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J Nutr Health Aging. 2012 Apr;16(4):383-8.

Prospective observational study of isoflavone and the risk of stroke recurrence: potential clinical implications beyond vascular function.

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School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.



Whether isoflavone has any effect on recurrent cardiovascular events is unknown.


To investigate the relations between isoflavone intake and the risk of stroke recurrence.


We recruited 127 consecutive patients with prior history of atherothrombotic/ hemorrhagic stroke (mean age: 67 ± 11 years, 69% male) and prospectively followed up for a mean duration of 30 months. Stroke recurrence and major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) were documented. Brachial flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) was measured using high-resolution ultrasound. Isoflavone intake was estimated using a validated food frequency questionnaire.


Median isoflavone intake was 6.9 (range: 2.1 - 14.5) mg/day. Isoflavone intake was independently associated with increased FMD (Pearson R=0.23, p=0.012). At 30 months, there were 10 stroke recurrence and 12 MACE. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that patients with isoflavone intake higher than median value had significantly longer median stroke recurrence-free survival time (19.0 [range: 10.4 - 27.6] mth versus 5.0 [range: 4.1 - 5.9] mth, p=0.021) and MACE-free survival time (19.0 [range: 10.4 - 27.6] mth versus 4.0 [range: 2.4 - 5.6] mth, p=0.013). Using multivariate cox regression, higher isoflavone intake was an independent predictor for lower risk of stroke recurrence (hazards ratio 0.18 [95%CI: 0.03 - 0.95], risk reduction 82%, p=0.043) and MACE (hazards ratio 0.16 [95%CI: 0.03 - 0.84], risk reduction 84%, p=0.030).


Higher isoflavone intake in stroke patients was associated with prolonged recurrence-free survival, and reduced risk of stroke recurrence and MACE independent of baseline vascular function. Whether isoflavone may confer clinically significant secondary protection in stroke patients should be further investigated in a randomized controlled trial.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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