Low cholesterol as a risk factor for primary intracerebral hemorrhage: A case-control study
We performed a case-control study to assess the relationship between primary intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and low serum cholesterol. Prospectively recruited, fully evaluated patients with ICH were compared to two independent control groups, one based in a primary care practice and one population-based. Low cholesterol was defined by the sex-specific lowest quintile of the primary care controls. The proportion of ICH cases with low cholesterol >3 months posthemorrhage was significantly greater than in controls (42 vs. 20% in either control group, p < 0.01). Subgroup analysis showed an overrepresentation of low cholesterols in probable hypertensive hemorrhage (47%, p < 0.05) but not in probable cerebral amyloid angiopathy (27%, p = 0.5). Low cholesterol increased the odds for hemorrhage 2.25-fold (1.12-4.50) after adjustment for age and apolipoprotein E genotype. These data confirm an increased risk for primary ICH associated with low cholesterol, a relationship that may apply specifically to hemorrhages from hypertensive vasculopathy.