Anemic adults may have increased chances of death after stroke
Anemia is a common factor among patients who experience acute strokes. It is also common for older adults to have anemia as well as low levels of hemoglobin, which are proteins inside red blood cells that spread oxygen in the body.
The research included data from 8,013 patients in hospitals, with an average age of 77. All had been admitted to the hospital after experiencing acute strokes. Both anemia and low hemoglobin levels affected the patients’ health after their strokes.
“We found that the likelihood of dying from ischemic stroke is about two times higher in people with anemia compared to those without it, and the risk of death from hemorrhagic stroke is about 1.5 times higher,” Dr. Phyo Myint, senior study author and professor at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, said. “So there’s the potential for a much poorer outcome if somebody comes in with stroke and they’re also anemic.”
Now researchers are working to find preventions, interventions and solutions for people who are at risk for stroke-related death.
“One example of an intervention might be treating the underlying causes of anemia, such as iron deficiency, which is common in this age group,” Raphae Barlas, co-author and medical student at the University of Aberdeen, said. “As the study has convincingly demonstrated, anemia does worsen the outcome of stroke, so it is very important that we identify at-risk patients and optimize the management.”