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Risk of Major Heart Complications Up Shortly Following Stroke

Findings following first-ever ischemic stroke in both men and women, with risk highest within 30 days

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 19, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Ischemic stroke is independently associated with an increased risk for incident poststroke major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) in both men and women, according to a study published in the February issue of Stroke.

Luciano A. Sposato, M.D., from Western University in London, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues investigated sex-specific risks for incident MACE (acute coronary syndrome, myocardial infarction, incident coronary artery disease, coronary revascularization procedures, incident heart failure, or cardiovascular death) in a heart disease-free population-based cohort. The analysis included 21,931 patients (≥66 years) with first-ever ischemic stroke (2002 to 2012) and 71,696 propensity-matched individuals without stroke.

The researchers found that first-ever ischemic stroke was associated with an increased risk for incident MACE in both sexes. The risk was time-dependent, with the highest risk seen within 30 days (women: adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 25.1; men: aHR, 23.4). Risk for MACE decreased but remained significant between 31 and 90 days (women: aHR, 4.8; men: aHR, 4.2) and 91 to 365 days (women: aHR, 2.1; men: aHR, 2.0).

“This shows that after taking risk factors into consideration, having experienced a recent stroke was independently associated with the incidence of major adverse cardiac events,” Sposato said in a statement. “This leads us to believe that there are underlying mechanisms linked to stroke that may be causing heart disease.”

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