Long-Term Mortality After First-Ever and Recurrent Stroke in Young Adults
Background and Purpose—Mortality after first-ever stroke, and particularly after recurrent stroke, and predictors of long-term mortality among young and middle-aged stroke patients are not well-known. We assessed 17-year risk of mortality with focus on the effect of recurrence on the risk of death of young and middle-aged patients with stroke.
Methods—Mortality and recurrent stroke rate of 970 consecutive 30-day survivors of first-ever ischemic stroke aged 15 to 49 years (1994–2007) were studied. Prospective follow-up data came from the Finnish Care Register for Health Care and Statistics Finland. Mean follow-up was 10.2±4.3 years. We compared survival between clinical subgroups and identified factors associated with mortality. Standardized mortality ratio was calculated for demographic and pathogenetic subgroups using mortality data of the general population matched with age, sex, calendar year, and geographical area.
Results—At the end of follow-up, 152 (15.7%) patients had died (cumulative risk, 23.0%; 95% confidence interval, 19.1%–26.9%) and 132 (13.6%) had experienced a recurrent stroke. After adjusting for baseline characteristics, recurrent stroke was statistically the most important risk factor for mortality after first-ever ischemic stroke (hazard ratio, 16.68; 95% confidence interval, 2.33–119.56; P=0.005). Observed mortality was 7-fold higher than the expected mortality (standardized mortality ratio, 6.94; 95% confidence interval, 5.84–8.04) and particularly high among patients who experienced a recurrent stroke (standardized mortality ratio, 14.43; 95% confidence interval, 10.11–18.74).
Conclusions—The high mortality rates and the striking impact of recurrent stroke on the risk of death should lead to development of more robust primary and secondary prevention strategies for young patients with stroke.
- Received March 31, 2014.
- Revision received June 24, 2014.
- Accepted July 7, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.