- Each year, there are 140,000 transient ischemic attacks in France.
- One in six people will have a stroke during their lifetime according to the Health Insurance.
The most common form of stroke, ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot or other blockage cuts off the blood supply to the brain. And according to work presented this Sunday at the 2022 Congress of the European Academy of Neurology in Vienna, certain major risks of this type of stroke remain poorly identified.
Underdiagnosed risk factors
The study was carried out by researchers from the Center Vaudois (Lausanne, Switzerland). It demonstrates that victims of an ischemic cerebrovascular accident (CVA) without a previously diagnosed risk factor present, in the majority of cases, with undiagnosed underlying pathologies.
To reach these conclusions, the authors of the work reviewed the medical records of 4,354 patients who suffered a stroke between 2003 and 2018, including 1,125 cases for whom major risk factors had not been previously diagnosed. Overall, the study identified a major risk factor in 67.7% of affected patients.
Better monitor blood lipid imbalances…
The most common vascular risk factor detected was dyslipidemia. In other words, an imbalance of blood fats that can be triggered by several factors, including cholesterol or triglyceride levels that are too high (seen in 61.4% of patients). The second most common risk factor was high blood pressure, detected in 23.7% of patients. In addition, one in ten patients suffered from atrial fibrillation, a condition that causes a rapid and often irregular heartbeat.
Correlations have also been identified between stroke patients and several factors such as young age, smoking in those over 55 or the use of contraceptives in women under 55. Conversely, taking anticoagulants and a high body mass index (BMI) do not seem to be associated with an increased risk of stroke.
…like high cholesterol
“Our findings underscore the importance of testing for and treating blood lipid imbalances such as high cholesterol and triglycerides and blood pressure, as well as identifying and treating people with atrial fibrillation and type 2 diabetes.“, emphasizes Dr. André Rêgo, who led the study.