Abstract

Objective

High remnant cholesterol concentrations are associated with high risk of ischemic heart disease, but whether this is also the case for ischemic stroke is unknown. We tested the hypothesis that high remnant cholesterol concentrations are associated with increased risk of ischemic stroke in the general population.

Methods

102,964 individuals from the Copenhagen General Population Study with information on remnant cholesterol at baseline in 2003‐15 were included in a prospective observational association study. Individuals were followed for up to 14 years, during which time 2,488 were diagnosed with an ischemic stroke. Hazard ratios were estimated using Cox proportional hazard regression models. Results were independently confirmed in 9,548 individuals enrolled in the Copenhagen City Heart Study in 1991‐94; 983 ischemic strokes developed during up to 26 years of follow‐up.

Results

Stepwise higher remnant cholesterol concentrations were associated with stepwise higher ischemic stroke risk in the Copenhagen General Population Study, with multivariable adjusted hazard ratios up to 1.99(95%confidence interval: 1.49‐2.67) for individuals with remnant cholesterol concentrations ≥1.5mmol/L(58mg/dL), compared to individuals with remnant cholesterol <0.5mmol/L(19mg/dL). Results were similar in the Copenhagen City Heart Study. Cumulative incidence of ischemic stroke at age 80 in the Copenhagen General Population Study ranged from 7.3% for individuals with remnant cholesterol <0.5mmol/L(19mg/dL) to 11.5% for individuals with remnant cholesterol ≥1.5mmol/L(58mg/dL).

Interpretation

Individuals with high remnant cholesterol concentrations had higher risk of ischemic stroke. These results indicate that randomized clinical trials with remnant cholesterol lowering in individuals with high concentrations, with the aim of preventing ischemic strokes, are needed.

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