Article

Sex differences in the risk profile and male predominance in silent brain infarction in community-dwelling elderly subjects: the Sefuri brain MRI study.

Center for Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, National Hospital Organization Hizen Psychiatric Center, Saga 842-0192, Japan.
Hypertension Research (Impact Factor: 2.79). 07/2010; 33(7):748-52. DOI: 10.1038/hr.2010.69
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Although brain infarction is more common in men, the male predominance of silent brain infarction (SBI) was inconsistent in the earlier studies. This study was to examine the relationship between sex differences in the risk profile and SBI. We conducted a population-based, cross-sectional analysis of cardiovascular risk factors and SBI on MRI. We asked all the female participants about the age at natural menopause and parity. SBI was detected in 77 (11.3%) of 680 participants (266 men and 414 women) with a mean age of 64.5 (range 40-93) years. In the logistic analysis, age (odds ratio (OR)=2.760/10 years, 95% confidence interval (CI)=2.037-3.738), hypertension (OR=3.465, 95% CI=1.991-6.031), alcohol intake (OR=2.494, 95% CI=1.392-4.466) and smoking (OR=2.302, 95% CI=1.161-4.565) were significant factors concerning SBI. Although SBI was more prevalent among men, this sex difference disappeared on the multivariate model after adjustment for other confounders. In 215 women aged 60 years or older, age at natural menopause, early menopause, duration of menopause, number of children and age at the last parity were not significantly associated with SBI after adjustment for age. Hypertension and age were considered to be the major risk factors for SBI in community-dwelling people. Male predominance in SBI was largely due to higher prevalence of alcohol habit and smoking in men than in women in our population.

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    ABSTRACT: Background Cerebral infarction is a commonly observed radiological finding in the absence of corresponding, clinical symptomatology, the so-called silent brain infarction (SBI). SBIs are a relatively new consideration as improved imaging has facilitated recognition of their occurrence. However, the true incidence, prevalence and risk factors associated with SBI remain controversial.Methods Systematic searches of the Medline and EMBASE databases from 1946 to December 2013 were performed to identify original studies of population-based adult cohorts derived from community surveys and routine health screening that reported the incidence and prevalence of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-determined SBI.ResultsThe prevalence of SBI ranges from 5% to 62% with most studies reported in the 10% to 20% range. Longitudinal studies suggest an annual incidence of between 2% and 4%. A strong association was seen to exist between epidemiological estimates of SBI and age of the population assessed. Hypertension, carotid stenosis, chronic kidney disease and metabolic syndrome all showed a strong association with SBI. Heart failure, coronary artery disease, hyperhomocysteinemia and obstructive sleep apnea are also likely of significance. However, any association between SBI and gender, ethnicity, tobacco or alcohol consumption, obesity, dyslipidemia, atrial fibrillation and diabetes mellitus remains unclear.ConclusionsSBI is a remarkably common phenomenon and endemic among older people. This systematic review supports the association of a number of traditional vascular risk factors, but also highlights disparities between clinically apparent and silent strokes, potentially suggesting important differences in pathophysiology and warranting further investigation.
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