Previous studies have found a clear link between obesity and cardiovascular disease but not with the risk of stroke, as the body mass index was used.
Ischaemic cerebral infarct, or ischemic stroke, occurs when part of the brain ceases to receive blood suddenly due to a blockage in one of its arteries. In Spain, it is the leading cause of death in women and the second in men and, in the long term, it may cause different disabilities. Its risk factors include environmental, genetic and systemic interactions, such as obesity.
A study led by Dr. Ana Rodríguez and Dr. Jaume Roquer of the Hospital del Mar neurology department and IMIM researchers, has shown that abdominal obesity is associated with an increased risk of ischaemic stroke, particularly in women, whereas a higher body mass index is a protective factor in men.
A more efficient means of predicting risk of stroke
The findings of this study, which included 388 patients with ischaemic stroke who were treated in Hospital del Mar, and up to 732 healthy volunteers as a control group, made it possible to use abdominal-obesity measurements as a means of predicting the risk of cerebral infarct.
In general, women have a higher percentage of body fat, but accumulation of this fat in the abdominal area is greater in men. The researchers propose measuring abdominal obesity instead of estimating overall body fat using the body mass index to predict the risk of stroke, as the waist perimeter gives a better measure of the degree of adipose tissue than the body mass index, particularly in women.
The body mass index is not a reliable indicator for predicting the risk of stroke, as it tells us the weight, but weight may be due to fat (which increases the risk of stroke) and the weight of lean tissue. Large people with a large amount of muscle mass may have a high BMI and not have much fat.
Previous studies have found a clear link between obesity and cardiovascular disease but not with the risk of stroke, as the body mass index was used. The studies by Dr. Jaume Roquer and his team highlight the link between the accumulation of fat around the abdomen and stroke, as well as the differences according to sex. A balanced diet and sufficient exercise, which reduce abdominal obesity, would contribute to reducing the risk of ischaemic cerebral infarct.
Rodríguez-Campello A, Jiménez-Conde J, Ois A, Cuadrado E, Giralt E, Vivanco R, Soriano C, Subirana I, Muñoz D, Gómez-González A, Puig-Pijoan A, Roquer J. Sex-related differences in abdominal obesity impact on ischemic stroke risk. Eur J Neurol 2017; 24(2): 397-403.
C/ Doctor Aiguader, 88
(+34) 93 316 04 00