Obesity Increases Risk of Ischemic Stroke in Young Adults
Background and Purpose—Body mass index has been associated with ischemic stroke in older populations, but its association with stroke in younger populations is not known. In light of the current obesity epidemic in the United States, the potential impact of obesity on stroke risk in young adults deserves attention.
Methods—A population-based case–control study design with 1201 cases and 1154 controls was used to investigate the relationship of obesity and young onset ischemic stroke. Stroke cases were between the ages of 15 and 49 years. Logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the association between body mass index and ischemic stroke with and without adjustment for comorbid conditions associated with stroke.
Results—In analyses adjusted for age, sex, and ethnicity, obesity (body mass index >30 kg/m2) was associated with an increased stroke risk (odds ratio, 1.57; 95% confidence interval, 1.28–1.94) although this increased risk was highly attenuated and not statistically significant after adjustment for smoking, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus.
Conclusions—These results indicate that obesity is a risk factor for young onset ischemic stroke and suggest that this association may be partially mediated through hypertension, diabetes mellitus, or other variables associated with these conditions.
- Received January 26, 2015.
- Revision received March 3, 2015.
- Accepted March 5, 2015.
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.