Testing It Up

Blood Type Associated with Stroke Risk

A study presented at a conference of the American Heart Association associated a person’s blood type with stroke risk. People who whose blood type is O, the most common blood type, are said to be less likely to suffer from a stroke when compared against people whose blood type is AB, and women whose blood type is B.

Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of preventive medicine at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and one of the leaders of the study, said: “There’s increasing evidence that blood type might influence risk of chronic disease… It’s not at the level where we want to alarm people and we want to make that clear. But it’s one more element of risk that people would want to know about, and it could give them one more reason to keep blood pressure and cholesterol in line.”

The study, led by Dr. Lu Qi of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, involved an analysis of data from 90,000 men and women, who participated in two observational health studies that spanned a period of more than 20 years.

The researchers found that in the 2,901 strokes that occurred among the study participants, people whose blood type was AB had 26 percent increased risk of suffering from a stroke, when compared against people whose blood type was O. In addition, women whose blood type was B had 15 percent increased risk of suffering from a stroke, when compared against people whose blood type was O.

November 21, 2011 at 3:26 am Comments (0)

Your 5-Year-Old Child Can Have a Stroke!

A 5-year-old suffering a stroke may be one of those things that you thought would be impossible. However, a new study found that even children as young as five may suffer a stroke. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researchers, the stroke rate among 5- to 44-year olds in the United States have increased by a third over the last 10 years.

The researchers said that the increase is greater in men than in women. Hemorrhagic stroke, which is caused by bleeding in the brain, actually decreased for all other age groups except that of 5- to 14-year olds, but these decreases, the researchers said, are outweighed by the observed increase in ischemic strokes.

Ischemic stroke, which is caused by blood clots, was found to have gone up by 31% in 5- to 44-year olds. It went from 3.2 to 4.2 strokes per 10,000 hospitals cases. Researchers attributed these strokes in part to unhealthy lifestyles.

The study involved an analysis of hospital data for millions of patients, and it showed that high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes were those that were the health conditions that patients who had suffered a stroke had in common. The data analyzed was from 1995 to 2008.

Dr.  Lorna Layward , of the Stroke Association in the UK, shared: “People usually associate strokes with older people, but a quarter of all strokes happen to people of working age, and around 400 children have a stroke every year in the UK.”

The study was published in the medical journal The Annals of Neurology.

September 6, 2011 at 3:50 am Comments (0)

Wake-up Strokes Lead to Inability to Provide Appropriate Medication

A study conducted by researchers from the University of Cincinnati reveals that 1 in 7 strokes – or about 14 percent – happen while sleeping. The timing of the stroke means that those who suffer from it are not able to receive medication to prevent brain damage.

strokeTissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, is a potentially life-saving medication that breaks down blood clots, according to a feature on USA Today. However, it needs to be administered within the first few hours after the patient experiences stroke symptoms; otherwise, if given outside that window, the medication can cause complications.

Study author Dr. Jason Mackey and his colleagues conducted an analysis of data from 1,854 patients who received treatment for ischemic strokes in a span of one year, concentrating on ERs in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas. They determined that of this sample population, 273 patients suffered what was termed as “wake-up” strokes.

Ischemic strokes are the most common type of stroke. They are caused by clots in the arteries of the brain.

The study stresses the importance of getting immediate medical care. While it may be true that identifying when a wake-up stroke happened can be hard, it is important for a stroke sufferer to get to a hospital right away. However, not all hospital emergency rooms are equipped to treat stroke patients – some may not have tPA on hand or a stroke expert on call. It is therefore recommended that should anyone suspect that they or a loved one is suffering a stroke, the appropriate course of action is to call 911, and go to a hospital by ambulance. The ambulance team will be able to determine that the patient is suffering a stroke, and take the patient to a hospital equipped to provide the appropriate treatment to the patient.

May 11, 2011 at 4:59 am Comments (0)

Drinking Coffee Among Possible Stroke Triggers

Drinking coffee may be a mundane activity that some people do to jumpstart their day – then again to keep themselves alert in the afternoon – but it may be one of the little things that one does everyday that may trigger a stroke.

coffeeA study led by Dr. Monique H.M. Vlak, a neurologist at the University Medical Center in Utrecht, Netherlands, identified several potential stroke triggers for people with an untreated brain aneurysm, based on a survey of 250 patients. The participants were patients who had suffered a stroke after the rupture of a brain aneurysm, and they were asked whether they were exposed to any of 30 potential triggers in the period before the occurrence of the stroke.

The following triggers were identified by the study, based on patient responses, as shared in a feature on Time.com: coffee consumption (10.6%), vigorous physical exercise (7.9%), nose blowing (5.4%), sexual intercourse (4.3%), straining to defecate (3.6%), cola consumption (3.5%), being startled (2.7%), and being angry (1.3%).

All these triggers, according to the researchers, bring about a sudden increase in blood pressure; high blood pressure is a known risk factor for stroke. Dr. Vlak shared: “These trigger factors we found re superimposed on known risk factors, including female gender, age, and hypertension.”

According to the American Society of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology, up to 1 in 15 people will develop a brain aneurysm during their lifetime. A brain aneurysm was described as a dangerously weak spot in the wall of a blood vessel in the brain. While all of these aneurysms may rupture and bleed, few of these actually do.

May 7, 2011 at 3:43 am Comments (0)

Hypertension + Binge Drinking = Stroke

Binge drinking is something that is not recommended for anyone, healthy or otherwise – but more so if that someone suffers from high blood pressure, according to a new study shared on CNN.com.

Researchers based in Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, studied 6,100 South Koreans aged 55 years old and above for a period of twenty years. The results of the study showed that men who suffer from hypertension and consume more than six drinks in one sitting – even occasionally – nearly double their risk of succumbing to a stroke or a heart attack.

alcohol drinkingIf a man suffering from hypertension doubles the drink count and consumes 12 drinks or more in one sitting, then that risk increases by five times, when compared to someone who has normal blood pressure.

American Heart Association spokesman Brian Silver, M.D., a neurologist at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, said: “Somehow the binge drinking compounds [high blood pressure] — and more than just a little bit.”

The results of the study were found to be more than just plausible by J. Chad Teeters, a cardiologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, who shared that other studies have previously determined that drinking alcohol can increase a person’s blood pressure by 15 to 20 points. Someone who is already hypertensive and gets this kind of increase in blood pressure certainly runs into the possibility of more than doubling their risk of suffering from a stroke.

Dr. Silver, who is not involved in the study, said further: “There’s something about alcohol that makes the blood vessels more vulnerable to plaque formation and plaque rupture.”

New York Health Screening

August 22, 2010 at 3:08 am Comment (1)