Nontraditional Serum Lipid Variables and Recurrent Stroke Risk
Background and Purpose―Expert consensus guidelines recommend low-density lipoprotein cholesterol as the primary serum lipid target for recurrent stroke risk reduction. However, mounting evidence suggests that other lipid parameters might be additional therapeutic targets or at least also predict cardiovascular risk. Little is known about the effects of nontraditional lipid variables on recurrent stroke risk.
Methods―We analyzed the Vitamin Intervention for Stroke Prevention study database comprising 3680 recent (<120 days) noncardioembolic stroke patients followed up for 2 years. Independent associations of baseline serum lipid variables with recurrent ischemic stroke (primary outcome) and the composite end point of ischemic stroke/coronary heart disease/vascular death (secondary outcomes) were assessed.
Results―Of all variables evaluated, only triglycerides/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) ratio was consistently and independently related to both outcomes: compared with the lowest quintile, the highest triglycerides/HDL-C ratio quintile was associated with stroke (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.56; 95% confidence interval, 1.05−2.32) and stroke/coronary heart disease/vascular death (1.39; 1.05−1.83), including adjustment for lipid modifier use. Compared with the lowest quintile, the highest total cholesterol/HDL-C ratio quintile was associated with stroke/coronary heart disease/vascular death (1.45; 1.03−2.03). Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol/HDL-C ratio, non-HDL-C, elevated triglycerides alone, and low HDL-C alone were not independently linked to either outcome.
Conclusions―Of various nontraditional lipid variables, elevated baseline triglycerides/HDL-C and total cholesterol/HDL-C ratios predict future vascular risk after a stroke, but only elevated triglycerides/HDL-C ratio is related to risk of recurrent stroke. Future studies should assess the role of triglycerides/HDL-C as a potential therapeutic target for global vascular risk reduction after stroke.
- Received July 21, 2014.
- Revision received August 21, 2014.
- Accepted August 28, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.