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      Diabetes mellitus and Cerebrovascular Disease

      a , b , a


      S. Karger AG

      Diabetes mellitus, Stroke

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          In the past several years, a substantial amount of new information on the epidemiology and pathophysiology of diabetes and vascular disease has become available. Autopsy studies suggest that diabetic patients are susceptible to cerebral small-artery disease and lacunar infarction and may be at risk for large-artery atherosclerotic occlusive disease. Epidemiological studies show that diabetes is a risk factor for ischemic stroke. The pathogenesis of diabetes-associated stroke appears to be linked to excessive glycation and oxidation, endothelial dysfunction, increased platelet aggregation, impaired fibrinolysis and insulin resistance. Macrovascular complications may be prevented by simple primary prevention measures including exercise, weight loss and treatment of dyslipidemia. The role of tight glycemic control in reducing the risk of stroke is still uncertain. Many new insights and treatment strategies are expected in the future.

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          Diabetes and the risk of stroke. The Honolulu Heart Program.

          From 1965 to 1968, the Honolulu Heart Program began following up a cohort of men in a prospective study of cardiovascular disease. For this report, we examined the 12-year risk of stroke in 690 diabetic and 6908 nondiabetic subjects free of coronary heart disease and a history of stroke at study entry. In 12 years of follow-up, 62.3 per 1000 diabetic men and 32.7 per 1000 nondiabetic men experienced a stroke. The relative risk of thromboembolic stroke for those with diabetes compared with those without diabetes was 2.0 (95% confidence limits, 1.4 to 3.0). Although diabetes was usually associated with an atherogenic risk profile, control of hypertension, complicating myocardial infarction, and other risk factors failed to diminish the effect of diabetes on stroke. Among those without diabetes, the relative risk of thromboembolic stroke for those at the 80th percentile of serum glucose level compared with those at the 20th percentile (199 vs 115 mg/dL [11.0 vs 6.4 mmol/L]) was 1.4 (95% confidence limits, 1.1 to 1.8). In the nondiabetic sample, the relative risk of thromboembolic stroke for those with glucosuria compared with those without glucosuria was 2.7 (95% confidence limits, 1.6 to 4.5). There was no association between diabetes, or measures of glucose intolerance, and hemorrhagic stroke. We conclude that diabetes, even in a possibly undiagnosed subset of hyperglycemic individuals, imparts an additional independent risk of stroke unexplained by clinically measured risk factors.

            Author and article information

            S. Karger AG
            February 1999
            02 December 1998
            : 18
            : 1
            : 1-14
            Departments of aNeurological Sciences and bInternal Medicine, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center, Chicago, Ill., USA
            26190 Neuroepidemiology 1999;18:1–14
            © 1998 S. Karger AG, Basel

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            References: 119, Pages: 14
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