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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Cerebrovascular, coronary, and peripheral vascular disease have common underlying arterial pathology and risk factors, but the clinical significance of multiple-territory disease in patients with transient ischemic attack (TIA)/ischemic stroke is unclear, particularly whether the number of clinically affected territories still predicts long-term outcome on current standard secondary prevention therapies. METHODS: In a population-based study of 92 728 individuals in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom (Oxford Vascular Study), we studied patients presenting with TIA/ischemic stroke (2002-2014) in relation to the number of other vascular beds (coronary, peripheral) affected by symptomatic (current or previous) disease. We compared the risk factor profile and long-term prognosis in patients with single- versus multiple-territory disease. RESULTS: Among 2554 patients with 10 679 patient-years of follow-up, 1842 (72.1%) had single- (TIA/stroke only), 608 (23.8%) double-, and 104 (4.1%) triple-territory symptomatic vascular disease. The number of affected vascular beds increased with the number of atherosclerotic risk factors (Ptrend<0.0001). Compared with patients with TIA/stroke only, those with multiple-territory disease had more hypertension (age/sex-adjusted odds ratio [OR], 3.43; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.76-4.27; P<0.0001), diabetes mellitus (OR, 2.89; 95% CI, 2.27-3.66; P<0.0001), hypercholesterolemia (OR, 4.67; 95% CI, 3.85-5.66; P<0.0001), and current or previous smoking (OR, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.26-1.84; P<0.0001). Triple-territory disease was particularly strongly associated with hypercholesterolemia (OR, 6.80; 95% CI, 4.39-10.53; P<0.0001). Despite more intensive secondary prevention in patients with multiple-territory disease, the 5-year risk of vascular death increased steeply with the number of territories affected (17.2% versus 30.0% versus 42.9%; P<0.0001). Compared with patients with single-territory, patients with multiple-territory disease also had higher postacute long-term risks (90 days to 10 years) of recurrent ischemic stroke (age/sex-adjusted hazard ratio, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.04-1.81; P=0.02) and nonstroke acute vascular events (hazard ratio, 3.06; 95% CI, 2.23-4.20; P<0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Number of affected vascular beds appeared to be a simple clinical rule in identifying TIA/ischemic stroke patients who are at high long-term risk of nonstroke vascular events and vascular death.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1639 - 1646


atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, prognosis, stroke