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Open Access Study protocol

The Fangshan/Family-based Ischemic Stroke Study In China (FISSIC) protocol

Xun Tang12, Yonghua Hu12*, Dafang Chen12, Siyan Zhan12, Zongxin Zhang3 and Huidong Dou4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Peking University School of Public Health, Beijing 100083, China

2 Key Laboratory of Epidemiology, Ministry of Education, Beijing 100083, China

3 Department of Neurology, the First Hospital of Fangshan District, Beijing 102400, China

4 Department of Clinical Laboratory Medicine, the First Hospital of Fangshan District, Beijing 102400, China

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BMC Medical Genetics 2007, 8:60  doi:10.1186/1471-2350-8-60

Published: 10 September 2007

Abstract

Background

The exact etiology of ischemic stroke remains unclear, because multiple genetic predispositions and environmental risk factors may be involved, and their interactions dictate the complexity. Family-based studies provide unique features in design, while they are currently underrepresented for studies of ischemic stroke in developing countries. The Fangshan/Family-based Ischemic Stroke Study In China (FISSIC) program aims to conduct a genetic pedigree study of ischemic stroke in rural communities of China.

Methods/Design

The pedigrees of ischemic stroke with clear documentation are recruited by using the proband-initiated contact method, based on the stroke registry in hospital and communities. Blood samples and detailed information of pedigrees are collected through the health care network in the rural area, and prospective follow-up of the pedigrees cohort is scheduled. Complementary strategies of both family-based design and matched case-spousal control design are used, and comprehensive statistical methods will be implemented to ascertain potential complex genetic and environmental factors and their interactions as well.

Discussion

This study is complementary to other genetic pedigree studies of ischemic stroke, such as the Siblings With Ischemic Stroke Study (SWISS), which are established in developed countries. We describe the protocol of this family-based genetic epidemiological study that may be used as a new practical guideline and research paradigm in developing countries and facilitate initiatives of stroke study for international collaborations.