Epidemiological evidence suggests that heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk for either stroke or liver disease. The goal of this study was to determine whether heavy drinkers with mild liver disorder (MLD) are at risk of hemorrhagic stroke.Methods
All of the 524 patients recruited were males with a first-ever acute stroke and were consecutively admitted to the Tri-Service General Hospital between January 2000 and December 2001. The risk factors, liver function, stroke subtypes, and hemostatic factors were assessed among 68 patients defined as heavy drinker stroke (HDS) and 456 patients as nonheavy drinker stroke (NHDS).Results
HDS patients had a significantly higher incidence of hemorrhagic stroke than NHDS patients. HDS patients were also associated with significantly higher occurrence of cigarette smoking, hyperuricemia, liver dysfunction, and significantly lower platelet counts. HDS patients with MLD were more likely to have hemorrhagic stroke (76.5%) than HDS patients without MLD (33.3%) and NHDS patients with (40.3%) or without (26.7%) MLD. HDS patients with MLD also exhibited a significantly higher glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase/glutamic pyruvic transaminase ratio (2.0 ± 1.2) and lower platelet number (185,000 ± 85,000 per μl) when compared with HDS patients without MLD (1.4 ± 0.5; 206,000 ± 59,000 per μl) and NHDS patients with (1.1 ± 1.0; 256,000 ± 97,000 per μl) or without (1.4 ± 0.7; 216,000 ± 68,000 per μl) MLD.Conclusions
HDS patients with MLD are at higher risk for hemorrhagic stroke in part due to the changes in hemostatic factors, although other factors may also contribute to hemorrhagic stroke.