Background: There are limited data on vascular risk factors (VRFs) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This meta-analysis was completed to summarize the existing evidence on stroke risk factors (SRFs) in the Iranian population.
Methods: An electronic literature search of the databases including PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Scopus, Scientific Information Database (SID), Magiran, and IranMedex was performed to identify the related articles published up to March 2018. For categorical or continuous variables, the data were also pooled using the fixed- or the random-effect models, respectively, expressed as odds ratio (OR) or weighted mean difference (WMD).
Results: A total of 15 articles were recruited. The risk of stroke was associated with mean age, but not gender. Among traditional VRFs, hypertension (HTN), systolic and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), diabetes mellitus (DM), and fasting blood glucose (FBG) were associated with increased risk of stroke. Apart from the high circulating levels of triglycerides (TG), low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C), total cholesterol (TC), and low high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), other potential risk factors namely cigarette smoking (CS), opioid addiction (OD), and waist circumference (WC) were identified to be independent stroke determinants.
Conclusion: The present systematic review and meta-analysis provided a summary of the most important SRFs, which are potentially modifiable and preventable. Overall, Iran, similar to many other LMICs, is experiencing an ever-increasing rate of stroke-prone elderly people. The LMICs are thus suggested to develop national approaches to recognize and address VRFs, to monitor and control CS and OD rates, and to encourage a healthy lifestyle.