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Surgery Soon After Stroke Can Be Risky: Study
Date:7/16/2014

By
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, July 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- People who've had a stroke face a significantly higher risk of serious complications if they have an elective surgery during the nine months following their stroke, according to a new Danish study.

And, the sooner it is after the stroke, the greater the risk.

The odds of another stroke, heart attack or cardiovascular death are 14 times higher for people who have elective surgery within three months of a stroke, the study found. If you wait until between three and six months post-stroke, the odds drop to about five times as high compared to someone who hasn't had a stroke. At six to 12 months after a stroke, the odds of a serious outcome are about three times higher versus those who've never had a stroke.

About nine months after a stroke, the risks from surgery are still elevated but have stabilized, according to the study's lead author, Dr. Mads Jorgensen, a research assistant in the department of cardiology at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

"Even surgeries traditionally considered low-risk are associated with a risk at least as high as intermediate- and high-risk surgery. Thus no surgery may be considered safe in this group of patients with a history of stroke," he said.

The report appears in the July 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Dr. Ralph Sacco, chair of neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and author of an accompanying journal editorial, said, "Stroke patients are always at increased risk for a recurrent stroke or other heart events, particularly after surgery."

The increased risk of problems could be the result of stopping anti-clotting drugs, such as aspirin and warfarin, before surgery or changes in
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