Monday, September 16, 2013

Spine injuries raise risk of heart attack or stroke

Spine injuries raise risk of heart attack or strokeCanadian researchers say patients with spinal cord injuries have a higher risk of heart disease and stroke, similar to that of smokers, diabetics and the obese. The risk of cardiovascular disease was nearly 3 times higher for spinal cord patients, according to a study published in the journal Neurology. The risk of stroke was almost 4 times higher. "To put these values into context, the heightened odds ratios reported here are similar in magnitude to the estimated odds ratios in the general population for the relationship between smoking and myocardial infarction (heart attack)," wrote lead author Jacquelyn Cragg of the University of British Columbia. Cragg and her colleagues studied health data from over 60,000 people who participated in the 2010 Canadian Community Health Survey. From that sample, they identified 354 people who reported having both a spinal cord injury and a stroke, and 356 people who had a spinal cord injury and cardiovascular disease. While the research did not establish a cause for the higher risk profile, the authors noted that spine injuries can increase several risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as physical inactivity, high blood pressure, and chronic inflammation

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