Limited evidence is available on the risk differences in the development of stroke subtypes in relation to particular clustering patterns of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) components. A follow-up study of a Chinese cohort involving 10 292 individuals was performed to assess the roles of cluster patterns of the MetS components in the prediction of incident stroke subtypes. During follow-up, there were 161 incident cases of ischemic strokes and 41 incident cases of hemorrhagic strokes. Among MetS components, only the hypertensive trait was associated with significantly elevated risks of both ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. Furthermore, MetS with hypertension as components was associated with increased risk of ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes (adjusted hazards ratio (95% confidence interval) was 2.96 (1.94-4.50) and 2.93 (1.25-6.90), respectively) as compared with those who had neither hypertension nor MetS. Notably, as the number of the MetS components increased, the risk of ischemic stroke significantly and dose-dependently increased. This implies a cumulative effect of MetS components in elevating the risk of ischemic stroke. These findings suggest that MetS comprises heterogenous clusters with respect to the risk of developing the subtype of stroke.
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