Stroke risk higher in older men with high body fat

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By Jimmy Downs
 
Saturday March 9, 2013 (foodconsumer.org) -- The conventional adiposity measurements such as body mass index and circumference do not help to predict risk of stroke in older men, according to a new study in the journal Stroke. Instead, leptin, an indicator of body fat, is found linked to the stroke risk.

S. Goya Wannamethee from Department of Primary Care and Population Health, UCL Medical School, Royal Free Campus in London,  UK and colleagues found leptin, a good marker of percent fat mass, but not adiponectin predicts risk of stroke in older men.

Adiponectin is a hormone that regulates a number of metabolic processes, including glucose regulation and fatty acid oxidation and leptin is a hormone that regulates energy intake and expenditure and acts on receptors in the hypothalamus of the brain to inhibit appetite.
 
The prospective study involved 3411 men aged 60 to 79 years who had no previous diagnosis of myocardial infarction, heart failure, or stroke and were followed for an average of nine years, during which 192 incident major stroke events were indentified.

The researchers found after adjustement for age, body mass index and waist circumference were found not significantly associated with risk of stroke in older men and interestingly obese men (defined as having a body mass index of  greater than 30 kg/m2) were found at the lowest risk of stroke.

Leptin was found positively associated with body mass index and waist circumference (Leptin levels are directly proportional to the body fat).  And older men who in the top quartile of the leptin were twice as like to suffer stroke as those in the bottom quartile of leptin distrubition.

By contrast, no association was observed between adiponectin and risk of stroke.

The researchers concluded " Conventional adiposity measures were not associated with increased stroke risk in older men. However, leptin (a good marker of percent fat mass), but not adiponectin, predicted stroke, suggesting a link between fat mass and stroke risk."

Could this study means that high body fat increases risk of stroke risk?

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