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The impact of blood pressure, serum cholesterol and triglycerides, and smoking on the risk of cerebral infarction and other stroke was studied by a longitudinal design. A random sample of the population aged 35–59 years in two counties of Eastern Finland was examined in 1972, with a participation rate of 92 per cent. In subjects (both sexes) standardized epidemiological measurements on blood pressure, height, weight, and serum lipids were made and questionnaire data were obtained on smoking. The cohort was followed for seven years by means of national hospital discharge and death certificate registers. During the follow-up 77 men and 65 women had a cerebral stroke. Based on multiple logistic risk function analysis, age, smoking, blood pressure, and history of previous stroke and diabetes turned out to be independent predictors of both cerebral infarction and other strokes in men. Diastolic blood pressure of 100 mm Hg or more was associated with a 1.9-fold (90% CI = 1.1-3.6) risk of cerebral infarction in men and 2.5-fold (90% CI = 1.1-5.6) risk in women with no previous stroke. In men 37% (90% CI = 21-53%) of all cerebral strokes were attributable to systolic blood pressure of 150 mm Hg or more and 27% (90% CI = 11-42%) to diastolic blood pressure of 95 mm Hg or more.