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J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2009 Jul;80(7):762-6. doi: 10.1136/jnnp.2008.154104. Epub 2009 Feb 22.

Age related white matter changes predict stroke death in long term follow-up.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery and Forensic Medicine, Medical School, University of Tampere and Tampere University Hospital, 33014 University of Tampere, Finland. niku.oksala@tuubi1.net

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Recurrent strokes and functional decline are predicted by age related white matter changes (ARWMC). Whether they are associated with long term survival among hospital patients referred for acute stroke is not known.

METHODS:

A total of 396 consecutive acute stroke patients subjected to MRI were included in the study and followed-up for up to 12 years.

RESULTS:

28% had mild, 18% had moderate and 54% had severe ARWMCs. In Kaplan-Meier analysis, poor survival was predicted by severe ARWMCs (p<0.0001), cardiac failure (CF, p<0.0001), atrial fibrillation (AF, p<0.0001), other arrhythmias (p = 0.003), peripheral arterial disease (PAD, p = 0.004) and poor modified Rankin score (mRS) (p<0.0001). ARWMC was related to death by all brain related causes, especially ischaemic stroke (p<0.0001). In stepwise Cox regression analysis adjusted with significant risk factors, severe ARWMCs (hazard ratio (HR) 1.34, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.73; p = 0.029), age (HR 1.07, 95% CI 1.05 to 1.09; p<0.0001), CF (HR 1.59, 95% CI 1.17 to 2.15; p = 0.003), AF (HR 1.68, 95% CI 1.24 to 2.27; p = 0.001), PAD (HR 1.59, 95% CI 1.11 to 2.26; p = 0.011), diabetes (HR 1.44, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.92; p = 0.013), smoking (HR 1.60, 95% CI 1.23 to 2.08; p<0.0001) and mRS (HR 1.65, 95% CI 1.26 to 2.14; p<0.0001) were independently associated with death from all causes. Severe ARWMCs (HR 1.80, 95% CI 1.10 to 2.96; p = 0.019), age (HR 1.05, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.09; p = 0.009), AF (HR 1.82, 95% CI 1.08 to 3.07; p = 0.026), PAD (HR 2.17, 95% CI 1.19 to 3.95; p = 0.012) and mRS (HR 2.75, 95% CI 1.67 to 4.54; p<0.0001) were specifically associated with death from brain related causes.

CONCLUSIONS:

In patients with acute stroke, ARWMC seems to be a significant predictor of poor long term survival and death by ischaemic stroke.

PMID:
19237385
DOI:
10.1136/jnnp.2008.154104
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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