Young adult stroke leaves one in eight dependent

From Medicine Today, April 2014:

One in eight individuals who experience ischaemic stroke or intracerebral haemorrhage before the age of 50 years still struggle to function independently 10 years after the event, say researchers.

A study of 722 patients aged 18 to 50 years presenting with their first stroke, haemorrhage or transient ischaemic attack (TIA) found that nearly one-third of all patients had poor functional outcomes at follow up and 12.9% of those who had experienced a stroke or haemorrhagic event were not able to function independently.

The outlook was better for those who presented with a TIA, with only one in 15 survivors not able to function independently at the 10-year follow up.

Patients with recurrent stroke and the severity of stroke score at admission were also significantly associated with poorer long-term outcomes, according to the study published online on 27 February in Stroke.

Head of the World Stroke Organization, Professor Stephen Davis, said the data suggested that the number of young stroke patients with long-term functional problems was higher than expected.

‘Although we know that young stroke patients have significantly better outcomes than older patients, even with best medical treatments a significant proportion have poor functional outcomes,’ said Professor Davis, Director of the Melbourne Brain Centre at The Royal Melbourne Hospital. Read more.

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