Severity of Stroke Predicts Risks

Stroke severity predicts death risk

(RxWiki News) Stroke patients with the most severe types of blockages are significantly less likely to survive the first month as compared to those who suffer a mild stroke.

Those suffering an extremely severe ischemic stroke were 12 times more likely to die. Stroke severity was categorized by the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, which uses four categories to dictate the seriousness of strokes.

"Get stroke aftercare regardless of stroke severity."

Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, a cardiologist from the University of California Los Angeles, found that stroke severity was a strong predictor of stroke patient death within 30 days, even when additional clinical information is not known or presented.

During the study, investigators collected data from 33,102 fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries treated for an acute ischemic stroke at more than 400 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke hospitals between April 2003 and December 2006.

The program, developed by the American Heart Association, was designed to encourage quality improvement and to ensure that stroke patients consistently receive care based on up-to-date guidelines. The average patient age was 79, and 58 percent were women.

Researchers found that patients suffering a mild stroke were at a 4.2 percent risk of dying within 30 days, while patients who experienced a moderate stroke were at 13.9 percent risk of dying within one month. The risk increased substantially for patients who had more severe strokes.

Severe stroke patients were at a 31.6 percent risk of death within 30 days, while those who suffered an extremely severe stroke were at a 53.5 percent risk of dying.

Researchers said the study suggests that categorizing patients by risk levels could better ensure they receive targeted treatments.

The study was recently published in the Journal of the American Heart Association: Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Disease.