Researchers found that people that experience traumatic brain injuries are more likely to suffer heart strokes in the future.
Researchers from University of Michigan and the American Academy of Neurology have found a link connecting traumatic brain injuries(TBI) to future strokes. According to the study findings, people that experience traumatic brain injuries are more likely to suffer heart strokes in the future.
"Both stroke and traumatic brain injury are common, costly, and leading causes of severe disability in adults, and approximately 20 percent of strokes occur in adults under age 65," said study author James F. Burke, MD, MS, of the University of Michigan and the Ann Arbor VA Healthcare System and a member of the American Academy of Neurology in a press statement. "A large proportion of stroke risk is unexplained, especially in the young, so if we can identify new risk factors, we have the potential to prevent more strokes and improve outcomes."
Authors of the study looked at the data of patients that were treated in emergency rooms for trauma with brain injuries and trauma without brain injuries over a period of five years. They noted that during this period 435,630 people with traumatic brain injury and 736,723 people with trauma with no brain injury received emergency treatments.
Researchers found that within an average of 28 months from the date of the injury, 11,229 which made up for one percent of the total number of patients had an ischemic stroke. 1.1 percent of those with TBI suffered a stroke, compared to 0.9 percent of those with trauma with no brain injury.
An ischemic stroke is when the blood flow to the brain in blocked and according to the American Academy of Neurology, 80 percent of all strokes are of this kind.
In a controlled environment where factors influencing strokes like high blood pressure, age and high cholesterol, as well as other disorders such as heart disease and the severity of the trauma were adjusted, researchers found that people with traumatic brain injury were 30 percent more likely to develop a stroke than those with trauma with no brain injury.
"While the stroke risk of one person with TBI is small, the overall link between TBI and stroke was substantial- as large as the link between the strongest stroke risk factor, high blood pressure, and stroke," Burke concluded. "If further research establishes TBI as a new risk factor for stroke, that would stimulate research to help us understand what causes stroke after TBI and help us learn how to prevent these strokes."