Elderly Patients Have High Stroke Risk Within Six Months of Heart Attack

NEW HAVEN, CT — April 3, 2002 — Twenty percent of older patients who have had a heart attack have a one in 25 chance of being hospitalised for a stroke within six months of discharge from the hospital, according to research at Yale University.

The study, published in the March issue of Circulation, provides what is believed to be the most accurate estimates of stroke after heart attack among elderly patients. This is because it includes the largest and most geographically diverse sample of older heart attack patients who have not been excluded from the study based on other illnesses or older age.

"The importance of stroke after myocardial infarction (MI) has been under-appreciated, especially among older persons," said Judith Lichtman, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale School of Medicine. "Our results demonstrate that stroke after MI is much more common than previously reported."

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