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High Blood Triglycerides Are Independent Risk Factor For Stroke

Date:
December 12, 2001
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
For the first time, researchers have shown that high triglycerides – a type of blood fat – are a strong independent predictor of a person’s risk for stroke, according to a report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. “High triglycerides are associated with ischemic stroke and transient ischemic attacks (TIA),” says David Tanne, M.D., lead author of the study. “To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to indicate that high triglycerides expose heart disease patients to increased risk for stroke beyond cholesterol.”
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DALLAS, Dec. 11 – For the first time, researchers have shown that high triglycerides – a type of blood fat – are a strong independent predictor of a person’s risk for stroke, according to a report in today’s Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. “High triglycerides are associated with ischemic stroke and transient ischemic attacks (TIA),” says David Tanne, M.D., lead author of the study. “To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to indicate that high triglycerides expose heart disease patients to increased risk for stroke beyond cholesterol.”

In light of this finding, healthcare providers should include triglycerides as part of their global risk assessment for stroke in all individuals and know that people can have elevated triglycerides even if their cholesterol is normal, says Tanne, who is director of the stroke unit, department of neurology, at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel.

“More effective screening and detection of high blood triglycerides and treatments to modify this stroke risk factor could further reduce the health burdens of stroke,” says Tanne.

Stroke is the third-largest cause of death in the United States after coronary heart disease and all forms of cancer. It is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States. The most common type of stroke, accounting for about 80 percent of all cases, is ischemic stroke, which is caused by interruption of the blood supply to the brain.

Major risk factors for stroke include heredity, smoking, increasing age, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and sickle cell anemia. High blood cholesterol, physical inactivity, obesity and overweight are secondary risk factors.

For six to eight years, researchers followed 11,177 patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) but no history of stroke or TIA. Medical histories were obtained and blood lipids assessed. Participants were 40 to 74 years old, and 78 percent were men. Researchers identified 941 individuals with cerebrovascular disease, of whom 487 had ischemic stroke or TIA. A TIA is a “mini-stroke” that produces stroke-like symptoms but no lasting damage.

Individuals who had a stroke or TIA had higher than average levels of triglycerides and lower levels of HDL cholesterol. About one-fourth of individuals in the study had triglyceride levels of 200 mg/dL or higher, a level that increased their risk for stroke by nearly 30 percent. The increased risk associated with high triglycerides was found across subgroups of age, gender, patient characteristics and cholesterol.

Tanne’s group conducted the study to shed light on the links among blood lipids and, in particular, high blood triglycerides and the risk of ischemic stroke. Individuals with high triglycerides usually also have high blood pressure, insulin resistance and obesity – a cluster of abnormalities that is called the metabolic syndrome or “syndrome X.” This research better clarifies the association between lipids and stroke because it looks at triglycerides independently in a large group of patients, says Tanne.


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Materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "High Blood Triglycerides Are Independent Risk Factor For Stroke." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 December 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/12/011210163853.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2001, December 12). High Blood Triglycerides Are Independent Risk Factor For Stroke. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 17, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/12/011210163853.htm
American Heart Association. "High Blood Triglycerides Are Independent Risk Factor For Stroke." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/12/011210163853.htm (accessed June 17, 2024).

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