Category: Cardiovascular Disease

Statins not Associated With Cognitive Decline

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A new study has found that statin use in adults 65 years old or older is not associated with incident dementia, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or decline in individual cognition domains.

Major health concerns in the elderly, cognitive decline and dementia affect about 10% of people over 60 years old. Statins are used to reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and are a fundamental treatment for prevention of primary and secondary cardiovascular disease (CVD) events. 
In 2012 the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about cases of apparent short-term cognitive impairment with statin use, while acknowledging that the cardiovascular benefits outweigh their risks. Systematic reviews have since shown insufficient evidence on the impact of statins, and research has shown mixed results, with some showing a neurocognitive benefit of statins and others reporting a null effect.

“With statins being increasingly prescribed to older adults, their potential long-term effects on cognitive decline and dementia risk have attracted growing interest,” said lead author Zhen Zhou, PhD, Menzies Institute for Medical Research at the University of Tasmania. “The present study adds to previous research by suggesting that statin use at baseline was not associated with subsequent dementia incidence and long-term cognitive decline in older adults.”

Researchers of this study analysed data from the ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) trial. ASPREE was a large prospective, randomized placebo-controlled trial of daily low-dose aspirin with adults 65 or older. One of the key selection criteria of ASPREE was that participants had to have a score of 78 for the Modified Mini-Mental State Examination test, a screening test for cognitive abilities, at enrollment.

The study had 18 846 participants, grouped by their baseline statin use (31.3% of participants) versus non-statin use. The study aimed to measure outcomes including incident dementia and its subclassifications (probable Alzheimer’s disease [AD], mixed presentations); MCI and its subclassifications (MCI consistent with AD, MCI-other); changes in domain-specific cognition including global cognition, memory, language and executive function, and psychomotor speed; and in the composite of these domains.

After a median of 4.7 years of follow-up, researchers found 566 incident cases of dementia (including probable AD and mixed presentations). Compared with no statin use, statin use was not associated with risk of all-cause dementia, probable AD or mixed presentations of dementia. There were 380 incident cases of MCI found (including MCI consistent with AD and MCI-other). Compared to no statin use, statin use was not associated with risk of MCI, MCI consistent with AD or other MCI. No statistically significant difference in the change of composite cognition and any individual cognitive domains between statin users versus non-statin users was seen. However, researchers did find interaction effects between baseline cognitive ability and statin therapy for all dementia outcomes.

The researchers acknowledged several limitations, including observational study bias and lack of data on the length of prior use of statins; and the dose of statins was not recorded in the ASPREE trial, so their effects could not be fully explored. Researchers conclude the study must be interpreted with caution and will require confirmation by randomized clinical trials designed to explore the neurocognitive effects of statins in older populations.

In an accompanying editorial comment, Christie M. Ballantyne, MD, professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, noted study limitations that the authors address, but agreed the findings suggest statins do not contribute to cognitive decline.

“Overall, the analysis was well done, and its main strengths are a large cohort with a battery of standardised tests that allowed the investigators to track both cognition and incidence of dementia and its subtypes over time,” Ballantyne said. “Lingering questions such as the one raised by this analysis regarding potential adverse effects of statins in individuals with mildly impaired cognition can only be answered in randomised controlled trials in the appropriate age group and population and with appropriate testing and adequate follow-up. In the meantime, practising clinicians can have confidence and share with their patients that short-term lipid lowering therapy in older individuals, including with statins, is unlikely to have a major impact on cognition.”

Source: American College of Cardiology

Walking Faster Helps Stroke Survivors to Dual-task

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Training stroke survivors to walk faster during recovery can help improve their ability to perform a task at the same time, known as dual-task walking.

Stroke survivors often struggle to walk and perform cognitive tasks at the same time, for example, walking and holding a conversation, or planning what to do next. To effectively walk in the community, cognitive effort is needed to navigate safely and deal with distractions. Many people are unable to regain this ability after a stroke.

Dual-task training ineffective

To improve the ability to walk and think at the same time, rehabilitation approaches have focused on practising walking and at the same performing a task needing cognition, known as dual-task training. Previous research led by Oxford Brookes University and the University of Oxford found that this training did not improve people’s ability to dual-task walk any more than just walking training.

