Heed 'Warning Stroke' Symptoms
Reported October 01, 2009
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- One out of every
eight strokes is preceded by a "warning stroke" -- a transient ischemic
attack (TIA) or mild stroke, according to a new study. During a TIA, stroke
symptoms last for less than 24 hours and then resolve. People should not
ignore these symptoms, but seek immediate treatment to help prevent a major
"These results illustrate the need for better risk assessment tools for
preventing strokes before they occur," study author Daniel G. Hackam, M.D.,
Ph.D., of the University of Western Ontario in London, ON, is quoted as
saying. "Other studies have shown that up to 80 percent of strokes after TIA
can be prevented when risk factors are managed intensively."
Over a period of four years, researchers identified all people at Ontario
hospitals with a diagnosis of stroke. Of the 16,400 patients studied, 2,032,
or 12.4 percent, had a TIA prior to the stroke.
Those who did not have a warning stroke were
more likely to have a more serious stroke than those who did have the
warning stroke. Those with no warning were more likely to die while at the
hospital, more likely to have cardiac arrest while in the hospital and less
likely to be able to go home after the hospital stay rather than to a
nursing home or rehabilitation center.
Those with the warning stroke tended to be older than those without warning
strokes, and they were also more likely to have diabetes, high blood
pressure and heart problems.
"It's possible that the blood vessels of those with warning strokes were
preconditioned to the lack of blood flow, which protected them from the full
result of the larger stroke,” said Hackam. “Any person who experiences even
a minor stroke should get to the emergency room immediately."
SOURCE: Neurology®, September 29, 2009