Major undiagnosed risk factors found in two-thirds of ischemic stroke patients, new study reveals

(Vienna, Sunday, June 26, 2022) People with ischemic stroke without previously diagnosed risk factors have underlying conditions in the majority of cases. 2022 showed it.1

Overall, the study identified 67.7% of stroke patients with undiagnosed major risk factors (UMRFs) who had a major risk factor.

Researchers from Center Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland, analyzed the health records of 4,354 stroke patients from the ASTRAL registry from 2003 to 2018, of whom 1,125 had UMRF.

The most frequently detected vascular risk factor was dyslipidemia, an imbalance of blood fats such as high cholesterol or high triglyceride levels (61.4% of patients). The second most common risk factor was high blood pressure (23.7% of patients) and one in 10 patients (10.2% of patients) had atrial fibrillation, a condition that causes rapid and often irregular heartbeat .

Using multivariate analyses, research found a positive association between UMRF patients and younger age, non-Caucasian ethnicity, contraceptive use in women younger than 55, and smoking in patients 55 years and older. Research has also found negative associations with antiplatelet (blood thinner) use before stroke and higher body mass index (BMI).

Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot or other blockage cuts off the blood supply to the brain and is the most common type of stroke.

Lead author Dr André Rêgo said the study provides important insights into major risk factors for ischemic stroke.

“Our findings underscore the importance of testing for and treating blood lipid imbalances such as high cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as blood pressure and identifying and treating people with atrial fibrillation and type 1 diabetes. 2”, commented Dr Rêgo.

“Before our study, there was limited clinical information on the frequency, patient profile and mechanisms of stroke in patients with acute ischemic stroke with previously undiagnosed major vascular risk factors. We hope that this study will help identify potential stroke patients who will require more intensive prevention techniques and monitoring in the future.


Notes to editors:

Press inquiries:

A reference to the The EAN Congress 2022 must be included when communicating the information contained in this press release.

For more information or to speak to an expert, please contact Luke Paskins or Sean Deans at or call +44 (0) 208 154 6393

About the Expert:

Dr. André Rêgo is currently based at the Center Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland, and is from the Fernando Fonseca Hospital in Portugal.

EAN – The House of Neurology:

The European Academy of Neurology (EAN) is the European home for neurology. Founded in 2014, by the merger of two European neurological societies, EAN represents the interests of over 45,000 individual members and 47 national institutional members from across the continent.

EAN welcomes press interest in neurological issues and is happy to provide assistance to journalists attending the congress or using the EAN website as a resource in their coverage.


  1. Major undiagnosed risk factors in patients with acute ischemic stroke: clinical profile, mechanisms and outcomes of stroke, presented at EAN Congress 2022.

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