Abstract 3358: Sex Differences in Vascular Risk Factors in a Multi-ethnic, Medically Underserved Stroke Population
Background: Recent nationally representative studies of stroke patients have revealed that vascular risk factors are not as aggressively controlled in women compared to men. Medically underserved minority populations are at particularly high risk for poor control of vascular risk factors; however, little is known about sex differences in this population.
Methods: Sex-specific vascular risk factors and admission medications were assessed for 440 consecutive ischemic stroke patients (39% female) admitted to a safety-net public hospital in Los Angeles County. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine sex differences in vascular risk factors, adjusting for age and race.
Results: The mean age was 58.9 (SE 10.6) years, 58% were Hispanic, 7% were white, 13% were black, 20% were Asian, and 1% were Native American. Stroke classification (using modified TOAST) revealed the following distribution: 35% small vessel, 20% large vessel, 7% cardioembolic, 23% cryptogenic, 13% >1 possible etiology, and 3% other mechanisms (e.g. drug use). Women had higher mean glycosylated hemoglobin levels than men (8.0% vs 7.4%, p<0.01) and were more likely than men to have a history of type 2 diabetes (49% vs. 40% male, p=0.04), systolic blood pressure > 140 mm Hg (72% vs. 62%, p=0.03), total cholesterol > 200 mg/dL (46% vs. 36%, p=0.04), and low HDL levels (<40 mg/dL for men and <50 mg/dL for women)(83% vs. 79%, p <0.01). Men were more likely than women to have a previous history of stroke (19% vs. 13%, p = 0.05), smoking (49% vs 19%, p<0.01), and alcohol abuse (28% vs. 7%, p<0.01). After adjustment for race and age, women were more likely than men to have total cholesterol > 200 mg/dL (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.05-2.31), BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 (OR 1.55, 95% CI 1.03-2.34), systolic blood pressure >140 mm Hg (OR 1.46, 95% CI 0.96-2.22), low HDL (1.26, 95% CI 0.76-2.08), and triglyceride level > 150 mg/dL (OR 1.09, 95% CI 0.74-1.63); however, the latter 3 were not significant. After adjustment for race and age, men were more likely than women to have a history of smoking (OR 4.54, 95% CI 2.78-7.14) and alcohol abuse (OR 5.56, 95% CI 2.86-11.11).
Conclusions: In this multi-ethnic population with inadequate access to care, women are more likely than men to have obesity, hypertension, and dyslipidemia while men are more likely than women to smoke or abuse alcohol. Larger studies are necessary to validate these findings. In the meantime, interventions aimed at reducing the incidence of metabolic syndrome components among women and smoking and alcohol abuse among men in underserved communities are likely warranted.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.