High Cholesterol Undetected in 2 out of 3 Stroke Patients

A stroke, often called a brain attack, occurs when something bloods the blood supply to a part of the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures. In either case, parts of the brain become damaged or die. A stroke can cause lasting brain damage, long-term disability, or even death. 

There are two types of stroke, the more common one is the ischemic stroke which occurs when blood clots or other particles block the blood vessels in the brain, and hemorrhagic stroke, which happens when an artery in the brain ruptures or leaks blood. 

High cholesterol, hypertension, and atrial fibrillation are among the top vascular stroke risk factors. 

Recently, researchers from the Center Vaudois in Lausanne, Switzerland, discovered that 67.7% of stroke patients had at least one major risk factor and that most individuals were never diagnosed with the conditions before their stroke. The results of their study were presented during the European Academy of Neurology Congress 2022 in Vienna, Austria. 

A Problem that can be potentially prevented 

For the study, the researchers investigated medical records of 4,354 stroke patients from the Acute Stroke Registry and Analysis of Lausanne from 2003 to 2018, and of those patients, 1,125 had previously undiagnosed major risk factors. 

The leading risk factor was dyslipidemia, which was found in 61.4% of the patients, followed by hypertension as the second most common with 23.7% of the patients, and atrial fibrillation with 10.2%. 

According to the researchers, people with a lower body mass index were more likely to be unaware of having vascular risk factors before their stroke. The researchers speculated that these individuals have less perception of being at risk. 

There is a misconception in the general population. They believe that going for preventive healthcare is not necessary because they feel fine or have an overall “normal” body weight.

The study tells us that these strokes may be preventable with an increased emphasis on preventive healthcare. It is always better to prevent a problem from happening in the first place than to deal with the consequences once it occurs, in this case, consequences that can result in permanent brain damage and even death. 


Jeanna D. Smiley. (2022, Jun 27). Undetected high cholesterol found in 2 out of 3 stroke patients. Medical News Today. Retrieved from: 



Image from: 

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash