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Does weather play a role in stroke?

DENVER, CO Researchers have found an association between weather and the occurrence of stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA). Results of the 14-year longitudinal study of 3,289 first-time stroke patients are being presented at the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting in Denver April 13-20.

Abstract co-author Dominique Minier, MD, Service de Neurologie, Dijon, France, said the researchers recorded weather conditions temperature, humidity, air pressure, wind strength, and the presence of sun and rain on the day of the stroke, and five days prior. They compared these meteorological factors with the different types of stroke (ischemic stroke from large or small cerebral arteries, ischemic stroke from embolic heart disease, transient ischemic attack, and hemorrhages) encountered by the Dijon-area patients in the study.

Different stroke sub-types appeared to be tied to different weather conditions.

There was a big decline in the number of strokes from an atheroma (a lipid deposited within the blood vessel wall which thickens it and disrupts or reduces blood flow) in the large arteries during the warmer seasons, said Minier. Further, we observed that there were a greater number of overall strokes and strokes caused by blockage of the large arteries in the brain and heart occurring when there had been a temperature drop five days previously.

The researchers also discovered an increase in stroke from blockage of large arteries in the brain or heart during periods of higher air pressure and humidity.


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Contact: Cheryl Alementi
calementi@aan.com
651-695-2737
American Academy of Neurology
16-Apr-2002


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