Hepatocyte growth factor and the risk of ischemic stroke developing among postmenopausal women: Results from the women's health initiative

Swapnil N. Rajpathak, Tao Wang, Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, Howard D. Strickler, Robert C. Kaplan, Aileen P. McGinn, Rachel P. Wildman, Daniel Rosenbaum, Thomas E. Rohan, Philipp E. Scherer, Mary Cushman, Gloria Y F Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE-: Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a potent angiogenic factor and may play a role in the development and progression of atherosclerotic lesions, the underlying mechanism of cardiovascular disease. However, there have been no prospective studies examining the relationship between HGF levels and risk of stroke. METHODS-: We conducted a nested case-control study (972 incident stroke cases and 1:1 age-matched and race-matched controls) to prospectively evaluate the association between plasma HGF and risk of ischemic stroke within the WomenÊ's Health Initiative Observational Study, a cohort of postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 years. RESULTS-: Baseline HGF levels were correlated positively with body mass index, systolic blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, insulin resistance, and inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein, and inversely with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (all P<0.05). Baseline HGF levels were higher among cases than controls (geometric means, 601.8 vs 523.2 pg/mL; P=0.003). Furthermore, the risk of incident ischemic stroke was significantly greater among women in the highest vs lowest quartile of plasma HGF levels (OR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.12-1.91; Ptrend=0.003) in a conditional logistic regression model that adjusted for body mass index. These results were only slightly attenuated after further adjustment for additional stroke risk factors (OR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.04-1.85; Ptrend=0.023). CONCLUSIONS-: Circulating levels of HGF are associated with an increased risk of incident ischemic stroke, independent of obesity and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, among postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)857-862
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Hepatocyte growth factor
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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