Risk factors for cervical atherosclerosis in patients with transient ischemic attack or minor ischemic stroke.
Our purpose was to study potential determinants of the presence and the severity of cervical atherosclerosis in patients with transient ischemic attack or minor ischemic stroke.
Two hundred ninety-four patients up to 60 years of age were included in this cross-sectional study. The male to female ratio was 171/123. Atherosclerosis was defined as the presence of any visible atherosclerotic lesion in anteroposterior or left oblique views of cervical arteries in aortic arch angiograms. The severity of atherosclerosis was assessed using three scores, which were computed separately for the total thickness and length of all plaques as well as for the percent stenosis of the vessels.
Atherosclerosis was present in 180 patients (61.2%). In a multiple stepwise logistic regression analysis, age, serum triglycerides, smoking history for more than 20 years, arterial hypertension (defined as systolic or diastolic blood pressure values at least 150 or 100 mm Hg, respectively, or the use of antihypertensive medication), regular light alcohol consumption (inversely), and body mass index (marginal inverse association) were independent determinants of the presence of atherosclerosis; the respective odds ratios were 1.1/1 y, 1.8/1 mmol/L, 3.3, 2.4, 0.3, and 0.9/1 kg/m2. In multiple linear regression models, age was associated positively and the ratio of high density lipoprotein to total cholesterol was associated negatively with the severity of atherosclerosis regardless of the scoring method, whereas current smoking and female sex were predictors only of the percent stenosis and the length of the lesions. Arterial hypertension showed a significant association only with the length of the lesions.
Age, cigarette smoking, and arterial hypertension contribute substantially to atherosclerosis in cervical arteries, but this study also confirms the independent associations of lipid or lipoprotein variables with atherosclerotic disease. An independent inverse association of regular light consumption of alcohol with cervical atherosclerosis was also observed.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association