Introduction: The possible correlation between serum lipid levels and outcome after stroke is still controversial. Therefore we examined whether serum lipid levels at admission had any prognostic value in the 3-month outcome after stroke.
Methods: We performed a prospective, observational study of 649 patients with acute ischaemic stroke and intracerebral haemorrhagic stroke (ICH). Information on age, sex, history of arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus, drinking, current smoking status, stroke type, Glasgow Coma Scale and Scandinavian Stroke Scale score, time from stroke onset, and presence of atrial fibrillation was obtained. Serum lipid levels were measured in blood samples taken from fasting patients 12 to 48 hours following ictus. Death and poor neurological outcome (Modified Rankin Scale score of > or =3 points) were defined as outcome events. A logistic regression model was performed to estimate the effect of the above variables on outcome after stroke.
Results: We found that the median levels of serum total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) in good outcome patients with acute stroke were significantly higher (P<0.005) than those of poor outcome patients. The low levels of serum TC, TG and HDL-C (P<0.05) were independently related to increased 3-month poor outcome after acute ischaemic stroke and ICH. However, there was no significant relationship between LDL-C levels and 3-month outcome.
Conclusion: The data from this study show that low levels of serum TC, TG and HDL-C are strong independent predictors of 3-month poor outcome in patients with acute ischaemic stroke and ICH.