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Stroke. 2000 Dec;31(12):2936-41.

High proinsulin levels precede first-ever stroke in a nondiabetic population.

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Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.



Diabetic subjects have a 3- to 6-fold increased risk for stroke compared with nondiabetic subjects, and hyperinsulinemia shows strong and consistent associations with a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors. Methods separating proinsulin from (true) insulin have demonstrated proinsulin to be more strongly associated with cardiovascular disease than insulin. The present study evaluates the associations between first-ever stroke, proinsulin, and insulin.


In this incident case-referent study of a nondiabetic population, 94 cases of first-ever stroke (59 men and 35 women) were individually age- and sex-matched to 178 referents. Blood sampling was collected before the stroke event. Proinsulin and insulin were measured with highly sensitive 2-site sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.


In the study population, high proinsulin concentration more than tripled the risk for first-ever stroke after adjustments for total cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, smoking, body mass index, and insulin, with an odds ratio of 3.4 (95% CI, 1.4 to 8.4). In women the risk was even more pronounced, with an odds ratio of 13.7 (95% CI, 1.3 to 146). Synergy was found between proinsulin and systolic blood pressure. In women, synergy was also found between proinsulin and diastolic blood pressure as well as between insulin and both blood pressures.


High levels of proinsulin may predict later occurrence of first-ever stroke in a nondiabetic population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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