Background: Intracranial atherosclerosis is the commonest vascular lesion for ischemic stroke in Asians. Most research on risk factors for middle cerebral artery (MCA) stenosis has been conducted in symptomatic patients with ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack. The present study aimed to investigate risk factors for MCA stenosis in an asymptomatic population in Rongqi County in Southern China.
Methods: We assessed 1,068 asymptomatic subjects over 50 years of age by transcranial Doppler. Medical history documentation and investigation of biochemical markers were performed for each subject. Multivariant, unconditioned, logistic regression analyses were employed to assess the risk factors associated with MCA stenosis.
Results: MCA stenosis was found in 63 subjects (5.9%). Male gender, advancing age, hypertension, diabetes and systolic blood pressure were significant risk factors for MCA stenosis (p < 0.001). Based on logistic regression analyses, 4 factors emerged as independent risk factors (p < 0.001) of MCA stenosis: male gender [95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.49-4.66, OR = 2.63], age (95% CI = 1.01-1.06, OR = 1.04), hypertension (95% CI = 4.57-18.35, OR = 9.16) and diabetes mellitus (95% CI = 3.09-11.29, OR = 5.9).
Conclusion: MCA stenosis is relatively common among asymptomatic Chinese subjects. Male gender, advanced age, hypertension and diabetes mellitus are risk factors for MCA stenosis.