Higher Levels of Biomarker Linked to Increased Stroke Risk for Women
Women with elevated levels of a protein in their blood may be at a higher risk of ischemic stroke. The new research comes in time for Stroke Awareness Month in May. The study found that an elevated level of beta-2 microglobulin, a protein found on the surface of many cells, was linked to an increased risk of ischemic stroke among women. The most common type of stroke, ischemic stroke, occurs when the blood supply to the brain is blocked. The protein may also be a marker for inflammation. “Recent studies have found associations between beta-2 microglobulin and heart disease,” said study author Pamela Rist, ScD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and a member of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). “However, less is known about the association between beta-2 microglobulin and ischemic stroke.” Researchers looked at women with an average age of 61 enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study who provided blood samples between 1989 and 1990 and who had no history of stroke or cancer. Participants were asked to complete questionnaires about their lifestyle and medical history every two years.
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