Complications After Stroke Increase Death Risk

Brain swelling, pneumonia particularly dangerous, study finds

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MONDAY, Sept. 13, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Certain complications, such as brain swelling or pneumonia, following a stroke increase the risk that these patients will die while in the hospital.

That finding appears in a German study in the Sept. 13 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Researchers studied 13,440 patients with ischemic stroke, which occurs when a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain. Overall, 4.9 percent of the patients died in the hospital.

Pneumonia was the complication that caused most of the stroke patient deaths (31.2 percent). Brain swelling was another serious complication linked to death in the stroke patients.

Among women stroke patients, older age, stroke severity and atrial fibrillation were independent predictors for dying in the hospital. Men had the same independent predictors, along with diabetes and previous stroke.

Half of all the in-hospital stroke patient deaths were caused by serious medical or neurological complications, the study found.

More information

The Cleveland Clinic has more about stroke.

SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, Sept. 13, 2004


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