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Association of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol with stroke and coronary heart disease

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Dr K K Aggarwal    12 September 2017

It is known that lower levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol concentration is an established risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD).

The goal of a new study published in the Atherosclerosis was to derive information regarding subtypes of stroke in Asian populations.

In this prospective study, 30,736 individuals aged between 40 and 69 years, residing in nine communities in Japan and having no history of cardiovascular disease (CVD), were included. In these patients, CHD and stroke, including its subtypes, were assessed.

The results revealed that 296 patients had CHD and 1712 had suffered stroke events over a median 15-year of follow-up. A low HDL cholesterol concentration slightly escalated the risk for total strokes in men, but not in women. An inverse relationship was found between HDL cholesterol concentration and the incidence of lacunar infarction. On the other hand, HDL cholesterol concentration was positively associated with the risk of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) in a linear manner in women, but not in men.

Hence, it was inferred that the associations of HDL cholesterol concentration with lacunar infarction and ICH may be related to different functional properties of HDL rather than to its protective function against lipid-rich atherosclerosis.

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