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: 2.94). 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: Silent brain infarction is a cerebral ischaemic event evident on brain imaging without any clinical symptom. Silent brain infarction is often detected in apparently healthy, elderly people and in different selected patient groups as well. Lately, several studies were carried out in order to identify the clinical conditions leading to silent brain infarction. A large number of clinical and paraclinical parameters were found to increase silent brain infarction prevalence, and the continuously growing list of risk factors revealed that the majority of them are similar to those related to stroke. Accordingly, some consider silent brain infarction the preclinical stage of clinically overt stroke. This point of view emphasizes the early recognition and management of silent brain infarction-related risk factors, and a great need for comparative studies, which could elicit the most sensitive indicators of the increased silent brain infarction risk, especially the ones that could be cost-effectively screened in the large populations as well.
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    ABSTRACT: Our previous study showed that the male predominance of silent brain infarction (SBI) was largely because of higher prevalence of alcohol habit and smoking in men than in women. In the present study, we further conducted an analysis of brain magnetic resonance imaging findings to examine whether early menopause contributes to SBI in community-dwelling subjects. Women were queried as to the age and cause of menopause, the total number of children, and the age at giving birth to her last child. Among 306 female subjects aged 60 years or older, univariate analysis showed that early menopause (total or natural) was significantly associated with SBI but age at natural menopause, number of children, and age at the last parity were not. In the total of 715 subjects (283 men and 432 women with a mean age of 67.2 years), the forward stepwise method of logistic analysis revealed that natural early menopause (odds ratio [OR] 4.28, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.07-17.11), in addition to age, hypertension, alcohol intake, and smoking, was a significant factor concerning SBI. Also in the subgroup of female subjects aged 60 years or older, natural early menopause was a significant factor concerning SBI (OR 4.35, 95% CI 1.05-18.08) adjusted for covariates. Although the prevalence of natural early menopause was low (3.3% of 306 female subjects), natural menopause before the age of 40 years may be a risk for SBI or small-vessel disease of the brain.
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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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