Risk Factors for Posterior Compared to Anterior Ischemic Stroke: An Observational Study of the Registry of the Canadian Stroke Network
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BACKGROUND: Traditional vascular risk factors appear to exert varying magnitudes of risk for different major vascular events. For example, hypercholesterolemia is a much stronger risk factor for myocardial infarction than ischemic stroke. Limited evidence also suggests that vascular risk factors may exert differing magnitudes of risk for ischemic stroke within different cerebral arterial territories. We sought to determine the association between traditional vascular risk factors and the location of ischemic stroke (posterior versus anterior). METHODS: Consecutive patients with acute ischemic stroke who were admitted to 11 regional stroke centers within the Registry of the Canadian Stroke Network were included in the study sample. The Oxfordshire Community Stroke Project classification was used to distinguish posterior from anterior circulation ischemic stroke. Multivariable logistic regression was applied to determine the association between risk factors (age, gender, diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, atrial fibrillation and smoking history) and posterior (compared to anterior) circulation ischemic stroke. RESULTS: In total, 8,489 patients with acute ischemic stroke were included. On multivariable analysis, diabetes mellitus (OR = 1.14; 95% CI = 1.02-1.27) was associated with an increased odds of posterior circulation ischemic stroke, whereas age (OR = 0.86; 95% CI = 0.83-0.90), female sex (OR = 0.84; 95% CI = 0.76-0.93), atrial fibrillation (OR = 0.83; 95% CI = 0.74-0.94) and pulmonary edema (OR = 0.74; 95% CI = 0.62-0.88) were related to a reduced odds of posterior compared with anterior circulation ischemic stroke. CONCLUSIONS: Some traditional vascular risk factors for ischemic stroke appear to exert different magnitudes of risk for posterior compared to anterior circulation ischemic stroke.
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