Researchers reasoned that why people struggle with dual-task walking after a stroke may instead be linked to their walking automaticity – the pattern our brains run which means not having to think about walking. This pattern is linked to the cyclic pattern of walking whereby one step ‘signals’ the next step to follow. When walking very slowly, this pattern could be disrupted so that walking is more like independent steps, rather than a cycle.

Faster walkers improved dual-task walking

The new research re-examined the data to compare how slower walkers and faster walkers responded to dual-task training.

“When we compared slower walkers and people who walked at a faster pace – still slower, but closer to walking speeds we expect to see in people who have not had a stroke – both increased their walking speeds after the training,” said Dr Johnny Collett, Senior Clinical Research Fellow in the Centre for Movement, Occupational and Rehabilitation Sciences at Oxford Brookes University.

“However, those who could walk faster at the beginning of the training also improved their ability to walk and think at the same time.”

Advanced brain imaging tracked responses to training

As part of the study, researchers tracked how people’s brains responded to the training using advanced brain imaging. Changes found in the brain supported the findings that stroke survivors who walked slower, had a less automatic control of  walking. Those who walked at a faster pace had changes in the brain consistent with adaptations needed for controlling gait in more complex environments.

“These findings show that, for those who walk slowly, initially focusing on improving walking speed may increase their capacity to improve dual-task walking,” added Dr Collett. “Greater consideration of walking automaticity may help to better tailor intervention and direct a staged approach of increasing complexity to make people better able to walk in the community.”

Importance for rehabilitation

Dr Rubina Ahmed, Director for Research and Policy at the Stroke Association said: “Stroke strikes every 5 minutes and has devastating physical and mental impacts. Whilst four out of five stroke survivors recover the ability to walk, most find it hard outside of hospital which has a big impact on their well-being and independence. By funding this research our charity has helped to highlight that training focused on walking speeds could be an important part of rehabilitation for some stroke survivors’ recoveries. Research like this is key to finding new treatments and improving stroke care, so that stroke survivors can regain the mobility and independence they need to rebuild their lives.”

Source: Oxford Brookes University

Journal reference: Collett, J., et al. (2021) Dual-task walking and automaticity after Stroke: Insights from a secondary analysis and imaging sub-study of a randomised controlled trial. Clinical Rehabilitation.

Drop in Heart Attacks Linked to COVID Pandemic

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A sharp drop in heart attacks in Finland last year seems to be a result of the COVID pandemic, doctors believe.

Cardiologist Mika Laine noticed a roughly 30 per cent reduction in the number of patients suffering myocardial infarction at Helsinki University Central Hospital in April and May 2020. But what was even more surprising was that this was not an isolated occurrence.

“When we started to study this further, we noticed that exactly the same phenomenon happened everywhere else in Finland and also in other countries in Europe and in the United States. So it was a kind of global phenomenon that happened during the COVID pandemic,” he told Euronews.

What was behind the drop?

Dr Laine is of the opinion that the fall in heart attack patient numbers results from changes made in response to the COVID outbreak.

“We have the exact same genes that we had a year ago, two years ago. So it has to be something in the environment that has changed,” he said. One major factor could be the massive global shift to remote working for many people, as a result of the lockdowns.

“People are at home, they are less stressed because they don’t need to go through morning traffic, hurry to work and so forth,” Dr Laine added.

EU Science Hub data shows that even before the pandemic, Finns worked remotely more than almost any other EU country. Last May, EU labour research body Eurofound revealed that Finnish workers made the fastest switch to teleworking in the EU, with nearly 60 per cent switching over.

“We also see this decrease in those people who are retired, who don’t go to work, so it cannot be just because you’re commuting,” said Dr Laine.
He however cautioned that there could be other factors behind the fall in heart attack patients.

Was there a real fall in heart attacks in 2020?

“We know that many people stopped smoking because smoking was associated with severe COVID mortality,” he said.

Better air quality in urban areas as a result of the lockdown could be another cause, Laine said, since airborne particles are known to be a risk factor for heart disease.

However not all are convinced that the pandemic had a positive impact on patients with all types of heart conditions.

Research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology in January found that, during the early phase of the pandemic, deaths due to ischaemic heart disease and hypertensive diseases increased in some parts of the US. Some patients may have died as a result of avoiding hospital visits due to infection fears, the researchers noted. 

