Background: Certain immune-mediated diseases (IMDs) have been associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disorders. The aim of the present study was to examine whether there is an association between 32 different IMDs and first hospitalization for ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke.
Methods: All individuals in Sweden hospitalized with a main diagnosis of IMD (without previous or coexisting stroke), between January 1, 1987 and December 31, 2008 (n = 216,291), were followed for first hospitalization for ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke. The reference population was the total population of Sweden. Adjusted standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) for ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke were calculated.
Results: Totally 20 and 15 of the 32 IMDs studied, respectively, were associated with an increased risk of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke during the follow-up. The overall risks of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke during the first year after hospitalization for IMD were 2.02 (95% CI 1.90-2.14) and 2.65 (95% CI 2.27-3.08), respectively. The overall risk of ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke decreased over time, to 1.50 (95% CI 1.46-1.55) and 1.83 (95% CI 1.69-1.98), respectively, after 1-5 years, and 1.29 (95% CI 1.23-1.35) and 1.47 (95% CI 1.31-1.65), respectively, after 10+ years. The risk of hemorrhagic stroke was ≥2 during the first year after hospitalization for seven IMDs: ankylosing spondylitis (SIR = 8.11), immune thrombocytopenic purpura (SIR = 8.60), polymyalgia rheumatica (SIR = 2.06), psoriasis (SIR = 2.88), rheumatoid arthritis (SIR = 3.27), systemic lupus erythematosus (SIR = 8.65), and Wegener's granulomatosis (SIR = 5.83). The risk of ischemic stroke was ≥2 during the first year after hospitalization for twelve IMDs: Addison's disease (SIR = 2.71), Crohn's disease (SIR = 2.15), Grave's disease (SIR = 2.15), Hashimoto's thyroiditis (SIR = 2.99), immune thrombocytopenic purpura (SIR = 2.35), multiple sclerosis (SIR = 3.05), polymyositis/dermatomyositis (SIR = 3.46), rheumatic fever (SIR = 3.91), rheumatoid arthritis (SIR = 2.08), Sjögren's syndrome (SIR = 2.57), systemic lupus erythematosus (SIR = 2.21), and ulcerative colitis (SIR = 2.15).
Conclusions: Hospitalization for many IMDs is associated with increased risk of ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke. The findings suggest that several IMDs are linked to cerebrovascular disease.