According to Science Daily, new research published in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology suggests that people with a history of atherothrombotic stroke and high triglycerides are more likely to have another stroke or other cardiovascular issues a year later.
The study also discovered an association in people taking statin drugs, which are used to lower triglycerides and protect against stroke and heart attack. An atherothrombotic stroke is caused by a clot formed by plaques that have accumulated within blood vessels in the brain.
Triglyceride levels that are too high contribute to artery hardening and narrowing, increasing the risk of heart attack, heart disease, and stroke.”Our study suggests that for people who had an atherothrombotic stroke, having elevated levels of triglycerides in their blood is a risk factor for having another stroke or other cardiovascular problems in the future, and we found that to be true even if the person is on statin therapy,” researcher Dr. Takao Hoshino said.”
The good news is that statin medications are only one treatment for high triglycerides — diet and exercise can also be effective ways to reduce levels in your blood at little or no cost,” Dr. Hoshino of Japan’s Tokyo Women’s Medical University added.
The study included 870 people who had a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA). 217 (25%) of those tested positive for high triglyceride levels. They followed up with the participants a year later to see if there was a link between having high triglycerides and having another stroke or having acute coronary syndrome (ACS).ACS is a condition caused by a sudden decrease in blood flow to the heart, which results in death from cardiovascular causes.
Taking into account factors such as cholesterol level and statin use, the researchers discovered that people with high triglycerides had a 21% higher risk of death, stroke, or heart condition. The authors focused on people who had another stroke after having an atherothrombotic stroke. During the study, 14 (12%) of 114 people with normal triglyceride levels had one stroke, compared to 33 (16%) of 217 people with elevated levels.
A year after an atherothrombotic stroke, only one out of 114 people with normal triglyceride levels developed ACS, compared to five out of 60 with elevated levels.”More research is needed,” Dr. Hoshino said, “but triglyceride levels may emerge as a key target for preventing future strokes and other cardiovascular problems in people who have had an atherothrombotic stroke.
“Statin therapy is still an effective treatment for people with high triglyceride levels,” Dr. Hoshino said. “However, our study emphasizes how important it is to consider all of the tools a person can use to lower their triglycerides, including diet modifications, exercise, and taking omega-3 fatty acids.”The study, however, does not prove that lowering elevated triglycerides will prevent people from having an atherothrombotic stroke or other cardiovascular problems in the future. It simply displays a possible link. One of the study’s limitations is that researchers only looked at the participants’ fasting triglyceride levels.