A temporary or permanent effect?

With Finland, however,Dr Laine believes that was not the case.

“We haven’t seen any increase in mortality in cardiac diseases and so currently we think that it’s a true decrease in the number of cases and not because patients are not seeking help,” he said. “People were not dying at home to myocardial infarction”.

According to Dr Laine, the number of heart attack patients in Finland remains about 5 per cent lower than average, despite the easing of COVID restrictions.

“I think this is a typical example that environmental factors can have profound effects on myocardial infarction. And I think it’s motivating us to change our lifestyle healthier,” Dr Laine said.

Source: EuroNews

Angioplasty Needed by Smokers 10 years Before Non-smokers

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Smokers needed their blocked arteries fixed nearly 10 years earlier than non-smokers, and patients with obesity underwent these procedures four years earlier than non-obese patients, according to a new US study.

Angioplasty is a nonsurgical procedure that opens clogged or narrow coronary arteries. The procedure involves inserting an inflatable balloon-tipped catheter through the skin in extremities and then inflating the balloon once it reaches the stenosed arterial site. The balloon pushes the atherosclerotic intraluminal plaque against the arterial wall and restores the luminal diameter, and so restores blood flow to the heart muscle.

The study included patients with no heart attack history, treated at hospitals across Michigan. The patients had all undergone angioplasty and/or stenting to widen or unblock their coronary arteries and restore blood flow. Nearly all of them had at least one traditional risk factor, including smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Most patients had three or more.

Furthermore, compared to men, women generally had their first procedure at a later age. Over the past ten years, among patients undergoing their first angioplasty or stent procedure, obesity and diabetes rates have increased, while smoking and high cholesterol have decreased.

“Smoking is a completely preventable risk factor,” said senior author Devraj Sukul, MD, MSc, an interventional cardiologist and a clinical lecturer at the University of Michigan Health Frankel Cardiovascular Center. “If we direct additional efforts at preventing smoking and obesity we could significantly delay the onset of heart disease and the need for angioplasty and stenting.”

“In Michigan, we will work to help every smoker quit at the time of cardiac care because it is an unmatched teachable moment for patients,” said Michael Englesbe, M.D., a surgeon and professor at Michigan Medicine who serves as portfolio medical director for the Collaborative Quality Initiatives.

Source: Medical Xpress

Journal information: Zoya Gurm et al, Prevalence of coronary risk factors in contemporary practice among patients undergoing their first percutaneous coronary intervention: Implications for primary prevention, PLOS ONE (2021). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0250801

Using a Gaming Console can Improve Stroke Patient Rehabilitation

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

A study by the Faculty of Physiotherapy of the University of Valencia (UV) has shown that a physiotherapy programme using the Nintendo Wii console improves the functionality, balance and daily activities of patients who have suffered a cerebrovascular accident or stroke.
Wii research group

The study found that when the Wii is added to conventional physiotherapy techniques, the benefits are significant in stroke patients. Besides improvements in functionality and balance, the physiotherapy programme using the Wii also helps to improve daily activities.

The use of game consoles in medicine has focused on aspects such as helping build motor skills and pain management with virtual reality immersion. They are relatively cheap and available, and simple to use. One study looked at using a Microsoft Xbox to help rehabilitation of patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Previous research had already shown that the Wii can help normal treatments in restoring functionality in some chronic diseases. However, until now, there was little evidence of its use in people who had suffered strokes. “Before conducting the study we realised that not much research had been done with stroke patients, so we wanted to know if console games could promote mobility, balance and the day-to-day life of people with this pathology”, explained Elena Marqués, one of the researchers and professor of Physiotherapy at the UV.

The study recruited 29 participants into two groups, one using the Wii and conventional techniques, and the other performing traditional physiotherapy exercises. “The sample is relatively large considering it is comprised by patients who suffered strokes, as because they have many physical limitations, their treatment is usually much more individualised than that of other pathologies”, said the author.

These video games allow therapists to design rehabilitation programs that improve the principles of brain plasticity. An additional advantage is that the console provides real-time feedback on performance and progress, which can increase patient motivation, fun, and treatment adherence. “It should be taken into account that some patients have not performed any exercise before, regardless of the pathology they have, so being presented as a game can be an incentive”, said Prof Marqués.

