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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006 Dec 5;48(11):2235-42. Epub 2006 Nov 13.

The relative strength of C-reactive protein and lipid levels as determinants of ischemic stroke compared with coronary heart disease in women.

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Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.



We sought to determine the relative strength of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and lipid levels as markers for future ischemic stroke compared with coronary heart disease (CHD) in women.


Although hs-CRP and lipid levels are established risk determinants for vascular disease, the relative strength of these biomarkers for ischemic stroke compared with CHD is uncertain.


Among 15,632 initially healthy women who were followed for a 10-year period, we compared hs-CRP, total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), apolipoproteins A-I and B100, and lipid ratios as determinants of ischemic stroke compared with CHD.


After adjustment for age, smoking status, blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity, the hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the third versus the first tertile for future ischemic stroke compared with CHD were, respectively, 1.91 (95% CI 1.13 to 3.21) and 2.26 (95% CI 1.64 to 3.12) for TC, 1.29 (95% CI 0.83 to 2.02) and 2.09 (95% CI 1.53 to 2.85) for LDL-C, 0.57 (95% CI 0.36 to 0.92) and 0.38 (95% CI 0.27 to 0.52) for HDL-C, 1.72 (95% CI 1.03 to 2.86) and 2.93 (95% CI 2.04 to 4.21) for non-HDL-C, and 2.76 (95% CI 1.51 to 5.05) and 1.66 (95% CI 1.17 to 2.34) for hs-CRP. Of the lipid ratios, that of TC to HDL-C had the largest HR for both future ischemic stroke and CHD (HR 1.95 [95% CI 1.16 to 3.26] and 4.20 [95% CI 2.79 to 6.32], respectively).


In this large prospective cohort of initially healthy women, lipid levels are significant risk determinants for ischemic stroke, but with a magnitude of effect smaller than that observed for CHD. High-sensitivity CRP associates more closely with ischemic stroke than with CHD. Concomitant evaluation of lipid levels and hs-CRP may improve risk assessment for stroke as well as CHD. (The Women's Health Study;; NCT00000479).

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