Chronic hepatitis B virus infection and risk of stroke types: A prospective cohort study of 500 000 Chinese adults

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BACKGROUND: Stroke is a leading cause of mortality and permanent disability in China, with large and unexplained geographic variations in rates of different stroke types. Chronic hepatitis B virus infection is prevalent among Chinese adults and may play a role in stroke cause. METHODS: The prospective China Kadoorie Biobank included >500 000 adults aged 30 to 79 years who were recruited from 10 (5 urban and 5 rural) geographically diverse areas of China from 2004 to 2008, with determination of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positivity at baseline. During 11 years of follow-up, a total of 59 117 incident stroke cases occurred, including 11 318 intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), 49 971 ischemic stroke, 995 subarachnoid hemorrhage, and 3036 other/unspecified stroke. Cox regression models were used to estimate adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for risk of stroke types associated with HBsAg positivity. In a subset of 17 833 participants, liver enzymes and lipids levels were measured and compared by HBsAg status. RESULTS: Overall, 3.0% of participants were positive for HBsAg. HBsAg positivity was associated with an increased risk of ICH (adjusted HR, 1.29 [95% CI, 1.16-1.44]), similarly for fatal (n=5982; adjusted HR, 1.36 [95% CI, 1.16-1.59]) and nonfatal (n=5336; adjusted HR, 1.23 [95% CI, 1.06-1.44]) ICH. There were no significant associations of HBsAg positivity with risks of ischemic stroke (adjusted HR, 0.97 [95% CI, 0.92-1.03]), subarachnoid hemorrhage (adjusted HR, 0.87 [95% CI, 0.57-1.33]), or other/unspecified stroke (adjusted HR, 1.12 [95% CI, 0.89-1.42]). Compared with HBsAg-negative counterparts, HBsAg-positive individuals had lower lipid and albumin levels and higher liver enzyme levels. After adjustment for liver enzymes and albumin, the association with ICH from HBsAg positivity attenuated to 1.15 (0.90-1.48), suggesting possible mediation by abnormal liver function. CONCLUSIONS: Among Chinese adults, chronic hepatitis B virus infection is associated with an increased risk of ICH but not other stroke types, which may be mediated through liver dysfunction and altered lipid metabolism.

Journal details

Journal Stroke
Volume 54
Issue number 12
Pages 3046-3053
Available online
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