Stroke Complications Reduce Lifespan

GIMHAE, South Korea, July 5 (UPI) — Stroke complications may deprive patients of two years of healthy life, researchers in South Korea estimate.

In a study published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, the researchers calculated average disability-adjusted life years — a measure combining years of life lost with years of healthy life lost — was 3.82 years in strike survivors.

Lead author Keun-Sik Hong of Inje University and colleagues say the disability-adjusted life years lost for those without complications was 3.10 years, but for those who suffer complications — about one-third of patients — the average was 5.21, a difference of 2.1 healthy life years.

“This study delineates the burden of post-stroke complications with a more comparable and more understandable scale — healthy life years lost,” the researchers say in a statement.

The researchers looked at data from more than 1,200 South Korean patients with an average age of 66, treated between 2004-05 for ischemic stroke — a stroke caused by blockage of a blood vessel supplying the brain.

The researchers note there are measures to help reduce complications. For instance, formal screening for dysphagia — a swallowing disorder that often following stroke — can cut pneumonia risk in half. Patients spared pneumonia avoided a loss — on average — of 2.14 disability-adjusted life years.

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