A new study has found that increasing levels of non-fasting triglycerides are associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke in men and women.
However, higher cholesterol levels were associated with greater stroke risk in men only.
Medical evidence has suggested that elevated non-fasting triglycerides are markers of elevated levels of lipoprotein remnants, particles similar to low density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol, both of which are thought to contribute to plaque build-up.
"Interestingly, current guidelines on stroke prevention have recommendations on desirable cholesterol levels, but not on non-fasting triglycerides," said lead study author, Marianne Benn from Copenhagen University Hospital.
A team of Danish researchers followed 7,579 women and 6,372 men who were enrolled in the Copenhagen City Heart Study, all of whom were white and of Danish decent.
Results confirmed in both women and men, stepwise increasing levels of non-fasting triglycerides associated with increased risk of ischemic stroke.
"Our findings suggest that levels of non-fasting triglycerides should be included in stroke prevention guidelines which currently focus on total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels," said Benn.
The findings were published in Annals of Neurology, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Neurological Association.