Insulin Resistance Is Potential Marker for Ischemic Stroke

Marker independently tied to higher risk of first ischemic stroke in patients without diabetes
By Beth Gilbert
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Insulin resistance (IR), as measured by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA), appears to be independently associated with an increased risk of first ischemic stroke (IS) among patients without diabetes, potentially providing clinical practitioners with the ability to identify those at high risk of stroke, according to a study published online Oct. 11 in the Archives of Neurology.

Tatjana Rundek, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Miami, and colleagues evaluated a cohort of 1,509 patients without diabetes and stroke to determine the association between IR and risk of first IS.

During mean follow-up of 8.5 years, the investigators found that vascular events occurred in 180 participants, with 46 experiencing fatal or nonfatal IS, 45 having fatal or nonfatal MI, and 121 dying of vascular causes. The HOMA-IR index in the top quartile, as compared with below the top quartile, significantly predicted the risk of IS only (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.83) but not other vascular events, and this effect was independent of confounding factors.

"The implications of these findings are exciting if insulin resistance can be proven to be a causal risk factor for stroke (rather than a marker of increased risk) because insulin resistance cannot only be measured but also treated," the authors of an accompanying editorial write.

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