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Stroke. 2009 Aug;40(8):2698-703. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.109.554998. Epub 2009 Jul 9.

Causes of death and predictors of 5-year mortality in young adults after first-ever ischemic stroke: the Helsinki Young Stroke Registry.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Haartmaninkatu 4, FIN-00290, Helsinki, Finland.



Data on mortality and its prognostic factors after an acute ischemic stroke in young adults are scarce and based on relatively small heterogeneous patient series.


We analyzed 5-year mortality data of all consecutive patients aged 15 to 49 with first-ever ischemic stroke treated at the Department of Neurology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, from January 1994 to September 2003. We followed up the patients using data from the mortality registry of Statistics Finland. We used life table analyses for calculating mortality risks. Kaplan-Meier method allowed comparisons of survival between clinical subgroups. We used the Cox proportional hazard model for identifying predictors of mortality. Stroke severity was measured using the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale and the Glasgow Coma Scale.


Among the 731 patients (mean age, 41.5+/-7.4 years; 62.8% males) followed, 78 died. Cumulative mortality risks were 2.7% (95% CI, 1.5% to 3.9%) at 1 month, 4.7% (3.1% to 6.3%) at 1 year, and 10.7% (9.9% to 11.5%) at 5 years with no gender difference. Those > or =45 years of age had lower probabilities of survival. Among the 30-day survivors (n=711), stroke caused 21%, cardioaortic and other vascular causes 36%, malignancies 12%, and infections 9% of the deaths. Malignancy, heart failure, heavy drinking, preceding infection, type 1 diabetes, increasing age, and large artery atherosclerosis causing the index stroke independently predicted 5-year mortality adjusted for age, gender, relevant risk factors, stroke severity, and etiologic subtype.


Despite the overall low mortality after an ischemic stroke in young adults, several recognizable subgroups had substantially increased risk of death in the long term.

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