A high blood cholesterol level is a well-established risk factor for stroke, but screening may have overlooked another group of blood lipids that could be equally significant identifying susceptibility to stroke. In 11 December Circulation, David Tanne and colleagues from Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel show that people with high levels of triglycerides have an increased risk of stroke, even if their cholesterol levels are low.

"We have known for some time about the traditional risk factors, but those don't give us the whole story," commented Tanne. "The lesson from our study is, in addition to managing well the bad cholesterol, we should not ignore the triglycerides."

Tanne et al. studied over 11,000 patients aged between 40 and 74 years who had no history of stroke or transient ischaemic attack. The patient's medical histories were taken and their blood lipid levels were assessed.

Over between six...

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