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After a Stroke, High Risk for a Recurrence
Date:2/15/2010

Aggressive care and follow-up are key to preventing further problems, experts say,,

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Among people who suffer a stroke, one in 12 are likely to have another stroke soon after the initial attack and one in four will die within a year, according to a new study by researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina.

The state-wide statistics highlight the importance of recognizing that anyone who has had a stroke is at a high risk for having another one and also has an increased likelihood of having other problems, such as a heart attack, experts say

"Our findings suggest that South Carolina and possibly other parts of the United States may have a long way to go in terms of preventing and reducing the risk factors for recurrent strokes," said Dr. Wuwei Feng, a neurology resident at the university and the study's lead researcher.

For the study, published in the Feb. 16 issue of Neurology, Feng's team collected data on almost 10,400 people in South Carolina who'd had a stroke.

They found that 25 percent of those who had a stroke died within a year, and eight percent had another stroke within a year of their first stroke.

After one year, the risk for another stroke or death continued to rise, the researchers found, with about 18 percent having had another stroke within four years. In that time, about six percent had a heart attack and 41 percent had died from any cause, including 27 percent whose deaths were attributed to a stroke or heart attack.

The risks were higher among blacks than among whites, the study noted. The risks also increased with age and the number of other medical problems that people had.

"Stroke is a devastating disease," Feng said. "Once you have it, you are at a high risk to have another one, as well as heart attack or death."

Dr. Majaz Moonis, director of stroke services at the University of Massac
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