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Paediatric strokes 'may be twice as common as once thought'

Paediatric strokes 'may be twice as common as once thought'
23rd September 2009

A new study has found that stroke rates in younger individuals may be much more common than previously identified.

According to a recent report by Heather J Fullerton, an associate professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco, imaging studies and diagnostic codes now show there to be a stroke rate in infants and children of two-to-four times higher than previously thought.

She explained: "Traditional methods using diagnostic codes work fairly well to identify stroke in studies on adults, but they miss a large proportion of cases when applied to infants and children."

After suspecting there to be an under-counting of childhood strokes through diagnostic codes alone, researchers from the institution analysed the records of 2.3 million children between 0 and 19 years old who were in the Kaiser Permanente care plan in Northern California between 1993 and 2003.

Last week, a study in the Canadian Medical Association by Dr Kevin Willis highlighted the high salt intake of most of his countrymen, emphasising the links it has to strokes and that there should be government controls on its addition to food.

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