Body mass index and thromboembolic stroke in nonsmoking men in older middle age. The Honolulu Heart Program.
While evidence suggests that obesity has an independent relation to coronary artery disease, similar findings for stroke have not been established. The purpose of this study was to examine the relation between body mass index and the risk of thromboembolic stroke independently of other risk factors.
Since 1965, the Honolulu Heart Program has followed a cohort of men in a prospective study of cardiovascular disease. This article examines the relationship between the baseline measurement of body mass index and the risk of thromboembolic stroke in 1163 nonsmoking men in older middle age (55 to 68 years). Men who had an elevated risk of stroke due to hypertension, diabetes, and other risk factors were excluded from the analysis.
After 22 years of follow-up, the rate of stroke increased significantly with increasing levels of body mass (P < .01). In the bottom tertile of the body mass index, the rate of thromboembolic stroke was 28.7 per 1000 (11/383). In the middle tertile, the rate was increased by 40% to 40.7 per 1000 (16/393), and in the top tertile, the rate of thromboembolic stroke was 55.4 per 1000 (21/387), a twofold excess compared with the bottom tertile. After adjustment for age and the residual effects of confounding risk factors, including systolic blood pressure and serum glucose, the estimated relative risk of stroke for the average body mass index in the top tertile (26.6 kg/m2) compared with that in the bottom tertile (20.3 kg/m2) was 2.1 (95% confidence interval, 1.1 to 4.1). These findings were not affected by coronary events that occurred in the course of follow-up, nor did they appear to be influenced by deaths from other causes.
We conclude that elevated body mass is associated with an increased risk of thromboembolic stroke in nonsmoking men in older middle age who are free of commonly observed conditions related to cardiovascular disease.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association