According to a study published online in the journal, Neurology, it was discovered that 30 percent of patients who endured some form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been linked with a succeeding ischemic stroke; a discovery that could impel stroke prevention efforts in young trauma patients.
“The magnitude of this association was substantial (HR [hazard ratio] 1.31) and was similar to the association between the leading stroke risk factor, hypertension (HR 1.34), and ischemic stroke,” said professor of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, James F. Burke, MD, MS, and his team.
Ischemic stroke is the number one cause of acute disability in adults and around 20 percent of strokes take place in those patients younger than 65 years, mentioned the researchers.
However, no exact stroke systems have been recognized in the young and working age populations, as researchers wished to assess the correlation between TBI and stroke.
With using the data collected by the state of California, between the years 2005 to 2009, the researchers determined a retrospective auxiliary of more than 1.1 million trauma patients, 37 percent of which had TBI. The remaining patients did have trauma, however it was not brain-related.
Over a median of 28 months of following-up after the injury, 1.1 percent of patients with TBI suffered a stroke, as opposed to 0.9 percent of those who did not suffer a stroke, found Burke and his research team.
After making the necessary adjustments for a number of potential confusing variables, patients with TBI related admittances were 30 percent more likely than those non-TBI patients to incur a succeeding hospitalization due to suffering from a stroke.
This was significant and complementary to other vascular risk determinants, the researchers determined that given the high percentage of TBI in most trauma patients registered in the study, TBI was the leading cause for more ischemic stroke than hypertension in that study group.
Yet in spite of what the researchers identified as “robust” association, the absolute ischemic stroke risk difference between the TBI and non-TBI group remained minimal.
“Nonetheless, if further research definitively established TBI as a novel stroke risk factor, this would stimulate research to understand stroke pathophysiology after TBI and inform stroke prevention efforts in this young population with few vascular risk factors,” noted Burke and his team.