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Lacunar Infarcts Often Seen in Patients in Their 60s

Study suggests many people in this age group may have an undiagnosed lacune

TUESDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- Lacunar infarcts are a fairly common incidental finding among patients in their 60s, and hypertension is a major treatable risk factor, according to a study published in the July 28 issue of Neurology.

Xiaohua Chen, Ph.D., of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues recruited 477 subjects ages 60 to 64 years for a communitywide study and performed MRI brain scans on them in two waves four years apart.

After the first series of scans, the researchers found that 37 (7.8 percent) of subjects had at least one lacunar infarct, and the mean volume of the infarcts increased from 53.9 cubic millimeters to 69.86 cubic millimeters over the next four years. After the second series of scans, they identified new lacunar infarcts in six (1.6 percent) of the subjects. Factors independently associated the prevalence of lacunar infarction included hypertension, anterior ventricle-brain ratio, and volume of white matter hyperintensities (odds ratios, 1.6, 1.02, and 4.9, respectively).

"This study provides invaluable information on the healthy population in their 60s, which is the main target of primary prevention in vascular disease," the authors conclude.

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