She pointed out that other benefits include the Wii being easy to use, relatively affordable and, most importantly, can be used individually and at home, without needing to visit a rehab centre. This is particularly useful with COVID lockdowns.

This is one of the first studies using consoles as a therapeutic option, but it can be extended to patients with other pathologies, “because it allows you to work the balance with the console table, both in the chronic phase and in the subacute phase”, said Marqués.

Strengthening mirror neurons

Many Wii games use the remote control, but the console also offers a balance table that detects weight transfer by reflecting it in an avatar on the screen, letting the patient observe his/her own movements and generate positive feedback.

Thus, when the person observes his/her movements, the plasticity changes that depend on the use of sensory areas belonging to the mirror neuron system are strengthened. This exemplifies, among other factors, the improvements the Wii can provide in such patients. This feedback could result in a strengthening of the learning mechanisms of different motor and sensory activities and ultimately improving quality of life.

Source: Asociación RUVID

New Measurement of Heart Function Could Benefit High-risk Heart Patients

A new measurement of heart function developed at UVA Health could improve survival for people with heart failure by identifying high-risk patients who require tailored treatments, according to a new study.

The study is the first to show a survival benefit from wireless pressure monitoring sensors implanted in the pulmonary arteries. Pulmonary artery proportional pulse pressure, or PAPP, is a new measure of heart function that can identify patients at very high risk of hospitalisation or death from systolic heart failure or pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the heart and lungs).

Previous work showed that patients with low PAPPs were at much higher risk than those with higher PAPPs, so the researchers tested whether these benefits were maintained in patients undergoing implantation of pressure sensors that continuously monitor pressure in the pulmonary artery.

“We found that PAPP is a very good measure of how stiff or compliant the pulmonary arteries are. The stiffness of the pulmonary arteries determines how much resistance the right side of the heart has overcome to pump blood effectively to the lungs,” said Sula Mazimba, MD, MPH, a heart failure expert at UVA Health and the School of Medicine. “The importance of this simple measure is that it can identify patients that are at greatest risk of dying or being hospitalised. This allows us to tailor more aggressive treatments.”

Heart failure causes more than 1 million hospital admissions each year, and approximately half of patients die within five years of diagnosis.

The new study evaluated the benefits of PAPP monitoring in patients with systolic heart failure, where the left ventricle is weak, as well as those with pulmonary hypertension.

To find out if PAPP monitoring could predict outcomes in these patients, Dr Mazimba and colleagues analysed data from 550 participants in the CHAMPION clinical trial, whose participants were randomised to receive an implantable, wireless heart monitor called the CardioMEMS HF System.

They found that participants with a below-average PAPP had a significantly higher risk of hospitalisation or death compared with those with higher PAPPs. Furthermore, the monitoring  reduced the risk of death for those with low PAPPs by 46% annually during two to three years of follow-up.

“The implications of this study are highly significant,” said co-investigator Kenneth Bilchick, MD, MS, a cardiologist at UVA Health. “We now have identified a specific group of patients who appear to have a marked improvement in survival with implantation of these pulmonary artery wireless monitors. As a result, the findings of the study could maximise the impact of this technology for a large number of potential candidate patients. This is an excellent example of how secondary analyses of clinical databases maintained by the National Institutes of Health can result in novel and personalised approaches to patient care.”

The researchers say further study is necessary to gauge the full potential of PAPP monitoring to improve care for patients with heart failure, but early results were encouraging.

“In the past, the function of the right chamber of the heart was often ignored and considered to be inconsequential to the overall performance of the heart, but we are now learning that this is not the case,” Dr Mazimba said. “Having tools that signal when the right side of the heart is under strain may aid clinicians to adopt timely tailored treatments for heart-failure patients.”

Source: UVA Health

Ventricular Assist Device Pulled from Market due to Failures

Photo from Olivier Collett on Unsplash
Photo from Olivier Collett on Unsplash

The HeartWare system, a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) for advanced heart failure patients, is being discontinued immediately, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

The manufacturer, Medtronic, is halting global distribution and sale of its HeartWare system in the wake of observational evidence of increased neurological adverse events and mortality for its LVAD compared with similar mechanical circulatory support (MCS) devices.

