the men according to their systolic blood pressure and according to the number of ISPs in the top quartile zero to one or two to five. Overall, 238 men had strokes during follow-up.
There was a direct correlation between blood pressure and the number of ISPs in the highest quartile.
Men who had high systolic blood pressure and more than one elevated ISP had a stroke risk 4.3 times higher than that of men with normal blood pressure and fewer elevated ISPs. In contrast, high systolic blood pressure alone increased stroke risk by 2.5 times compared to that of men with normal blood pressure and ISP levels.
An analysis limited to strokes that occurred after more than 10 years of follow-up showed that elevated ISPs still predicted an increased stroke risk.
High systolic blood pressure and more than one elevated ISP also predicted an increased risk of death during follow-up. How ISPs affect the risk of stroke and death is not clear, but inflammation may reduce plaque stability or it could accelerate atherosclerosis, the researchers say.
In an accompanying editorial, Keith W. Muir, M.D., of Institute of Neurological Sciences, Glasgow, Scotland, says the research suggests that measuring inflammation may become a valuable additional tool in stroke prevention efforts.
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Contact: Carole Bullock
American Heart Association
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