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Myocardial Infarction Increases Stroke Risk

Risk is two to three times higher than expected during first three years after myocardial infarction

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FRIDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of stroke in patients rises markedly after myocardial infarction, according to study findings published in the Dec. 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Brandi J. Witt, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues studied 2,160 patients hospitalized with incident myocardial infarction between 1979 and 1998 in Rochester, and followed them for a median of 5.6 years.

The researchers found that the rate of stroke was 22.6 per 1,000 person-months during the first 30 days after myocardial infarction, corresponding to a 44-fold increased risk for stroke in the Rochester population.

"The risk for stroke remained two to three times higher than expected during the first three years after myocardial infarction," the authors write. "Older age, previous stroke and diabetes increased the risk for stroke, which did not decline over the study period. Strokes were associated with a large increase in the risk for death after myocardial infarction."

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