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Pediatric Stroke Associated With High Care Costs

Last Updated: July 10, 2009.

In children, acute stroke is costly to treat and may lead to an even greater lifetime cost of care than acute adult stroke, and in young adults with a first-ever ischemic stroke, mostly modifiable factors are independently associated with long-term mortality, according to two studies published online July 9 in Stroke.

FRIDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- In children, acute stroke is costly to treat and may lead to an even greater lifetime cost of care than acute adult stroke, and in young adults with a first-ever ischemic stroke, mostly modifiable factors are independently associated with long-term mortality, according to two studies published online July 9 in Stroke.

In one study, Elizabeth Perkins, of Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and colleagues reviewed the records of 2,224 pediatric cases (ages 3 months to 20 years) of hemorrhagic or ischemic stroke. Overall, they found the mean cost of acute hospital care was $20,927 per patient, with mean costs of $15,003 for ischemic stroke, $24,117 for intracerebral hemorrhage, and $31,653 for subarachnoid hemorrhage.

In a second study, Jukka Putaala, M.D., of Helsinki University Central Hospital in Finland, and colleagues analyzed data on 731 patients ages 15 to 49 who were hospitalized with a first-ever ischemic stroke. They found that cumulative mortality ranged from 2.7 percent at one month to 10.7 percent at five years. Their adjusted analysis showed that independent predictors of five-year mortality included malignancy, heart failure, heavy drinking, preceding infection, type 1 diabetes, increasing age and large artery atherosclerosis.

"Despite the overall low risk of death in the young after the first-ever ischemic stroke, several easily recognizable factors associate independently with the long-term mortality," Putaala and colleagues conclude. "Regarding young adults with a long expected lifespan ahead, detecting these factors are important, because in most patients, they can be modified by lifestyle changes, strictly controlled medication, or invasive interventions, when indicated."

Abstract - Perkins
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Abstract - Putaala
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