ASA: Head or Neck Injury Ups Stroke Risk After Trauma

Risk about three-fold higher in those under 50 years old

FRIDAY, Feb. 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Among trauma patients under 50 years old, the risk of stroke is about three-fold higher with an injury to the head or neck, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's International Stroke Conference, held from Feb. 12 to 14 in San Diego.

Christine K. Fox, M.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues reviewed 1.3 million trauma encounters among people <50 years old in a northern Californian integrated health care system. The authors sought to determine the incidence of ischemic stroke after traumatic injury.

The researchers found that 145 patients had a stroke within four weeks of trauma (11 per 100,000). Those who had a stroke were significantly older (mean age, 37 versus 24 years). The risk of stroke was significantly higher among those with head and neck injuries compared with other types of injuries, at 48 per 100,000 adults and 11 per 100,000 children (relative risk, 2.8).

"A four-week stroke incidence of 0.013 percent suggests that 260 young people have an ischemic stroke after a traumatic injury every month in the United States," Fox and colleagues conclude. "Further research is needed to identify the highest risk groups, such as those with head or neck injury, and opportunities for stroke prevention."

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