Postmenopausal women have been urged to have their triglyceride levels measured by doctors following US research which found that high levels are the strongest risk factor for stroke in older women.
The study found that having elevated levels of triglycerides (blood fats) was more of a risk factor for ischaemic stroke, the most common type, than high levels of total or LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol.
Using data from a study in 90,000 postmenopausal women, researchers compared 972 postmenopausal women who had ischaemic stroke with 972 controls who had not had strokes.
Women with the highest levels were nearly twice as likely to have suffered a stroke as those with the lowest levels.
The research, which establishes elevated triglyceride levels as an independent risk factor for stroke, appeared online in Stroke in February.
Content updated February 2012