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American Stroke Association, March 17-19

Last Updated: March 29, 2021.

The annual International Stroke Conference of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association was held virtually this year from March 17 to 19 and attracted participants from around the world, including cerebrovascular research and practice experts. The conference featured presentations that emphasized basic, clinical, and translational medicine and provided insight into the prevention, management, and treatment of stroke.

In one study, Steven J. Kittner, M.D., of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues found that non-O blood type possibly is associated with an increased risk for stroke among women who both smoke and take oral contraceptives.

The authors compared the risk for stroke in one study of women who smoked and used oral contraceptives to the risk in another analysis among women who only smoked and women who only took oral contraceptives. The researchers found that women who both smoked and took oral contraceptives had a higher stroke risk compared with women who did not smoke or take oral contraceptives, with non-O blood type further increasing the risk got early-onset stroke. Still, blood type did not significantly increase stroke risk among women who either smoked or took oral contraceptives.

"There is a possibility that blood type may increase risk among women who both smoke and use oral contraceptives but, even here, our numbers are far too small to have any confidence that there is an increased risk," Kittner said.

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In another study, Mohamed M. Gad, M.D., of the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues found that among women with pregnancy-associated stroke, Black women had higher in-hospital mortality compared with White women.

The authors evaluated data for nearly 40 million pregnant and postpartum women hospitalized during pregnancy (regardless of cause) between 2002 and 2017 using a hospital database. The investigators found that pregnancy-related stroke was very rare in the overall population, but approximately 40 percent of the women who experienced stroke during pregnancy were Black. In addition, Black women who experienced pregnancy-related stroke had a higher rate of in-hospital death compared with their White counterparts (7.8 versus 5 percent). Taking into account income, Black women at the lowest and highest income levels had a higher risk for mortality compared with their White counterparts.

"Racial disparities in maternal outcomes are not completely attributed to income or insurance/access to health care, and further efforts to understand and reduce the disparities are needed," Gad said. "The lack of the full picture is preventing the design and implementation of efforts to reduce disparities."

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Judith H. Lichtman, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, Connecticut, and colleagues found that long-term mortality after ischemic stroke was higher among Black Medicare patients compared with White Medicare patients.

The authors evaluated data on 744,044 Medicare beneficiaries who were 65 years of age or older and had been treated for ischemic stroke between 2005 and 2007. The researchers found that more than 75 percent of stroke patients died within 10 years among elderly fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries discharged with an ischemic stroke. In risk-adjusted analyses controlling for comorbid conditions, the investigators found that the risk for death within 10 years after stroke was 4 percent higher for Black versus White patients.

"The findings highlight the need to take a closer look at the early poststroke care period to ensure that stroke patients are receiving optimal postdischarge care," Lichtman said.

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ASA: Women at Greater Risk for Poststroke Depression

FRIDAY, March 19, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Female stroke patients have a higher risk for poststroke depression than male stroke patients, according to two studies presented at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference, held virtually from March 17 to 19.

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ASA: Endocarditis, Related Strokes Up During Opioid Epidemic

WEDNESDAY, March 17, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of infective endocarditis and resultant neurovascular complications has increased during the opioid epidemic, according to a study presented at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference, held virtually from March 17 to 19.

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ASA: Delays in Hospital Care After Arrival Worsen Stroke Outcomes

TUESDAY, March 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Postarrival care delays are strongly associated with worse endovascular thrombectomy patient outcomes in the early postarrival time period, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference, held virtually from March 17 to 19.

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ASA: Adding Icosapent Ethyl to Statin Further Cuts Stroke Risk

FRIDAY, March 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Icosapent ethyl can further reduce the risk for stroke for statin-treated patients with elevated triglycerides and the risk or evidence of atherosclerosis, according to a study presented at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference, held virtually from March 17 to 19.

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ASA: Retinopathy Linked to Increased Risk for Stroke, Dementia

THURSDAY, March 11, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Retinopathy is associated with an increased risk for stroke and dementia, according to a study presented at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference, held virtually from March 17 to 19.

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