Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 19-22

Low cholesterol as a risk factor for primary intracerebral hemorrhage: A case-control study


1 Department of Neurology, Malabar Institute of Medical Sciences, Calicut, Kerala, India
2 Department of Medicine, Malabar Institute of Medical Sciences, Calicut, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Ashraf V Valappil
Department of Neurology, Malabar Institute of Medical Sciences, Govindapuram PO, Calicut - 673 016, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-2327.93270

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Introduction: An inverse association between serum cholesterol and the risk of hemorrhagic stroke has been noted in epidemiological studies. We performed a case-control study to assess the relationship between primary intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and low serum cholesterol. Materials and Methods: Prospectively recruited fully evaluated patients with ICH were compared with a control group based in a primary care practice, i.e. age- and sex-matched individuals attending the routine preventive health check-up. Low cholesterol was defined by the sex-specific lowest quintile of the population. Results: The proportion of ICH patients with low cholesterol was significantly higher than the controls (68% vs. 43%). Mean total cholesterol was also signficantly low in ICH patients compared with controls (177 mg/dL vs. 200 mg/dl; P-value = 0.0006). Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c) and triglycerides were also significantly low in ICH patients compared with controls. Mean LDL-C in the ICH patient group was 114 mg/dL, whereas it was 128.5 mg/dL in the control group (P-value = 0.016). There was no significant difference in the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels in both groups. In a subgroup analysis, both men and women in the ICH group had a significantly low mean cholesterol compared with the control group. Although lower mean cholesterol was seen in both young and older individuals in the ICH group than in controls, the difference was significant only in the older group (age >45 years). In multivariate analysis, presence of low cholesterol remained a significant predictor of hemorrhage. The odds ratio of low cholesterol in the hemorrhage cases was 2.75 (95% CI = 1.44-5.49) unadjusted and 2.15 (1.13-4.70) adjusted for age and hypertension. Conclusions: This study confirms an increased risk of primary ICH associated with low cholesterol both in men and women, especially in older individuals.


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