First Study to Link TBI to Stroke
The American Heart Association recently published a study, which found that victims of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) face 10 times the risk of a stroke when compared to people without such injuries.
While the biomechanics of a TBI could certainly suggest a greater possibility of stroke, this is the first study to conclusively link stroke to a TBI.
Specifics of the Study
Researchers came to this conclusion after analyzing five years’ worth of medical data in Taiwan. In the months that followed a TBI, 2.91 percent of TBI victims experienced a stroke, compared to only 0.30 percent of people who did not experience a TBI. By the time a year had passed, TBI victims had 4.6 times the risk of a stroke versus non-TBI injuries. Five years later, the risk had halved, but it is not known if it is ever reduced to that of people with no TBI.
Researchers also compared the severity of the TBI and found, perhaps unsurprisingly, that the risk was higher – 20 times higher, in fact – for victims of especially traumatic injuries where the skull experiences fracture. However, as in milder cases of TBI, the risk of stroke decreased over time.
The study made a number of exclusions and adjustments, including the removal of patient data if the patient had previously been seen for TBI or stroke. Also, researchers adjusted for other known risk factors for stroke such as age and gender, hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, arterial fibrillation and heart failure.
Preventing Stroke After TBI
The study’s author suggests more thorough exams and longer term monitoring for patients being seen for TBI. Knowing that TBI patients are particularly at risk for stroke, paying especially careful attention to them may help minimize the damage that can be caused by a stroke.
If you have suffered a TBI, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation. Our attorneys specialize in brain related injury cases and can help determine the best course for your claim.