Vaccines may reduce stroke risk in kids

February 25, 2014

It seems that certain common infections put children at greater risk of ischemic stroke, and certain recommended vaccinations help decrease that risk.

 

It seems that certain common infections put children at greater risk of ischemic stroke, and certain recommended vaccinations help decrease that risk.

Nancy Hill, MD, from the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, and colleagues conducted an international, prospective study, the results of which were recently presented at the annual International Stroke Conference held February 12 to 14, 2014, in San Diego, California.

In the study, the investigators interviewed the parents or caregivers of 310 children who had experienced a stroke and the parents/caregivers of 289 children who had not had a stroke but had recently visited their doctor. The median age of the children who had a stroke was 7.5 years.

The researchers found that minor infections, such as colds and upper respiratory infections (URIs), in the past week were associated with more than 6 times the risk of stroke. Seventeen percent of the stroke patients versus 3% of the nonstroke patients were reported to have had a minor infection of any kind in the week prior to the stroke. More specifically, 8% of the stroke group and 2.4% of the nonstroke group was reported to have had an occurrence of a cold or URI in the prior week.

Children who were reported to have had “some, few, or no” routine vaccinations were 6.7 times more likely to have an ischemic stroke than those reported to have received “all or most” vaccines, including those against polio, measles, mumps, rubella, and pneumococcus.

According to the National Stroke Association, stroke affects about 6 in 100,000 children. Risk factors in children include diseases of the arteries, cardiac disorders, infection, acute or chronic head and neck disorders, abnormal blood clotting, and sickle cell disease. 


 

 

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