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Stroke Smart Magazine

November/December 2007

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Diabetes Drug Increases Heart Failure
Pioglitazone, a drug used for Type 2 Diabetes, has been reported to heighten heart failure risk.  A report published in the September issue of Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) states that the drug does lower the risk of stroke, heart attack and death, but increases congestive heart failure.



Aspirin Study Aims at Lowering Risk of Stroke
A major study is underway in more than five countries, to determine whether or not aspirin can prevent heart attack or stroke.  With more than 12,000 people in their study, scientists will monitor results for the next five years.  Findings from previous trials indicate that risk of heart attack and stroke can be decreased by one third by taking aspirin.


Even Healthy Residents of “Stroke Belt” at Higher Risk for Stroke
A new study shows that residents living in the “stroke belt” are more likely to die of stroke.  The findings indicate that residents of the southeastern United States are at a higher risk of dying simply because they are more prone to having strokes, not because they receive insufficient care.  Of the 17,927 in the study, 22 percent were found to be more at-risk than people living elsewhere in the country.


Atrial Fibrillation Drugs Decrease Stroke Risk
The results from eight randomized trials have indicated that patients on anticoagulants and antiplatelets may be at a reduced risk for stroke.  The antiplatelet drugs, Coumadin and Plavix , were used in the studies.  These drugs are used to prevent atrial fibrillation. 

Atrial Fibrillation causes irregular heartbeat, which in-turn causes blood to pool and a clot to form.  This clot can enter the blood stream and then flow to the brain, lodging there and causing a stroke.  The studies, which went for almost two years in each participant, indicated that patients had a 33 percent reduction in stroke when taking anticoagulants.  When taking antiplatelet drugs, patients were seen to have a 20 percent reduction in risk for stroke.


Heavy Alcohol Use Linked to Stroke Deaths
A Chinese study has linked heavy alcohol use to increased risk for stroke.  The study consisted of 64,000 Chinese men.  The results showed that those who consumed more than 35 alcoholic drinks per week had a 22 percent increase in stroke occurrences and a 30 percent increase in stroke-related deaths. 


Women with Visual Aura Migraines at Higher Risk for Stroke
A new study has suggested that women who have migraines with a visual aura have seven times the increased rate for ischemic (clot caused) stroke.  Moreover, women who smoked and used oral contraceptives are at further risk for stroke, the research states.  The study consisted of 386 women and was created from the Stroke Prevention in Young Women Study over the course of five years.  Previous research has found the link between migraines and ischemic stroke.  This new study makes a stronger correlation between migraines with visual auras and those without.


Depression May Lead to Increased Risk for Stroke
Researchers at Boston University have concluded a study in August which suggests that those who suffer from depression may be at an increased risk for stroke.  41,000 people were included in the study’s sample.  Those under 65 years of age, with depressive symptoms, were found to be at a four times higher risk for stroke.  Scientists are not sure why depression increases the risk for stroke.  High blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases, often common in depressives, may hold the clues.




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National Stroke Association’s mission is to reduce the incidence and impact of stroke by developing compelling education and programs focused on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and support for all impacted by stroke.

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