Transient Ischemic Attack Reduces Life Expectancy

TIA lowers survival by 20 percent within nine years; increasing age tied to risk of excess death

FRIDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Transient ischemic attack (TIA) reduces life expectancy, particularly in patients older than 65 years or with a previous history of stroke and heart problems, according to a study published online Nov. 10 in Stroke.

Melina Gattellari, Ph.D., from the University of New South Wales in Liverpool, Australia, and colleagues examined the effect of TIAs on survival among 22,157 adults hospitalized with a TIA between 2000 and 2007. Data from hospitalized adults were correlated with deaths registered to June 2009.

The investigators found that, at one year, survival of patients hospitalized with a TIA was 91.5 percent, compared with the expected survival of 95.0 percent in the general population. Observed survival was 13.2 percent lower than expected after five years, and 20 percent lower by nine years. Relative survival was significantly higher for women, as compared to men (relative risk [RR], 0.79). Compared with an age-matched population, increasing age was correlated with an increasing risk of excess death. The risk of excess death was significantly increased by prior hospitalization for stroke (RR, 2.63; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.98 to 3.49), but not TIA (RR, 1.42; 95 percent CI, 0.86 to 2.35). The risk factors that most strongly impacted survival were congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and prior hospitalization for stroke.

"TIA reduces survival by four percent in the first year and by 20 percent within nine years. TIA has a minimal effect on mortality in patients <50 years but heralds significant reduction in life expectancy in those >65 years," the authors write.

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