Risk factor burden predicts long-term mortality after cerebral infarction
Previous studies have shown significant association between the number of traditional risk factors and long-term mortality of cerebral infarction in young stroke patients. The aim was to investigate risk factors separately and in sum in relation to long-term mortality after cerebral infarction, irrespective of age.
Materials and methods
Long-term mortality in relation to number of traditional risk factors (angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, intermittent claudication, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and smoking at the time of the index stroke) and etiology was studied in patients with acute cerebral infarction admitted to the Stroke Unit, Department of Neurology, Haukeland University Hospital, between February 2006 and February 2011. Only patients alive 30 days after stroke onset were included. Cox regression analyses were performed.
After a mean follow–up time of 2.4 years, 14% with no risk factors had died, while the corresponding frequencies in patients with 1–3 or more risk factors were 13%, 19%, and 26%, respectively (P < 0.001). The number of risk factors was associated with mortality on Cox regression analysis (HR = 1.3, P < 0.001).
Increasing number of traditional risk factors is associated with long-term mortality in patients with cerebral infarction, irrespective of age. Careful long-term follow-up is important, especially among patients with several risk factors.