Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Health risks can linger long after a stroke

After a stroke, after leaving the hospital, after a few months, memories fade and, human nature being human nature, people tend to relax their guards.

However, a few months might not long enough to assure health risks are adequately addressed after a stroke. A recent study indicates health risks after a stroke may linger for at least five years:
In the study, Swartz's team analyzed data from about 24,000 patients in Canada who suffered a stroke or mini-stroke, clinically known as a "transient ischemic attack" (TIA).
All of the patients had already survived the "high-danger" period, which is typically thought to be the 90 days after hospital discharge.
However, within the first year after this high-risk period, 9.3 percent of the patients died, had a repeat stroke, mini-stroke, heart attack or were admitted to long-term care. Death was the most common of these events, affecting more than 5 percent of patients in the first year.
Among patients who were still alive after a year, the rate of these events remained at 5 percent in each of the following four years, according to the study to be presented Tuesday at the Canadian Stroke Congress in Vancouver.
"We now need to identify ways to determine which people, among those who have made it through the riskiest period, remain most at risk for serious events so we can develop appropriate preventive interventions," Swartz said.
The last quote is the important point - preventing those bad outcomes that come even years after a stroke. Even while the search Swartz describes is going on, it highlights the need for you to keep a watch on your own health.

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