Association of Lipids With Ischemic and Hemorrhagic Stroke: A Prospective Cohort Study Among 267 500 Chinese

Stroke. 2019 Dec;50(12):3376-3384. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.119.026402. Epub 2019 Oct 29.


Background and Purpose- Previous results on the association between lipids and stroke were controversial. We investigated the association of total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C ), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and triglyceride with stroke. Methods- Six cohort studies in China with 267 500 participants were included. Cox proportional hazards regression models and restricted cubic spline analyses were used to estimate hazard ratios and 95% CIs and explore linear and nonlinear relationships of lipids and stroke, respectively. Results- The median follow-up duration ranged from 6 to 19 years. During 2 295 881 person-years, 8072 people developed stroke. Multivariable adjusted hazard ratios (95% CIs) per 1 mmol/L increase in TC, LDL-C, triglyceride were 1.08 (1.05-1.11), 1.08 (1.04-1.11), 1.07 (1.05-1.09) for ischemic stroke, respectively. Compared with participants with TC 160-199.9 mg/dL, hazard ratios (95% CIs) were 1.43 (1.11-1.85) for hemorrhagic stroke in those with TC <120 mg/dL. Compared with participants with HDL-C 50 to 59.9 mg/dL, hazard ratios (95% CIs) were 1.23 (1.12-1.35), 1.13 (1.04-1.22) for ischemic stroke, and 1.28 (1.10-1.49), 1.17 (1.03-1.33) for hemorrhagic stroke in those with HDL-C <40 and 40 to 49.9 mg/dL, respectively. Restricted cubic spline analyses showed linear relationships of TC and LDL-C, and nonlinear relationships of HDL-C and triglyceride with ischemic stroke (all P<0.001). Hemorrhagic stroke showed linear relationships with TC and HDL-C (P=0.029 and <0.001 respectively), but no relationship with LDL-C and triglyceride (all P>0.05). Conclusions- TC, LDL-C, and triglyceride showed positive associations with ischemic stroke. The risk of hemorrhagic stroke was higher when TC was lower than 120 mg/dL. LDL-C and triglyceride showed no association with hemorrhagic stroke. The risks of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke might be higher when HDL-C was lower than 50 mg/dL.

Keywords: cholesterol; stroke; triglyceride.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Asians
  • Brain Ischemia / blood
  • Brain Ischemia / complications
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood*
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / blood
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Stroke / blood*
  • Stroke / etiology
  • Triglycerides / blood*


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Triglycerides