risk factors for carotid stenosis

Last reviewed 01/2018

risk factors

Risk factors for CAD are similar to those for atherosclerosis in other vascular beds.

High risk population for carotid atherosclerosis include:

  • people with peripheral arterial disease
  • people over 60 years with 3 cardiovascular risk factors
  • those with coronary arterial disease
  • those with aortic aneurismal disease
  • people with contralateral symptomatic carotid atherosclerosis
  • general European population over 60 years (1)

Framingham cohort study has reported that the following baseline risk factors predict the degree of stenosis over 12 years:

  • age (odds ratio 1.6-1.7/10 year increase in age)
  • cigarettes smoked (1.3-1.5 per 10 cigarettes smoked a day)
  • systolic blood pressure (1.2 per 10 mm Hg increase)
  • total cholesterol (1.1-1.2 per 0.5 mmol/L increase) (1).

Risk factors for the development of a stroke in carotid stenosis include:

  • age
  • hypertension
  • coronary heart disease
  • irregular and ulcerated plaque morphology
  • absence of collateral flow
  • impaired cerebral reactivity
  • previous stroke or TIA
  • microembolic signals observed on Transcranial Doppler (TCD) (2)