Significant association of metabolic syndrome with silent brain infarction in elderly people
A silent brain infarction (SBI) can predict clinical overt stroke or dementia. Studies focusing on the elderly population, where SBI is most common, are sparse. We examined the associations between SBI and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in healthy elderly individuals. Neurologically healthy subjects (1,254 persons, 723 males) aged ≥65 years who underwent brain MRI were evaluated. MetS was diagnosed following the AHA/NHLBI-2005 criteria. We examined associations between full syndrome (at least three of the five conditions) as well as its components and SBI while controlling for possible confounders. One hundred and ninety-seven subjects (15.7%) were found to have one or more SBIs on MRI. Age (1-year difference) was found to be significantly related to SBI prevalence (OR 1.09; 95% CI 1.05–1.12). MetS was significantly associated with SBI (OR 1.68; 95% CI 1.15–2.44). The component model of MetS showed a strong significance between elevated blood pressure (OR 1.89; 95% CI 1.23–2.91) and SBI. Subjects exhibiting more components of MetS showed more prevalent SBI and multiple SBIs. MetS was found to be significantly associated with SBI in neurologically healthy elderly people. The positive trend between the number of MetS components and SBI could be used as a diagnostic tool to predict and prevent future stroke.