Objectives – To obtain data on long-term mortality among young ischemic stroke patients compared with controls in this population-based study.
Material and methods – We used Kaplan–Meier survival analysis to compare 232 patients aged 15–49 years with first-ever cerebral infarction in 1988–1997 and 453 controls followed from inclusion to death or 1 August 2005 for 2515 and 5558 person-years respectively. In a subanalysis of 192 patients, we compared risk factor variables using the Kaplan–Meier method and log-rank testing. We applied a Cox proportional hazards model to adjust for multiple risk factors.
Results – Forty-five patients and nine controls died during follow-up (P < 0.0005). Independent risk factors for mortality were active tumor disease (P < 0.0005), high consumption of alcohol (P < 0.0005), coronary atherosclerosis (P < 0.001), living alone (P < 0.02), seizures (P < 0.04) and smoking (P = 0.08).
Conclusions – Long-term mortality was significantly increased among young stroke patients, mainly due to such lifestyle factors as high consumption of alcohol and tobacco.