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Influence of total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides on risk of cerebrovascular disease: the Copenhagen city heart study

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.309.6946.11 (Published 02 July 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:11

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  1. E Lindenstrom,
  2. G Boysen,
  3. J Nyboe
  1. Department of Neurology, 433, Hvidovre Hospital, 20 Kettegards Alle 30, 2650 Hvidovre, Denmark 20 Copenhagen City Heart Study, Rigshospitalet, 2200 Copenhagen N
  1. Correspondecne to: Dr Lindenstrom.

    Abstract

    Objective: To estimate the influence of plasma total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides on risk of cerebrovascular disease.

    Design: The Copenhagen city heart study is a prospective observational survey with two cardiovascular examinations at five year intervals. Non- fasting plasma lipids were measured in participants once at each examination, along with other variables. The Cox regression model was used to establish the effect of the factors recorded on cerebrovascular events of mostly, but not exclusively, ischaemic origin. Subjects — 19 698 women and men at least 20 years old, randomly selected after age stratification from an area of central Copenhagen.

    Main outcome measures: Initial cases of stroke and transient ischaemic attack recorded from hospital records and death certificates from 1976 through 1988.

    Results: 660 non-haemorrhagic and 33 haemorrhagic events were recorded. Total cholesterol was positively associated with risk of non-haemorrhagic events, but only for levels >8 mmol/l, correspaonding to the upper 5% of the distribution in the study population. For lower plasma cholesterol values the relative risk remained nearly constant. Plasma triglyceride concentration was significantly, positively associated with risk of non- haemorrhagic events. The relative risk corresponding to an increase of 1 mmol/l was 1.12 (95% confidence interval 1.07 to 1.16). There was a negative, log linear association between high density lipoprotein cholesterol and risk of non-haemorrhagic events (0.53 (0.34 to 0.83)). There was no indication that the20effects of plasma lipids were different in women and men.

    Conclusions: The pattern of the association between plasma cholesterol and risk of ischaemic cerebrovascular disease was not log linear, and the increased risk was confined to the upper 5% of the cholesterol distribution. Further studies should concentrate on the association between plasma cholesterol and varified haemorrhagic stroke.

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