HR per SD 1.44, 95% CI 0.98-2.11), but not other race-ethnic groups. Conclusion: LpPLA2-mass levels were associated with risk of atherosclerotic stroke among non-Hispanic White participants, but not in other race-ethnic groups in the cohort. Further study is needed to confirm these race-ethnic differences and the reasons for them.
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