Strokes Can Strike at Balance

That can make dressing dangerous for stroke survivors, study finds

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THURSDAY, Jan. 16, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- Balance problems while getting dressed may be a major factor in the high number of falls suffered by stroke survivors.

Roughly 40 percent of these patients suffered a serious fall within a year after having a stroke, says a study in today's online issue of Stroke. Previous studies have found stroke survivors are four times more likely than other people to suffer a hip fracture as the result of a fall.

That can slow their stroke recovery and lead to new complications.

In this new study, researchers in the United Kingdom found women stroke survivors who reported often having difficulty with their balance while dressing were seven times more likely to fall than women stroke survivors who had no balance problems.

The study also found that stroke survivors with overall balance problems, dizziness or a spinning sensation had a fivefold increase in risk for falls.

The study included 124 women stroke survivors. Of those, 48 percent fell during the year after their stroke, and 26 percent of those women suffered repeated falls.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about stroke.

SOURCE: American Heart Association, news release, Jan. 16, 2003

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