HealthDay News — Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an independent risk factor for stroke, according to a review published online April 4 in the International Journal of Stroke.

Grace M. Turner, Ph.D., from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to examine the association between TBI and stroke risk.

Based on 18 included studies (2,606,379 participants from four countries), the researchers found that TBI patients had a significantly increased risk for stroke versus controls (pooled hazard ratio, 1.86). Stroke risk may be highest in the first four months post-TBI but can remain significantly elevated up to five years post-TBI. Regardless of severity or subtype of TBI, increased stroke risk remains. Post-TBI, the risk for stroke may be reduced with vitamin K antagonists and statins but may be higher with certain classes of antidepressants.

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“This initial four-month period should also be used by clinicians to administer stroke prevention medication and lifestyle advice to mitigate the excess risk of stroke associated with TBI,” Turner said in a statement.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text