Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Triglyceride levels predict stroke risk in postmenopausal women

Date:
February 2, 2012
Source:
New York University Langone Medical Center
Summary:
The traditional risk factors for stroke – such as high cholesterol – are not as accurate at predicting risk in postmenopausal women as previously thought. Instead, researchers say doctors should refocus their attention on triglyceride levels to determine which women are at highest risk of suffering a devastating and potentially fatal cardiovascular event.

Postmenopausal women may be at higher risk of having a stroke than they think. A new study by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center and colleagues found that traditional risk factors for stroke -- such as high cholesterol -- are not as accurate at predicting risk in postmenopausal women as previously thought. Instead, researchers say doctors should refocus their attention on triglyceride levels to determine which women are at highest risk of suffering a devastating and potentially fatal cardiovascular event.

The study appears online February 3 in the journal Stroke.

"Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are affected by stroke and there is a tremendous emphasis on identifying people at increased risk," said lead author Jeffrey S. Berger, MD, assistant professor of medicine and director of Cardiovascular Thrombosis at NYU School of Medicine, part of NYU Langone Medical Center. "This study revealed that what we've been using to evaluate risk all these years actually has little to no predictive value in older women. Triglyceride levels, however, take on a new significance. "

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 800,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year. Ischemic strokes, the type assessed in this study, account for more than eight out of every ten strokes. They occur when blood clots, developing from high levels of a waxy substance in the blood called cholesterol, obstruct blood vessels to the brain. Cholesterol is made up of several lipids, or lipoproteins. Triglycerides are one type of such a lipoprotein, while others include low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL)."

"We've always believed that total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels were the most important biomarkers for identifying stroke risk, but this study gives us strong evidence to question that approach," Dr. Berger said.

The researchers analyzed data from the Hormones and Biomarkers Predicting Stroke (HaBPS) study, consisting of women enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), a landmark National Institutes of Health-sponsored study that has monitored the health of more than 90,000 postmenopausal women nationwide for more than 15 years. HaBPS is composed of the first 972 women who experienced an ischemic stroke while participating in the WHI. These women were matched with a control group of 972 participants who had not had strokes. All the women had donated blood samples when they first enrolled in the WHI, and these samples were then analyzed for differences in lipid biomarkers.

The most compelling finding, according to Dr. Berger, was that high triglyceride levels were significantly associated with the development of stroke. In fact, women in the highest quarter of baseline triglyceride levels were nearly twice as likely to have suffered an ischemic stroke as women in the lowest quarter of triglyceride levels during the course of the study. Surprisingly, LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol, however, were not associated with stroke risk in this population, despite their perceived value in the medical community.

Whether the strong association between triglycerides and stroke would also be seen in other populations is still unknown. "This is only the first step. It's a really important step, but it's not the end of the story," Dr. Berger said. "While this study identifies subjects at increased risk of ischemic stroke, the long term goal is to reduce that risk. Future studies aimed at lowering triglyceride levels for reducing the risk of stroke are warranted."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by New York University Langone Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. S. Berger, A. P. McGinn, B. V. Howard, L. Kuller, J. E. Manson, J. Otvos, J. D. Curb, C. B. Eaton, R. C. Kaplan, J. K. Lynch, D. M. Rosenbaum, S. Wassertheil-Smoller. Lipid and Lipoprotein Biomarkers and the Risk of Ischemic Stroke in Postmenopausal Women. Stroke, 2012; DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.111.641324

Cite This Page:

New York University Langone Medical Center. "Triglyceride levels predict stroke risk in postmenopausal women." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120202164536.htm>.
New York University Langone Medical Center. (2012, February 2). Triglyceride levels predict stroke risk in postmenopausal women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120202164536.htm
New York University Langone Medical Center. "Triglyceride levels predict stroke risk in postmenopausal women." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120202164536.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins