Severe Anemia Puts Stroke Victims at Great Risk

New research shows that being anemic could more than triple a person’s risk for dying within a year after having a stroke.

Although the study focused solely on men, researchers say all anemic patients should work with their doctors to figure out the cause of their anemia and seek treatment.

“Among stroke patients, severe anemia is a potent predictor of dying throughout the first year after a stroke,” said Jason Sico, the study’s lead researcher and an assistant professor of neurology at Yale University School of Medicine. The findings were presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference.

Although earlier studies have shown that anemic patients who have a heart attack or kidney disease face an increased risk of death within one year, only a few studies have considered the effects of strokes and anemia, according to a news release from the American Stroke Association.

The news underscores the importance of regularly seeing a physician for routine screenings and health check-ups. Anemia, a common condition, is when the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. It can indicate nutritional problems or blood loss in the stomach or intestines, the release states. Severe anemia sometimes requires blood transfusions.

“Regularly seeing your primary care physician is important,” Sico said in the release. “If blood tests show someone has anemia, working with one’s doctors to figure out the cause is important.”

Source: American Stroke Association news release

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