Nav: Home

Anemic adults may have a higher risk of death after stroke

August 17, 2016

DALLAS, Aug. 17, 2016 -- Anemia, a lack of red blood cells, may be linked to a higher risk of death in older adults who have had a stroke, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Anemia is common in patients with acute stroke. Both anemia and low hemoglobin levels, which are proteins in red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body, are also common in older people, said Phyo Myint, M.D., senior study author and Professor of Medicine of Old Age at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

Researchers examined data from 8,013 hospital patients, average age 77, admitted with acute stroke between 2003 and 2015. Researchers assessed the impact of anemia and hemoglobin levels on death at different time points up to one year following stroke.

Researchers found that anemia was present in about a quarter of patients with stroke upon admission and was associated with a higher risk of death for up to one year following either ischemic stroke (clotted blood vessel) or hemorrhagic stroke (ruptured blood vessel).

Additionally, elevated hemoglobin levels were associated with poorer outcomes and a higher risk of death, mainly within the first month following stroke, meaning both low and high levels of hemoglobin could be associated with a higher risk of death after stroke.

"We found that the likelihood of dying from ischemic stroke is about two times higher in people with anemia compared to those without it, and the risk of death from hemorrhagic stroke is about 1.5 times higher," Myint said. "So there's the potential for a much poorer outcome if somebody comes in with stroke and they're also anemic."

In addition to the U.K. Regional Stroke Registry, researchers systematically reviewed relevant literature published to date. They used 20 previous studies to conduct one larger study by compiling data from a wide range of countries, increasing the study population to 29,943 stroke patients. This better quantified the impact of anemia and increased the generalizability of the study findings, researchers said.

Researchers believe the study emphasizes the impact of anemia on stroke outcomes and the need for increased awareness and interventions for stroke patients with anemia.

"One example of an intervention might be treating the underlying causes of anemia, such as iron deficiency, which is common in this age group," said Raphae Barlas, co-author and medical student at the University of Aberdeen, who carried out the project as a summer research program scholarship recipient. "As the study has convincingly demonstrated, anemia does worsen the outcome of stroke, so it is very important that we identify at-risk patients and optimize the management."
-end-
Co-authors are Raphae Barlas M.A.; Katie Honney, M.R.C.P.; Yoon Loke, M.D.; Stephen McCall, B.Sc.; Joao Bettencourt-Silva, Ph.D.; Allan B. Clark, Ph.D.; Kristian M. Bowles, Ph.D.; Anthony Metcalf, M.B.Ch.B.; Mamas A. Mamas, D.Phil.; and John Potter, D.M. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) NHS Foundation Trust Stroke Services and NNUH Research and Development Department funded the study.

Additional Resources:

Brain graphics are located in the right column of this release link http://newsroom.heart.org/news/anemic-adults-may-have-a-higher-risk-of-death-after-stroke?preview=ff0a915fe61c2222ad313aa592a457ec
After Aug. 17, view the manuscript online.
About Stroke
Follow AHA/ASA news on Twitter @HeartNews.
For updates and new science from JAHA, follow @JAHA_AHA.

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association's policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

American Heart Association

Related Stroke Articles:

More stroke awareness, better eating habits may help reduce stroke risk for young adult African-Americans
Young African-Americans are experiencing higher rates of stroke because of health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, yet their perception of their stroke risk is low.
How to help patients recover after a stroke
The existing approach to brain stimulation for rehabilitation after a stroke does not take into account the diversity of lesions and the individual characteristics of patients' brains.
Kids with headache after stroke might be at risk for another stroke
A new study has found a high incidence of headaches in pediatric stroke survivors and identified a possible association between post-stroke headache and stroke recurrence.
High stroke impact in low- and middle-income countries examined at 11th World Stroke Congress
Less wealthy countries struggle to meet greater need with far fewer resources.
Marijuana use might lead to higher risk of stroke, World Stroke Congress to be told
A five-year study of hospital statistics from the United States shows that the incidence of stroke has risen steadily among marijuana users even though the overall rate of stroke remained constant over the same period.
We need to talk about sexuality after stroke
Stroke survivors and their partners are not adequately supported to deal with changes to their relationships, self-identity, gender roles and intimacy following stroke, according to new research from the University of Sydney.
Standardized stroke protocol can ensure ELVO stroke patients are treated within 60 minutes
A new study shows that developing a standardized stroke protocol of having neurointerventional teams meet suspected emergent large vessel occlusion (ELVO) stroke patients upon their arrival at the hospital achieves a median door-to-recanalization time of less than 60 minutes.
Stroke affects more than just the physical
A new study looks at what problems affect people most after a stroke and it provides a broader picture than what some may usually expect to see.
Stroke journal features women's studies on how gender influences stroke risk, treatment and outcomes
Many aspects of strokes affect women and men differently, and four articles in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke highlight recent research and identify future research needs.
Too few with stroke of the eye are treated to reduce future stroke
Only one-third of 5,600 patients with retinal infarction, or stroke in the eye, underwent basic stroke work-up, and fewer than one in 10 were seen by a neurologist.
More Stroke News and Stroke Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Clint Smith
The killing of George Floyd by a police officer has sparked massive protests nationwide. This hour, writer and scholar Clint Smith reflects on this moment, through conversation, letters, and poetry.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.