Using a prospective observational study, the authors investigated how fatty acids may be linked to ischemic stroke risk factors.

Stroke represents a major public health problem with increasing costs for the healthcare system. Therefore, identifying stroke risk factors is an important area of research focusing on understanding stroke physiopathology and modifiable risk factors.

Several factors have been taken into account when assessing a particular disease’s burden, such as epidemiological indicators (mortality rates, incidence or prevalence of specific diseases), the number of inpatients and outpatients, as well as the economic losses associated with the disease (absences, inability to work, medical facilities).

Several primary and secondary prevention objectives include smoking cessation, diet changes, weight control, and physical activity. These objectives are directly related to patients’ lipid profiles.

There is an established relationship between metabolic and physiological factors and the risk of ischemic strokes. In addition, Omega 6: Omega 3 serum concentration levels are a significant indicator of physiological dysfunction and insulin resistance in stroke survivors.

Furthermore, studies have demonstrated a correlation between the classic lipid profile and the age of onset in stroke victims. The evidence also suggests that patients of middle age with high Omega‐6 PUFAs levels are more likely to have an atherosclerotic stroke or lacunar stroke. However, there is very limited data available for elderly patients.

Fatty Acids

Carbon chains containing methyl groups at one end and carboxyl groups at the other are called fatty acids. Aside from serving as energy storage, fatty acids also act as components of cellular membranes and genetic regulators in the body.

Certain fatty acids can regulate the expression of genes or transcription activity, which impacts metabolic activity by controlling gene expression and other processes, including the insulin metabolic pathway.

These fatty acids are also powerful anti-inflammatory agents, as prostaglandin‐3, among other prostaglandins, utilize them as precursors in their synthesis, in addition to their beneficial effects on children’s visual, behavioral and cognitive capabilities, including learning and attention.

Methodology & Results of The Study

High-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry measured fatty acid levels in 274 patients with risk factors. Risk factors were directly correlated with fatty acids, including age, sex, smoking, atrial fibrillation, dyslipidemia, and prior stroke history.

Among these, smoking negatively impacted docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acid levels. Interestingly, atrial fibrillation and dyslipidemia positively correlated with fatty acids, particularly among females and those with recurrent strokes. Other risk factors and variations in fatty-acid ratios were directly correlated with age.

Before the age of 70, males were more likely to suffer strokes than females, but this trend reversed as time went on. Researchers concluded that better managing risk factors, particularly lifestyle factors, could improve fatty-acid profiles and omega-3-to-omega-6 balance in stroke patients.

“Smoking appears to be the highest influencing risk factor over fatty acids, being inversely proportional to the serum value of DHA and DHA ratios with the rest of the fatty acids. Dyslipidemia and atrial fibrillation positively correlate with fatty acids, especially in female patients. A positive correlation between the same risk factors and the lipidic profile has also been established in patients with recurrent stroke, regardless of sex”, The Researchers Concluded.

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