OBJECTIVES: Leukoaraiosis is associated with cerebrovascular microangiopathy. Increasing evidence suggests that bilirubin is a potent cytoprotectant in the development of cardiovascular diseases. This study aimed to determine whether total bilirubin is related to leukoaraiosis.
METHODS: We examined the relationship of total bilirubin with leukoaraiosis in 1005 Korean adults. The odds ratios for leukoaraiosis were calculated using multivariate logistic regression across serum total bilirubin tertiles.
RESULTS: In comparison with the subjects in the reference group (total bilirubin: 15-26 μmol/L), the odds ratio (95% CI) for leukoaraiosis in the 3rd tertile (total bilirubin ≤10 μmol/L) was 5.50 (1.24-24.40) in women after adjusting for confounding variables. However, this inverse association between serum total bilirubin and the prevalence of leukoaraiosis was not found in men after adjusting for the same co-variables.
CONCLUSION: Total bilirubin level was inversely associated with leukoaraiosis regardless of classical cardiovascular risk factors in Korean women.