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12-04-2012 | Stroke | Article

Total and HDL cholesterol associated with stroke risk

Abstract

Free abstract

MedWire News: Long-term follow-up data from a cohort of Finnish men and women have shown an association between total and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels and stroke risk.

In men, there was a positive association between total cholesterol and stroke risk, including ischemic stroke, and an inverse association between total cholesterol and intrahemorrhagic stroke risk in women.

For men and women, higher HDL cholesterol levels were associated with a lower risk for total and ischemic stroke.

Publishing their findings in Stroke, Gang Hu (Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana) and colleagues observed an attenuation of the effect of total and HDL cholesterol on stroke risk after adjusting for body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, and a history of diabetes, especially among men.

Increased levels of total cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol are established risk factors for cardiovascular disease, but the relationship between these lipid levels and the risk for stroke, particularly hemorrhagic stroke, is less clear.

Using data from a large-scale Finnish population study, the researchers examined the association of total and HDL cholesterol with stroke risk in 58,235 men and women.

After a median follow up of 20.1 years, there were 3085 ischemic strokes, 497 intracerebral hemorrhages, and 332 subarachnoid hemorrhages.

In men, the multivariate-adjusted hazard ratio for all types of stroke was 1.05, 1.16, and 1.22 for those with total cholesterol levels of 5.0-5.9, 6.0-6.9, and more than 7.0 mmol/L, respectively. Similar risks were observed for ischemic stroke.

In women, the hazard ratios for intracerebral hemorrhage were 0.58, 0.61, and 0.50 for those with total cholesterol levels of 5.0-5.9, 6.0-6.9, and more than 7.0 mmol/L, respectively.

Overall, low levels of HDL cholesterol and a high total/HDL cholesterol ratio were also associated with an increased risk for stroke (all types) and ischemic stroke in both men and women, report Hu and colleagues.

MedWire (www.medwire-news.md) is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

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