Last December, some HeartWare LVADs were recalled because of complaints that the pump may delay or fail to start. So far 100 of these complaints have been received, including 14 patient deaths and 13 cases where an explant was necessary, the FDA noted.

“We have been carefully monitoring the adverse events associated with this device and support its removal from the marketplace,” said Bram Zuckerman, MD, director of the Office of Cardiovascular Devices at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, in a statement.

Medtronic now advises physicians to immediately stop new implants of the HeartWare device, but does not recommend explants.

The company is working on a plan for ongoing support of the some 4000 patients around the world who currently have this LVAD. It received commercial approval for use in the US in November 2012.

The FDA named Abbott’s HeartMate 3 as one alternative LVAD for patients with end-stage heart failure. This device features a magnetic levitation system that keeps the rotor separate without mechanical contact.

“The FDA is working closely with both Medtronic and Abbott to ensure patient care is optimised during this transition period and that there is an adequate supply of devices available to provide this patient population with options for end-stage heart failure treatment,” said Dr Zuckerman.

In a separate press release, Abbott reassured the public that it has the ability to meet increased demand for MCS devices as a result of HeartWare withdrawal from clinical use.

Source: MedPage Today

Heart Risk in Transgender Men Receiving Hormones

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A study of transgender people receiving gender-affirming hormone therapy found that certain hormones increased certain cardiometabolic risk factors. 

Gender-affirming or cross-sex hormone therapy is integral to the management of transgender individuals, but there is only limited understanding of the effects of such hormones on cardiovascular health. Research is limited by the absence of large cohort studies, lack of appropriate control populations, and inadequate data acquisition from gender identity services. Existing epidemiological data suggest that the use of oestrogens in transgender females increases the risk of myocardial infarction and ischaemic stroke. Conversely, testosterone use in transgender males is currently lacking any consistent or convincing evidence of increased risk of cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease.

This retrospective study included 129 transgender individuals receiving gender-affirming hormone therapy. In transgender males receiving testosterone, there was an average 2.5% drop in HDL cholesterol levels seen each year of using gender-affirming hormone therapy (P=0.03). However, researchers did not see this change in transgender females on estradiol during the average 48-month follow-up period. Additionally, the researchers found no significant changes in LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, HbA1c, or 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in transgender males or transgender females.

About 53% of the participants in the study identified as transgender males, and more than 60% of the cohort was white. The median age of the total cohort was 26 with a BMI of 25.5. The majority of transgender males were on intramuscular injectable preparations of testosterone cypionate.

Similar to prior studies, a significant decrease in HDL was noted in TM on testosterone therapy. The researchers noted that further study is needed on the correlation of this finding with changes in diet and exercise while on testosterone therapy and impact on cardiovascular events. Reassuringly, no other changes noted in cardiovascular parameters.

“Further long-term data is needed for patients receiving this hormone therapy to assure that their long-term cardiovascular risk is optimised,” concluded Samihah Ahmed, MD, MBA, of Northwell Health Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, who presented the findings.

Source: MedPage Today

Presentation information: Ahmed S, et al “Cardiometabolic risk factors in transgender individuals taking gender-affirming hormone therapy through four years” AACE 2021. 

Averting Heart Failure by Shutting Down a Heart Protein

Photo from Olivier Collett on Unsplash
Photo from Olivier Collett on Unsplash

Shutting down a protein found in cardiac muscle could be a new mechanism to treat post-heart attack heart failure, according to research led by the University of Cambridge.

New drugs are needed to improve the heart’s pumping ability after damage from a heart attack. Drugs that strengthen the contraction of failing heart muscle have been deemed unsafe, leaving a gap in the heart attack and heart failure armamentarium.

Researchers now believe that they might have identified a new drug target—a protein called MARK4.

In research funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), Cambridge scientists found levels of MARK4 were elevated in mouse hearts after a heart attack. When they compared mice with and without MARK4 in the heart, they found hearts lacking the protein pumped blood 57% more efficiently. This protective effect was seen 24 hours after a heart attack and persisted over the entire follow-up period of four weeks.

