Risk of stroke skyrockets among seniors after hospital stay, study finds

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Seniors are at a high risk of suffering a stroke the week following a non-stroke-related hospitalization, according to the results of a new survey of stroke risk factors.

Researchers at the University of Iowa combed through the files of more than 5,500 Medicare beneficiaries for their 12-year study. During that time, between 6.8% and 9.9% of study participants suffered a stroke, depending on the definition of stroke used. Researchers found that there was a 200% to 480% increase in the risk of stroke in the week following a hospital stay.

Post-discharge planning and monitoring patients for at least one week after non-stroke related hospitalizations could help prevent the occurrence of stroke during this particularly risky time period, researchers suggest. One other risk factor they discovered: Seniors living in high-rise residences have a 40% greater risk of stroke than those living in single-story homes. The study appears online in the journal BMC Geriatrics.
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