Cholesterol 'does not predict stroke in women'

Stroke Cholesterol levels do not predict stroke in women, say scientists

Related Stories

High levels of cholesterol do not predict the risk of stroke in women, according to researchers in Denmark.

They did detect an increased risk in men, but only when cholesterol was at almost twice the average level.

The report in Annals of Neurology recommends using a different type of fat in the blood, non-fasting triglycerides, to measure the risk.

The Stroke Association said triglyceride tests needed to become routine to reduce the risk of stroke.

A total of 150,000 people have a stroke in the UK each year. Most are ischemic strokes, in which a clot in an artery disrupts the brain's blood supply.

The research followed 13,951 men and women, who took part in the Copenhagen City Heart Study.

During the 33-year study, 837 men and 837 women had strokes.

Start Quote

This study highlights the importance of measuring triglycerides routinely in order to reduce a person's risk of stroke.”

End Quote Dr Peter Coleman The Stroke Association
Poor predictor

They reported that the cholesterol levels in women were not associated with stroke, while there was only an association in men with levels higher than 9mmol/litre. The average in UK men is 5.5.

The researchers at Copenhagen University Hospital said this was "difficult to explain" as LDL, or bad, cholesterol is known to cause atherosclerosis which can block arteries.

They did notice a link, in both men and women, between the risk of stroke and non-fasting triglycerides.

They believe these fats are a marker for "remnant cholesterol" which is left behind when other forms of cholesterol are made.

Dr Peter Coleman, deputy director of research at The Stroke Association said: "Tests for triglyceride levels aren't routinely carried out in the UK unless there is significant concern."

"We know that high levels of fats, such as cholesterol, increase your risk of having a stroke. However, this research shows the importance of measuring the fat triglyceride, as well as cholesterol.

"This study highlights the importance of measuring triglycerides routinely in order to reduce a person's risk of stroke."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Health stories



  • Alana Saarinen at pianoMum, Dad and Mum

    The girl with three biological parents

  • Polish and British flags alongside British roadsideWar debt

    Does the UK still feel a sense of obligation towards Poles?

  • Islamic State fighters parade in Raqqa, Syria (30 June 2014)Who backs IS?

    Where Islamic State finds support to become a formidable force

  • Bride and groom-to-be photographed underwaterWetted bliss

    Chinese couples told to smile, but please hold your breath

  • A ship is dismantled for scrap in the port city of Chittagong, BangladeshDangerous work

    Bangladesh's ship breakers face economic challenge

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.