Bleeding Stroke

Lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol reduces the risk of heart attacks and stroke, with an ideal value below 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). But can it be too low? A new study finds that women who have levels of LDL cholesterol 70 mg/dL or lower may be more than twice as likely to have a hemorrhagic stroke than women with LDL cholesterol levels from 100 to 130 mg/dL.
LDL cholesterol is called bad cholesterol because it can lead to fatty build-up in the arteries. The study also find that women with the lowest triglyceride levels, a fat found in the blood; which had an increase risk of hemorrhagic stroke compare to those with the highest triglyceride levels.

Bleeding strokes

Hemorrhagic strokes, also known as bleeding strokes, are much less common than ischemic strokes; so when blood flow is block to the brain. They are also more difficult to treat and therefore more likely to be deadly. Strategies to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, like modifying diet or taking statins; hence are widely use to prevent cardiovascular disease,” said study author Pamela Rist, ScD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.
But our large study shows that in women, very low levels may also carry some risks. Women already have a higher risk of stroke than men, in part because they live longer; so clearly defining ways to reduce their risk is important. The study involve 27,937 women age 45 and older enroll in the Women’s Health Study who had total cholesterol; like LDL cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which is know as good cholesterol; also triglycerides measure at the start of the study.

Researchers then review medical records to determine how many women had a bleeding stroke. With an average of 19 years of follow-up; hence researchers identify 137 women who had a bleeding stroke. Nine out of 1,069 women with cholesterol 70 mg/dL or lower, or 0.8%, had a bleeding stroke; as compare to 40 out of 10,067 women with cholesterol 100 mg/dL up to 130 mg/dL, or 0.4%.

After adjusting for other factors that could affect risk of stroke, such as age, smoking status; so high blood pressure and treatment with cholesterol-lowering medications; hence researchers find that those with very low LDL cholesterol were 2.2 times more likely to have a bleeding stroke.

Highest triglycerides

Researchers found that 34 women of the 5,714 women with the lowest levels of triglycerides, or 0.6%, had a bleeding stroke, compare to 29 women of the 7,989 with the highest triglycerides, or 0.4%. After adjusting for other factors that could affect risk, researchers found that those with the lowest triglycerides were twice as likely to have a bleeding stroke. No difference in risk was find for total cholesterol or HDL cholesterol.
Women with very low LDL cholesterol or low triglycerides be monitor by their doctors for other stroke risk factors that can be modify, like high blood pressure and smoking, in order to reduce their risk of hemorrhagic stroke,” Rist said. Also, additional research is need to determine how to lower the risk of hemorrhagic stroke in women with very low LDL and low triglycerides.
One limitation of the study was that cholesterol and triglyceride levels were only measure once at the beginning of the study. Also, a large number of the women had already reach menopause when those levels were measure, which prevent researchers from examining whether menopause status may influence the link between cholesterol and triglyceride levels and bleeding stroke.