Research Article| Volume 279, ISSUE 1-2, P53-56, April 15, 2009

A significant temporal and quantitative relationship exists between high-density lipoprotein levels and acute ischemic stroke presentation

Published:February 06, 2009DOI:



      Reduced serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL-C) is an independent risk factor for ischemic stroke in elderly men. The temporal and quantitative relationships between HDL-C and acute ischemic stroke have not been defined.


      We identified patients with first ever acute ischemic stroke presenting to our hospital between 2003 and 2006. Patients with serum fasting lipid levels drawn within 24 h of admission and at least one follow-up visit with a neurologist in our hospital were included. Clinical and laboratory data before, immediately after, and several weeks after the index stroke were collected.


      191 patients were included (47% women, mean age 62 years). The mean time interval between pre-stroke lipid data and index stroke was 5.2 months; 50% of these patients were taking a statin medication. The mean time interval between index stroke and follow-up lipid testing was 2.6 months. Immediately after the index stroke, HDL-C levels decreased by 18% (p<0.001) relative to pre-stroke levels. This phenomenon was independent of stroke severity, and was blunted among patients with a prior history of myocardial infarction (p<0.01). HDL-C levels increased to pre-stroke levels within 3 months post-stroke.


      HDL-C levels decrease significantly at the time of acute ischemic stroke. Prior history of myocardial infarction diminishes HDL-C depression at the time of stroke. HDL-C may be an acute phase reactant or nascent biomarker of acute stroke susceptibility. Further prospective studies are needed.


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