January 25, 2011
U.S. stroke rates declined by 7 percent from 1997 to 2006, yet during the same period stroke rates in HIV patients increased 60 percent, a new study finds.
"Generally speaking, strokes in patients with HIV are not common, so the rise is notable," explained Dr. Bruce Ovbiagele of the University of California-San Diego and the VA San Diego Healthcare System. The team analyzed hospital discharge information on a nationally representative sample of patients with a primary diagnosis of stroke between 1997 and 2006.
The increase in ischemic strokes, which are caused by brain blood clots, was noteworthy. "Patients with comorbid HIV infection comprised 0.08 percent of ischemic strokes in 1997 vs. 0.18 percent in 2006 (p<0.0001), but their proportion of hemorrhagic strokes did not significantly change," the authors wrote.
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