Heart Attack Risk Doubles After Transient Ischemic Attack

Likelihood of MI after transient ischemic attack highest in patients younger than 60 years

FRIDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- The average annual incidence of myocardial infarction (MI) after transient ischemic attack (TIA) is approximately double that of the general population, according to a study published online 24 March in Stroke.

Joseph D. Burns, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues determined the incidence and risk factors for MI after incident TIA in 388 patients. Using data from the Rochester Epidemiology Project, patients with incident TIA between 1985 to 1994 and incident MI between 1979 to 2006 were identified. The incidence of MI after TIA in these patients was compared to MI incidence in the general population for age, sex, and the specific time period. Associations between clinical variables and the occurrence of MI after TIA were also examined.

The investigators found that MI after TIA had an average annual incidence of 0.95 percent. Incidence of MI in the TIA cohort was approximately double that in the general population (relative risk [RR], 2.09), and was highest in patients younger than 60 years (RR, 15.1). Independent risk factors for MI after TIA were male gender (hazard ratio [HR], 2.19), increasing age (HR, 1.51 per 10 years), and the use of lipid-lowering medication at the time of TIA (HR, 3.10).

"This study shows that patients who have had TIA but do not have known coronary artery disease have approximately twice the risk for subsequent MI compared to the general population," the authors write.

Two of the study authors disclosed financial ties to CardioNet.

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