Prognosis after transient ischemic attack and ischemic stroke in young adults.
We undertook this study to describe the risk of stroke recurrence and functional and occupational status in the long-term follow-up of young adults with ischemic strokes and to identify possible predictors for stroke recurrence, disability, and working status.
A cohort of 215 patients aged < or = 45 years with ischemic cerebral events (43 transient ischemic attacks, 135 minor strokes, 37 major strokes), evaluated at our institution from May 1985 through March 1992, was followed for a mean of 43.1 months (SD, 39.7 months; range, 1 to 228 months). Information on death and recurrent cerebral vascular events, functional disability (Rankin Scale), retirement, and working status was obtained from direct observation, mail questionnaire, and telephone interviews.
Four patients (2%) with major strokes died acutely. Information on stroke recurrence and disability was available for 184 (87%) of the survivors and on retirement and working status for 140 (67%) of the patients. Two patients died from cancer. Seven transient ischemic attacks and eight strokes (two hemorrhagic) occurred during follow-up. Patients with strokes of unknown cause experienced no recurrent strokes, contrasting with two deaths and eight strokes in those whose stroke cause was identified (difference between proportions: 8%; 95% confidence interval, 3 to 13). Eighty-eight patients had a complete recovery, and only 21 were disabled (Rankin grades 4 or 5). Logistic regression analysis identified the severity of the initial stroke (Rankin grade > 3) as the only significant predictor of disability (odds ratio, 10.7; 95% confidence interval, 3.7 to 30.6). Of the survivors, 73% were working, and only 18% were retired. Disability at follow-up was the best (but nonsignificant) predictor of retirement (odds ratio, 1.6; 95% confidence interval, 0.8 to 3.4).
Ischemic stroke in young adults has a low acute mortality and few recurrences, more so if the cause is not identified. The majority of patients return to an active professional life. Severity of the initial stroke is the major predictor of independence. The relation between disability and return to work or retirement is less clear.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association