The team was first in identifying that MARK4 fine-tunes a structural network within the heart muscle cell—called the microtubule network—that attaches to the machinery governing heart muscle cells contraction and relaxation. When MARK4 levels were increased after a heart attack, microtubules were tightly anchored onto the contractile machinery in the heart, increasing resistance and hindering normal function. When MARK4 levels were reduced, microtubules were loosely anchored, making contraction and relaxation easier.

Following a heart attack the speed of contraction in MARK4-lacking muscle cells increased by 42 percent and the speed of relaxation increased by 47 percent, compared to muscle cells from mice that had the MARK4 protein. They were also almost on par with healthy heart muscle performance, attesting to the power of reducing MARK4.

Based on these findings, the researchers suggested that drugs to switch off MARK4 could be a new way to improve recovery and help the heart to pump blood more efficiently in people with failing hearts.

Dr Xuan Li, BHF Intermediate Research Fellow at University of Cambridge BHF Centre of Research Excellence, said: “After years of research we’ve revealed an entirely new and promising way that could help the recovery of failing hearts.

“It’s early days, and we now need to test the longer-term effects of switching off MARK4. But if drugs to do that prove successful, the life-changing benefits could be seen in people with other types of heart disease as well as those who’ve had a heart attack and developed heart failure.”

Professor Metin Avkiran, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Heart attacks are a major cause of disability worldwide—people who’ve had a major heart attack are at much greater risk of developing chronic heart failure. There are around 920 000 people living with heart failure in the UK, and we desperately need drugs to drastically improve the heart’s function in these patients.

“These findings are a positive step forward. Further research is needed to refine and test drugs that can target MARK4 before we’ll see them given to people who’ve had a heart attack and develop heart failure.”

Source: University of Cambridge

Study Links OCD to Increased Risk of Stroke

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Adults with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) were more than three times as likely to have an ischaemic stroke later in life compared to adults who do not have OCD, according to new research.

OCD involves intrusive thoughts which may be accompanied by actions to alleviate the stress brought on by these thoughts; these are called obsessions and compulsions, respectively. Potentially debilitating, OCD typically manifests in adolescence and is under-reported and under-treated. The World Health Organization ranks OCD as one of the ten most disabling conditions worldwide, with a lifetime prevalence of 1% to 3%.

Clinical research has shown that patients with OCD often have stroke-related metabolic disorders, such as obesity and diabetes. 

While a growing body of evidence suggests an association between OCD and stroke risk, with some patients developing OCD after a stroke, OCD may also influence stroke risk. OCD raises the risk for ischaemic stroke more than 3-fold, especially among older adults
Drawing on health records from 2001-2010 from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, researchers compared stroke risk between 28 064 adults diagnosed with OCD and 28 064 adults without an OCD diagnosis. The average age at diagnosis was 37 years old, with equal representation of men and women, with a maximum data coverage of 11 years.

Analysis showed that even after controlling for factors known to increase stroke risk such obesity and high blood pressure, OCD remained an independent risk factor for ischaemic stroke. However, no differences were found when considering hemorrhagic strokes, and medications to treat OCD were linked to increased risk of stroke.
Ya-Mei Bai, MD, PhD, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, said: “The results of our study should encourage people with OCD to maintain a healthy lifestyle, such as quitting or not smoking, getting regular physical activity and managing a healthy weight to avoid stroke-related risk factors.”

Worldwide, stroke is the second-leading cause of death after heart disease. Cerebrovascular diseases often present complex cases, and this study was the first to consider how OCD and strokes may be associated on a longer time scale. 

Limitations include the observational nature of the study being unable to establish cause and effect, as well as the inclusion in the data of only stroke patients who sought health care. Additionally, information on disease severity and outcome was not included along with family medical history or environmental influences, which can further affect both the extent of OCD and severity of strokes.

“For decades, studies have found a relationship between stroke first and OCD later,” said Prof Bai. “Our findings remind clinicians to closely monitor blood pressure and lipid proles, which are known to be related to stroke in patients with OCD. More research is needed to understand how the mental processes connected to OCD may increase the risk of ischaemic stroke.”

Source: News-Medical.Net

Journal information: Chen, M-H., et al. (2021) Increased Risk of Stroke in Patients With Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Nationwide Longitudinal Study. Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.