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Childhood stroke study identifies the contraceptive pill and smoking as risk factors
Date:11/1/2010

who survived were followed up 1.6 to 8.6 years later (median: 4.2 years) to determine the long-term effects of their stroke. The researchers were unable to trace one patient and four had died, two during the acute stage and two later.

Key findings from the initial study included:

  • 51% had suffered an arterial ischaemic stroke (AIS), 41% had had a nontraumatic haemorrhagic stroke (HS) and 8% had experienced a sinus venous stroke. The age at first stroke ranged from seven months to just under 18 and the median age was 13 years.

  • One third of the children had chronic underlying diseases and one-third had vascular malformations. The other third had acquired risk factors such as acute infections, anaemia, inflamed blood vessels after chicken pox and neck trauma. This category also included six girls who used oral contraceptives, like an estimated 40% of Swedish women aged 15 to 19. Three of these were also smokers and two also had iron deficient anaemia.

The total time lag to diagnosis was long and treatment varied:

  • Less than a third of the children (31%) were diagnosed within six hours, because of delays by the patient, parents or doctor. Patients were more than twice as likely to go over six hours if they had AIS rather than HS, as the symptoms in the latter are often more distinct and alarming.

  • There were also wide variations in the diagnostic tests carried out on the children and the treatment given to them, for example whether they were prescribed anticoagulants.

Ongoing health problems were very common:

  • 85% of the surviving children had some acquired impairment. 65% had neurological impairment, which was moderate in 24% of cases and severe in 15%. The most common impairment (43%) was paralysis down half of their body. 64% had deficits that affected their school activity and participation and this was moderate in 21% of case
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Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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