Multiplicity of risk factors in ischemic stroke patients: relations to age, sex, and subtype--a study of 2,505 patients from the lund stroke register

Neuroepidemiology. 2014;42(3):161-8. doi: 10.1159/000357150. Epub 2014 Feb 20.


Background: The prevalence of risk factors for ischemic stroke may vary between different groups of stroke patients. We examined the distribution of individual well-established risk factors as well as the multiplicity of risk factors in different age groups and among subtypes.

Methods: In the Lund Stroke Register, we consecutively enrolled 2,505 patients with first-ever ischemic stroke from 2001 to 2009 and registered hypertension, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, current smoking, hypercholesterolemia as well as stroke subtype.

Results: Among young patients (<55 years), at least 50% had ≥2 risk factors and 20-25% had ≥3 risk factors. In patients aged 55 years or older, the proportion with ≥2 risk factors was 70-80% and with ≥3 risk factors 35-45%. Men and women had a similar burden of risk factors. Approximately 50% of the cases classified as cardioembolism (CE) and large artery atherosclerosis (LAA) had ≥3 risk factors, which was significantly more than the other TOAST (Trial of Org 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment) subtypes (CE p < 0.001, LAA p = 0.001).

Conclusions: The prevalence of well-established risk factors is similar among young and old stroke patients with large proportions (50-80%) having ≥2 risk factors. Even though the prevalence of well-established risk factors differs between pathogenetic subtypes, these risk factors as well as the multiplicity of risk factors seem to be of clinical importance in all major subtypes of ischemic stroke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain Ischemia / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Stroke / epidemiology*