Hepatocyte growth factor is positively associated with risk of stroke: The MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis)

Elizabeth J. Bell, Nicholas B. Larson, Paul A. Decker, James S. Pankow, Michael Y. Tsai, Naomi Q. Hanson, Christina L. Wassel, W. T. Longstreth, Suzette J. Bielinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose - Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is positively associated with ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke risk factors. However, understanding the relation between HGF and stroke is in its infancy. Therefore, we sought to examine the association of circulating HGF with incident stroke using data from the MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis). We hypothesized that circulating HGF would be positively associated with an increased risk of stroke. Methods - Participants aged 45 to 84 years (n=6711) had HGF measured between 2000 and 2002 and were followed for incident stroke through 2013 (n=233). Cox proportional hazards regression was used to calculate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for incident stroke. A secondary analysis stratified results by adjudicated stroke type (n=183 ischemic; n=39 hemorrhagic; n=11 other). Results - After adjustment for potential confounding variables, risk of stroke was 17% higher with each standard deviation increase in HGF (hazard ratio, 1.17; 95% confidence interval, 1.03-1.34). This association was mainly driven by ischemic stroke and did not change on exclusion of cardioembolic strokes, although the number of excluded cases was small. The few hemorrhagic and other types of stroke were not associated with HGF. Conclusions - Circulating HGF was positively associated with the incidence of stroke in a diverse, population-based cohort of men and women from the United States. Our findings support the hypothesis that circulating HGF is a marker of endothelial damage and suggest that HGF may have utility as a prognostic marker of stroke risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2689-2694
Number of pages6
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH; grant numbers N01 HC95159, N01 HC95160, N01 HC95161, N01 HC95162, N01 HC95163, N01 HC95164, N01 HC95165, N01 HC95166, N01 HC95167, and N01 HC95168); National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at NIH (grant number N01 HC95169); and National Center for Research Resources at NIH (grant numbers UL1 TR000040 and UL1 TR001079). Funding for adhesion protein levels was provided by the NHLBI at NIH (grant number R01 HL98077).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.


  • atherosclerosis
  • epidemiology
  • hepatocyte growth factor
  • incidence
  • risk factors
  • stroke


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