Focal Cerebral Ischemia in Young Adults: A Collaborative Case-Control Study
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Because there is uncertainty about the role of atherogenic and nonatherogenic risk factors for cerebral ischemia in the young, we carried out a multicenter, hospital-based, case-control study. 333 patients (15-44 years) with focal cerebral ischemia (transient ischemic attack or stroke within 8 weeks of admission) were eligible. 25 patients were excluded, according to the protocol. 308 cases were matched by age and gender to one hospital and one population control. Independent risk was shown by logistic conditional regression for migraine with aura [odds ratio (OR) = 14.8], smoking (OR = 3.7), alcohol (OR = 2.8), serum triglycerides (OR = 1.6), arrhythmias (OR = 9.5), mitral stenosis (OR = 56), coronary heart disease (OR = 4.3) and carotid stenosis or occlusion (OR = 41). Serum HDL-cholesterol had a relative protective effect (OR = 0.8). These data confirm the role of atherosclerosis and cardiac diseases as well as migraine with aura and alcohol consumption in the pathophysiology of cerebral ischemia in the young. More thorough prevention programs may contribute to earlier detection and control of all of these risk factors, but further investigations in patients with as yet unidentified risk factors are warranted because the above-mentioned factors do not account for the total risk of ischemic stroke in the young.
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