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Midlife respiratory function related to white matter lesions and lacunar infarcts in late life: the Prospective Population Study of Women in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Journal article
Authors Xinxin Guo
Leonardo Pantoni
Michela Simoni
Deborah Gustafson
Calle Bengtsson
Bo Palmertz
Ingmar Skoog
Published in Stroke; a journal of cerebral circulation
Volume 37
Issue 7
Pages 1658-62
ISSN 1524-4628
Publication year 2006
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Pages 1658-62
Language en
Keywords Brain, pathology, radiography, Cerebral Infarction, epidemiology, physiopathology, radiography, Confounding Factors (Epidemiology), Female, Follow-Up Studies, Forced Expiratory Volume, Humans, Ischemic Attack, Transient, epidemiology, physiopathology, radiography, Middle Aged, physiology, Myelin Sheath, pathology, Patient Dropouts, Peak Expiratory Flow Rate, Prospective Studies, Respiration, Smoking, epidemiology, Sweden, epidemiology, Tomography, X-Ray Computed, Vital Capacity
Subject categories Medical and Health Sciences


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Increased evidence suggests that poor respiratory function increases risk of ischemic damage to the brain. Longitudinal studies on respiratory function and cerebral small-vessel disease are lacking. We examined midlife and late-life respiratory function in relation to small-vessel disease on computed tomography (CT) in women followed for 26 years. METHODS: White matter lesions (WMLs) and lacunar infarcts were rated on brain CT scans in 2000 in 379 women 70 to 92 years of age from a longitudinal population study in Göteborg, Sweden. Respiratory function was measured by peak expiratory flow (PEF) in 1974 and 2000 and by forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) in 1980 and 2000. RESULTS: Lower FVC and FEV1 in 1980 and 2000 were associated with presence and severity of WMLs and lacunar infarcts in 2000. Per 1-SD decrease of FVC in 1980, odds ratios (95% CIs) were 1.49 (1.11 to 2.02) for presence of WMLs and 1.95 (1.34 to 2.84) for lacunar infarcts after adjustment for potential confounders. Per 1-SD decrease of FEV1 in 1980, adjusted odds ratios were 1.46 (1.06 to 2.00) for presence of WMLs and 1.42 (1.02 to 1.97) for lacunar infarcts. PEF in 1974 and 2000 was not associated with WMLs or lacunar infarcts. CONCLUSIONS: WMLs and lacunar infarcts in elderly women were related to lower midlife respiratory function. Although our data may not establish causation between lower respiratory function and small-vessel disease, they imply the importance of good respiratory function in midlife.

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