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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2014 Apr;34(4):946-51. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.113.303003. Epub 2013 Dec 26.

Decreased serum bilirubin is associated with silent cerebral infarction.

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  • 1From the Departments of Neurosurgery (R.-Y.L.), Interventional Radiology (Z.-G.C.), and Geriatrics (J.-R.Z., Y.L., R.-T.W.) and International Physical Examination and Healthy Center (Y.L.), the Second Affiliated Hospital, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China.



The presence of silent cerebral infarction (SCI) increases the risk of transient ischemia attack, symptomatic stroke, cardiovascular disease, and dementia. Total bilirubin (TB) levels were demonstrated to be decreased in carotid intima-media thickness, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease. However, little information is available concerning the correlation between TB and SCI.


A cross-sectional study was conducted to evaluate the association between TB and SCI in 2865 subjects (1831 men and 1034 women) undergoing medical checkup. The participants with SCI had lower TB levels than those without SCI. The subjects with a low TB had a higher prevalence of SCI. Moreover, partial correlation showed that TB levels were tightly correlated with brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity after adjusting for confounding covariates (r=-0.149; P<0.001). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that higher TB was associated with a lower risk of SCI (odds ratio, 0.925; 95% confidence interval, 0.897-0.954; P<0.001).


TB is a novel biochemical indicator for SCI regardless of classical cardiovascular risk factors. Early measurement of TB may be useful to assess the risk of SCI.


atherosclerosis; bilirubin; cerebral infarction

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