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Warning over major stroke

12th November 2007

Specialist treatment for people who have suffered a minor stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA) “substantially” lowers the risk of a major stroke, a new study claims.

Researchers found that the risk of a stroke after a TIA is 5.2 per cent seven days later – showing that one in 20 patients who have a TIA will go on to suffer a more major stroke within a week.

The team from Oxford University analysed 18 studied involving 10,126 patients.

Writing in the journal Lancet Neurology, they argue that the lowest risk of stroke was seen in studies where patients were admitted to specialist stroke units (0.9 per cent) and the highest in studies that recorded no urgent treatment (11 per cent).

Commenting on the findings, the researchers said: “The risk of stroke reported amongst patients treated urgently in specialist units was substantially lower than risks reported among other patients treated in alternative settings. “

Joe Korner, director of communications at the Stroke Association commented: “Too often people ignore stroke symptoms if they don’t last very long. Yet, a TIA is one of the only warning signs that a major stroke may be on its way and it is vital that anyone with a TIA is referred urgently to specialist services and for those at highest risk to be seen within 24 hours.

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